How to Hire an it Specialist

Does your growing business need an IT specialist? Detail-oriented IT specialists are dedicated to maintaining efficient operations and achieving business objectives. They’re able to provide computer system support in a range of industries and settings. A skilled IT specialist understands how to quickly solve problems as well as implement strategies to maximize productivity.

Here are some tips to help you find great IT specialist candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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IT specialists looking for jobs on Indeed*

240,801

Job seekers clicked on IT specialist jobs

32,782

Resumes for job seekers with IT specialist experience on Indeed

5,078

IT specialist jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $83,500 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $21,000$187,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, IT specialist jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 47 job seekers per IT specialist job.

Why hire an IT specialist?

Hiring an IT specialist who’s knowledgeable about software, hardware, networks and databases to successfully maintain day-to-day business operations and system integrity can be highly beneficial to your team and business. A qualified IT specialist communicates effectively to relay important information, stays up-to-date with current technologies and quickly resolves issues to ensure client satisfaction.

Contributions of a great IT specialist:

  • Diagnose, troubleshoot and solve issues related to workstations, equipment, operating systems, networks, databases, hardware and software
  • Develop strategies to increase efficiencies and workflows
  • Perform hardware and software installations and upgrades
  • Train users on how to properly navigate systems and equipment
  • Collaborate with clients, vendors, remote employees and contractors to determine concerns and needs
  • Occasionally work evenings, nights or weekends, depending on business needs

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance IT specialist

If you have a short-term or short-notice need for an IT specialist, it can be worth looking into hiring a freelancer. Freelance IT specialists can help with unusual situations:

  • Cybersecurity emergency
  • Troubleshooting apps or software
  • Short-term projects or development “sprints”
  • Projects requiring a limited number of hours

Freelancing is different from outsourcing your IT work to a separate firm. With outsourcing, you can establish long-term relationships with professionals who have skills you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Freelancing is best for covering unexpected situations or projects of very restricted scale and scope.

If you need specialists who really understand your business and can provide consistent support for your policies, processes, apps and products, it’s far better to have the help of a full-time IT Specialist, whether that’s in-house staff or a hired consulting firm.

What are the types of IT specialists?

IT is an ever-growing and changing field. There’s a very wide range of possible specialties in digital work, but the most common types of specialists are:

  • Technical support: Also called help-desk technicians or operations analysts, they focus on helping less tech-savvy users with hardware and software issues.
  • Programmers: They write and test the code that composes software programs, from computer games to operating and database systems.
  • Web developers: They bring together a combination of creative flair and technical prowess to design attractive, engaging and high-functioning websites.
  • IT security specialists: They focus on deploying the tools, policies and training necessary to keep a company’s data safe.
  • Network engineers: Set up, maintain and upgrade local and wide-area networks and may also need to provide security, data storage and disaster recovery services.
  • Computer systems analysts: A multi-tasking role focused on understanding how hardware and software networks interact, and which configuration of these elements will be most useful to a given business.

These specialties are listed in the rough order of the level of training and education required and the workload and compensation involved. Keep in mind that there’s plenty of variation in each category.

Where to find IT specialists

To find the right IT specialist for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote internally. If there’s someone already in your company who can do the work and knows your needs, this is often the best way to go.
  • Networking. The social and professional kind of networking, not the computer kind. Attending industry conferences and career fairs is a good way to connect with talented professionals.
  • Hire a recruitment firm. There’s usually a significant cost involved, but if you don’t mind some initial outlay, and particularly if you feel out of your technical depth in vetting candidates, you can try hiring an IR recruitment firm.
  • Streamline your hiring process. Don’t insist on doing three interviews over two weeks. IT is fast-paced, with professionals on and off the market within days. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your IT Specialist job on Indeed to find and attract quality IT specialist candidates.

What are the types of IT specialists?

IT is an ever-growing and changing field. There’s a very wide range of possible specialties in digital work, but the most common types of specialists are:

  • Technical support: Also called help-desk technicians or operations analysts, they focus on helping less tech-savvy users with hardware and software issues.
  • Programmers: They write and test the code that composes software programs, from computer games to operating and database systems.
  • Web developers: They bring together a combination of creative flair and technical prowess to design attractive, engaging and high-functioning websites.
  • IT security specialists: They focus on deploying the tools, policies and training necessary to keep a company’s data safe.
  • Network engineers: Set up, maintain and upgrade local and wide-area networks and may also need to provide security, data storage and disaster recovery services.
  • Computer systems analysts: A multi-tasking role focused on understanding how hardware and software networks interact, and which configuration of these elements will be most useful to a given business.

These specialties are listed in the rough order of the level of training and education required and the workload and compensation involved. Keep in mind that there’s plenty of variation in each category.

Writing an IT specialist job description

A thoughtful job description is important to finding qualified IT specialist candidates. An IT specialist job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your IT specialist job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on IT specialist jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • IT
  • Information technology
  • IT support
  • IT technician
  • System administrator
  • Help desk
  • Desktop support
  • Computer technician
  • Technical support
  • IT specialist

Interviewing IT specialist candidates

Ask meaningful questions to gain insight into a job candidate’s education and experience to find an IT specialist who can provide excellent customer service, comfortably handle complex issues and prioritize tasks and projects. Strong candidates for IT specialist positions will be confident when answering a variety of questions related to IT specialist responsibilities.

Topics for IT specialist interview questions:

  • Information technology and industry specialization
  • Continued education accomplishments and goals
  • Record of maintaining and improving systems
  • Current information technology methods and trends
  • Computer languages, frameworks and operating systems

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of IT specialist interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an IT specialist

There are a few further useful tips for hiring IT professionals:

How do I hire an IT professional?

You should connect with your prospective hires as people, and try to get them genuinely interested in what you do, at the same time you’re considering their tech skill set.

What should I look for when hiring an IT consultant?

If you’re on the hunt for a consultant rather than in-house staff, keep these things in mind:

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