How to Hire a Staff Application Security Engineer

Hiring Guide: Staff Application Security Engineers

3 min read ยท Dec. 6, 2023
How to Hire a Staff Application Security Engineer
Table of contents


Application security is a crucial aspect of any organization's threat prevention Strategy. Staff Application Security Engineers are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the security of an organization's applications. This guide will help you in recruiting the best Staff Application Security Engineer for your organization.

Why Hire:

The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and it is essential to have an experienced professional on the application security team. Application security engineers are responsible for identifying Vulnerabilities and providing remediation strategies to secure applications. Failing to secure applications can result in data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage to the organization.

Understanding the Role:

Before starting the recruitment process, it is essential to have clarity on the role's responsibilities and requirements. Here are some key responsibilities of a Staff Application Security Engineer: - Design, develop and implement secure coding practices for applications - Conduct security assessments of applications, identifying vulnerabilities, and recommend remediation strategies. - Collaborate with developers to provide guidance and support on secure development practices. - Conduct regular security assessments and Vulnerability scans for applications. - Develop and maintain security policies and procedures.

Skills required for the role: - At least 5-7 years of experience in application security. - Knowledge of OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities, common vulnerabilities in software development. - In-depth knowledge of web application security and secure coding practices. - Experience in vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and threat modeling. - Knowledge of Secure SDLC practices.

Sourcing Applicants:

The best way to source qualified applicants is to advertise the position on job boards and industry-specific websites. is a great resource to source candidates for application security engineering roles. You can also reach out to recruiters who specialize in cybersecurity positions.

Skills Assessment:

Once the applications start coming in, it is time to assess the candidate's skills. Here are some options to assess a candidate's application security skills: - Request the candidate to submit a sample of their work that demonstrates their application security skills. - Provide a hypothetical scenario in which the candidate can outline their approach to identifying and remediating security vulnerabilities in an application. - Conduct a technical skills assessment that tests the candidate's knowledge of OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities, penetration testing, and secure coding practices.


After the initial screening, it's time to conduct an interview. Here are some interview questions that can help assess a candidate's application security skills: - What web application vulnerabilities are you familiar with, and how do you mitigate them? - What secure coding practices do you recommend for developers working with web applications? - What tools do you use to conduct manual or automated vulnerability scans? - What experience do you have with penetration testing, and what is your approach to conducting a penetration test? - Have you ever had to remediate a vulnerability in real-world situations, and how did you approach it?

Making an Offer:

Once you have identified the ideal candidate for the role, it is time to make an offer. The offer should be competitive and include benefits such as healthcare, PTO, and 401k. Depending on the candidate's experience, you can expect to pay up to $150,000 per year.


After the candidate accepts the offer, it is time to onboard them. Onboarding is crucial in ensuring the new hire feels welcomed and is ready to perform. Here are some steps to onboard a new staff application security engineer: - Introduce the new hire to the team and assign a buddy/mentor. - Provide an overview of the organization's Security strategy and policies. - Provide access to the tools and systems the new hire will be working on. - Schedule training on the organization's software development policies and procedures. - Conduct a security awareness training for the new hire.


Hiring a Staff Application Security Engineer can be a daunting task. However, with the right process in place, you can ensure you attract and hire the best talent available. Remember to advertise the position on industry-specific job boards like, assess the candidate's skills through samples of work or hypothetical scenarios, and provide a competitive offer that includes healthcare, PTO, and 401k. Finally, onboard the new hire effectively, and you'll set them up for success.

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