How to Hire a Systems Administrator

Does your growing company need a systems administrator? Systems administrators, or sysadmins, can help your company ensure your computer network is always up to date.

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

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Systems administrators searching for jobs on Indeed*

206,145

job seekers that clicked systems administrator jobs

41,839

resumes for job seekers with systems administrator experience on Indeed

7,778

systems administrator jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring a systems administator?

  • Common salary in US: $83,317 per year
  • Typical salaries range from $25,000$174,000 per year
  • Find more information on Indeed Salaries
Common
 
 
$25,000
$174,000

*Indeed data (US) – December 2020

As of December 2020, systems administrator jobs in the US are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 27 job seekers per systems administrator job.

Why hire a systems administrator?

A systems administrator can be an incredibly useful role within a company, improving computer systems to ensure smooth daily operations. The right systems administrator hire will be goal oriented, customer focused and be able to tackle dynamic problems. Other benefits of hiring a systems administrator include:

  • Secure the data on your computer network
  • Install the latest software on your network
  • Troubleshoot any computer issues you encounter

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance systems administrator

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

Hiring a systems administrator on a freelance, part-time or contract basis provides you with extra flexibility to meet your business’s needs. For example, they can help with one-off projects or work only a few hours per week. However, a full-time systems administrator may be a better option when you need someone to handle the day-to-day operation of your networks and computer systems.

What are the different types of systems administrators?

When hiring a systems administrator, it’s important to understand the specific kind of systems administrator you need for your business. Here are some of the most common types of systems administrators to help you find one that meets your needs:

  • Network administrator: A type of systems administrator that focuses on overseeing local area networks, wide area networks and network segments.
  • Security systems administrator: Specializes in implementing information security strategies and procedures, including vulnerability assessment audits, information security policies, content filtering, etc.
  • Senior systems administrator: Typically manages a team of systems administrators and is responsible for designing, planning and implementing complex computer operating systems.
  • Windows systems administrator: Focuses on administering Windows Server/Linux operating systems.

Where to find systems administrators

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

  • Ask for referrals: Ask your current employees if they know or have worked with anyone who would be a good fit for your systems administrator role. Consider rewarding your employees for successful referrals. 
  • Hire at local colleges: Attend career fairs and post jobs to college job boards to find candidates that meet your education requirements. 
  • Join a professional organization: The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA), for example, can be a great source for highly qualified sysadmin candidates. 
  • Post your job online: Try posting your systems administrator job on Indeed to find and attract quality systems administrator candidates.

Skills to look for in a great systems administrator

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field
  • Extensive software proficiencies
  • Experience with Active Directory/Group Policy
  • Knowledge of switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, etc.
  • Adherence to quality control
  • System planning skills
  • Ability to communicate with the entire company
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to give interactive software demonstrations

Writing a systems administrator job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified systems administrator candidates. An systems administration 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 systems administrator 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 systems administrator jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • system administrator
  • information technology
  • it network administrator
  • systems administrator
  • linux system administrator
  • linux
  • linux administrator
  • systems engineer
  • windows system engineer

Interviewing systems administrator candidates

Strong candidates for systems administrator positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

  • Technical skills
  • Implementing systems
  • Creating new systems
  • How they’ve instructed employees on system adoption
  • Past experience with ticketing systems

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

FAQs about how to hire a systems administrator

When should I hire a systems administrator?

Consider hiring a systems administrator when the IT infrastructure of your company begins to grow. As you hire more employees and they use computers, email and other hardware and software, you’ll need someone to run software updates, check your system for issues, manage server problems and keep everything running smoothly and securely. 

What is the difference between a systems administrator and a systems engineer?

A systems engineer is typically responsible for planning, designing and implementing a network or system. A systems administrator, on the other hand, is usually responsible for managing the support of these systems and networks. 

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021