How to Hire a System Engineer

Does your organization need a system engineer? System engineers can help your company develop innovative solutions and maintain, monitor and troubleshoot your technical infrastructure.

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

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System engineers searching for jobs on Indeed*


job seekers that clicked system engineer jobs


resumes for job seekers with system engineer experience on Indeed


system engineer jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring a system engineer?

  • Common salary in US: $99,570 per year
  • Typical salaries range from $37,000$191,000 per year
  • Find more information on Indeed Salaries

*Indeed data (US) – December 2020

As of December 2020, system engineer jobs in the US are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 15 job seekers per system engineer job.

Why hire a system engineer?

Hiring a system engineer allows your company to better thrive in a highly technical world. The right hire will typically have previous experience in the system engineering world. They must be able to find, create and deploy effective systems within your company or organization. Other common system engineer responsibilities include:

  • Increasing the level of trust your customer has in your company
  • Staying on the cutting edge of your industry
  • Increasing the overall sales of your business

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance system engineer

Before writing a system engineer job description or interviewing candidates, it’s important to decide if you need a full-time or freelance, part-time or contract system engineer (and what your budget will allow).

You may need a freelance or contract system engineer if you only need assistance with a specific project or task (e.g., troubleshooting issues, server migration). However, a full-time system engineer may be a better option if you’re looking for ongoing maintenance and system management. 

Where to find system engineers

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

  • Ask for referrals: A current employee, friend or industry connection may know someone who’s the right match for your open system engineer role.
  • Hire internally: A software engineer, systems administrator or network engineer employee at your company may have the skills and qualifications needed to excel as a system engineer. Consider asking employees at your company if they’d be interested in the role.
  • Get involved in online tech communities: Join a website like GitHub where tech talent shares their personal projects and contributes to open source initiatives.
  • Recruit at local colleges: Attend career fairs at local universities or colleges to find talent with the right education requirements for your system engineer role.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your system job on Indeed to find and attract quality system engineer candidates.

Skills to look for in a great system engineer

A great system engineer candidate will have the following skills, attributes and work experience that reflects:

  • BS/MS degree in computer science, engineering or a related field
  • Experience coming up with engineering solutions
  • System development skills
  • Programming skills
  • Experience with Windows and Linux operating systems
  • Familiarity with scripting and/or automation tools
  • Strong knowledge of networking concepts
  • Technical reading and understanding
  • Innovative problem solving abilities
  • Consistent communication with clients and team members
  • Positive attitude

Writing a system engineer job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified system engineer candidates. A system engineer job description should include 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 system engineer 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 system engineer jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Systems engineer
  • Information technology
  • Engineer 
  • IT
  • System administrator
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Network engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • System engineer
  • Engineering

Interviewing system engineer candidates

After reviewing the resumes of your top system engineer applicants, schedule interviews to learn more about them. Ask targeted and thoughtful questions to find out more about a job candidate’s education, training, professional experience and career ambitions. Strong candidates for system engineering positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

  • Developing new systems
  • The important of system engineering within a company
  • How they’ve successfully implemented, monitored and managed systems

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

FAQs about how to hire a system engineer

How do I keep my system engineer happy?

Offer a competitive salary (with bonuses), an attractive benefits package and unique perks (e.g., coffee stipend, dog-friendly office) to keep your system engineer happy. As with all employees, it’s also important to make sure that the work they do is valued, recognized and appreciated. Starting an employee incentive program is another way to boost employee satisfaction. 

How can I hire the right system engineer if I don't have a technical background?

For employers or recruiters without technical backgrounds, there are a few ways to make sure you’re hiring a system engineer with the right tech skills and qualifications. One way is to outsource the recruiting process to a headhunter or recruiting company, and have someone with more technical knowledge source hires for you. Another option is to get your current employees involved. If you already have a tech team, ask for their help evaluating a system engineer candidate’s skills and experience. 

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021