Home / Blog / Trailblazing graduates take on our Capture the Flag challenge

In early June while most people in the UK were enjoying the start of the long Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend, a talented group of 39 graduates got together online at our first-ever Graduate Programme recruitment event.

As a forward-thinking company that’s always trying to raise the bar, we wanted to make the event enjoyable, challenging and fun for high-calibre potential recruits. So, together with our partner, Capture The Talent, we designed a two-day schedule to give our candidates the chance to prove their technical prowess and show us their soft skills. While everyone would agree that good knowledge of IT is essential in cyber security, communication skills such as writing are really important too – after all, we talk to our customers every day and we need to do so in a language they understand.   

Inspirational and fun

“As the inaugural event of our first-ever Graduate Programme, Capture the Flag was truly brilliant,” says Quorum Cyber Chief People Officer John Wallace. “It was so inspiring to meet such a talented bunch of graduates, albeit virtually, and the two days gave us a great all-round view of people’s abilities and the opportunity to assess who would fit best into Quorum Cyber’s dynamic culture. The toughest part was deciding who to invite for the next stage of our challenging recruitment process.”

Capture The Talent produced the results of the technical challenges very quickly and there were some outstanding performances. Against the clock, the graduates proved their worth tackling approximately 40 challenges across eight sections, including Pwn, Forensics, OSINT, Cryptography and Steganography that ranged in difficulty from fairly straightforward to fiendishly complex.

“The work put in by all of the candidates has been fantastic and we’re super proud of every single person who participated in the event,” said Capture The Talent. “They’ve all shown a lot of skill, both technically and professionally.

Overall, participants rated the Capture The Flag event as 7/10 for difficulty and 9/10 for fun, showing that we pitched the difficulty rating very well, while we also set a great atmosphere for people to enjoy themselves when taking part in a key stage of a serious recruitment process.

Candidate feedback

“The enjoyability of the event can be factored in different ways. The fun names, hilarious images, perfect flags, approachable staff, friendly server, and passionate peers made the event incredibly fun. As strange as it sounds, the fact that the scoreboard was not visible made me feel more comfortable faster. Since it’s an event for a job, I think this was the right decision as it promotes growth and prevents the creeping anxiety from thinking you have no chance, ultimately increasing enjoyment. I can’t wait to do more CTF events with the team, as well as potentially getting a certification one day. Thanks for your very valuable time.” Bruce McClelland

“The CTF event was so much fun, a lot of the challenges were incredibly creative. I think I spent over 10 hours on them both days because I was only able to stop when I completely ran out of brain power. It was great being able to speak to everyone as we were doing it in the discord and I enjoyed the non-competitive, friendly environment.” Hamish Leven.


Expanding horizons in the world of cyber security

Our successful candidates will join us in August to begin their journey in the exciting world of cyber security. Over the next two years they will gain valuable experience in our offensive, defensive, incident response and advisory teams to help protect our customers from evolving threats.

Take a look at our Graduate Programme to see how it will expand your horizon.

Quorum Cyber is one of the fastest growing cyber security companies in the UK. Please visit our website to learn more about how we enable a wide variety of customers around the world to achieve more.