Tiro Security 2019: Year in Review

2019 has come to an end and we are now about a week into a new year and new decade. Since all the festivities have finished and most of our clients are back at work focused on 2020, I wanted to take some time to look back at the past year to reflect on the accomplishments that Tiro Security had achieved. I was able to sit down and grab some time with our CEO Kris Rides to talk about how Tiro Security fared in 2019 and his aspirations for 2020.


  • How was 2019 for Tiro Security?

It was a fantastic year for us. We moved to larger offices, hired some great people, and broke several company records setting us up for an exciting 2020.

  • Before the year began, did you set any goals for Tiro Security and were they met?

As a company that has consistently been profitable and growing year on year, 2019 was already set up to be a good year for us.  Changes in my own personal life (becoming a Dad) made me reevaluate what was important for me personally.  This made me reflect further on what a healthy office looked like and what unconventional business goals would motivate our staff to continue to grow individually and as a company. My hopes were that we could generate exceptional growth but not at the expense of all of our personal lives… something that is very challenging in our line of work.  As for targets, a mentor of mine in recruitment had a “double or die” rule for business growth. Taking that on board we were looking for 100% growth in our permanent and contract recruitment businesses. In the end our results far exceeded our expectations as our contract recruitment grew by just over 177% and our permanent recruitment business grew 221%.

  • What was your approach to achieving these goals? 

Internally, we agreed among the team to set tougher targets to help us reach our goals and to increase expectations. To balance this we gave our staff more flexibility to manage themselves (flexible office hours and working from home options). However, this did not suit everyone and it did lead to some difficult decisions both with current staff and a change of our own recruitment policy with those we hired. 

On a higher level, we looked at the companies we were helping and graded their recruitment process and our relationship.  Ensuring we focused our time on those clients that were working most closely with us and were open to a true partnership.  Partnerships only work when time is given for open and honest feedback around their process and what they could change to help them achieve their goals.  Of course the feedback wasn’t always what they wanted to hear but the changes that came out of this resulted in our clients filling their openings, many of which had been open for some time before they came to us.  That allowed their team members to focus on their roles of keeping the business secure rather than recruitment and for us resulted in Tiro Security filling more requirements.

  • Were there any memorable moments that happened in the year?

There have been some very memorable moments this year:

  • Our Top Biller record that had stood for 3 years was broken by over 27%.
  • Our quickest first permanent placement record was also broken. 4 weeks from joining, clients were able to get a starting placement!
  • Helping a client exclusively to grow their US security team from 5 to 28 in less than 4 months.
  • Continuing our 100% retained search placement record including a very high profile CISO role filled.
  • Our focus on helping our clients with diversity and inclusion within their teams has been one of our teams proudest successes.  59% of our placed candidates were categorized as diverse candidates.
  • Are there any companies that you would like to work with next year? 

We are in talks with several new clients currently and have some household names with large 2020 growth plans where we already have CISO level relationships. Some of the most exciting partnerships are smaller companies that want us to work as their exclusive security recruiting partner and to build their recruitment and retention plans.  Also we cannot forget the clients we are already working with, as it is important we keep them happy.

  • I understand Tiro Security is heavily involved in the security community.  Out of all the events you attended this year which event stood out the most to you?

There has been a lot of events all over US last year, of course we love our local Los Angeles community and have been involved attending most of the major US conferences (RSA, BsidesLV, Blackhat, Defcon etc) for years now.  So, the ones that stood out in 2019 were some of the ones we presented at or were more involved with.

  • Our first visit to SXSW and speaking about security and hacking blockchain in Austin.  
  • Watching one of our placed candidates speaking at BSides Durham which had one of the most amazing venues I’ve been to.
  • Personally speaking at the ISC2 security congress in Orlando on cloud security and recruiting in high demand markets.  
  • Finally, one stand out for me was when I personally received some amazing positive feedback from a women in security event where we provided some candidate coaching. It made me even more proud of our staff because it was a great reminder of the positive impact we can have on our industry.

  • So what are your plans for 2020?

Well much of this is for internal use but here is an overview:

  • We are already working on an updated website to be launched Q2 2020.
  • We will continue being ambitious with our growth targets.
  • This year we will be launching a complimentary software business focused on helping clients retain their staff.
  • Tiro Security will be even more active in helping our clients achieve their diversity and inclusion targets.