Technology is an integral part of any business and daily life. From advertising and interdepartmental communication to data storage and analysis, most fields employ a variety of technology professionals to ensure that all systems run accurately and smoothly. The most efficient way to do so is to hire a systems administrator.
A Systems Administrator doesn’t just fix the server, they also maintain, organize, and install the computer systems for the organization. In some cases, this may even include light programming or program management as it relates to the computer systems.
Systems Administration is a growing and evolving field, with recent advancements in technology it is important to hire system administrators that are well versed in current technology trends and has the experience and expertise needed. There are several characteristics to consider when hiring a Systems Administrator.
When hiring for any position, years in the field is typically the first thing an employer will look at, this holds true for system administrators.
While the number of years of experience a person has is important it shouldn’t be the deciding factor when looking at experience.
System Administrators often have to work under strict time constraints and high-pressure situations. A systems administrator who has experience repairing a crashed system, working under pressure, repairing a data breach, or repairing a system quickly, has valuable experience even if they have been in the field a relatively short amount of time.
Another aspect of experience worth working at is the type of technology the administrator is familiar with and how fresh their skills are.
Computer systems are constantly changing as are the needs of any individual business. Look for a systems administrator who is up to date with current trends and who’s experience reflects a willingness to learn and grow with the company.
The Systems Administrator is an integral role, as such, they frequently communicate with many other employees as well as third parties. Often, the Systems Administrator stands at a crossroads between management, team members, and other employees.
A Systems Administrator must possess the skills to communicate clearly with all other employees despite their role or their knowledge of technology and the current system.
A good systems administrator will have the communication skills necessary to explain system problems and delays to those who work outside of the field.
The systems administrator should be able to clearly and concisely outline problems and solutions as well as convey any pertinent information to necessary departments. They should also be able to relay information about delays, crashes, maintenance, or errors within the system including anticipated recovery times.
Clear communication from the systems administrator can lead to less downtime for system maintenance increasing efficiency for the company as a whole.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
The main role of a Systems Administrator is to maintain and service the computer systems of the company, this often requires troubleshooting. System Administrators are frequently required to solve immediate and complex problems.
It is important that the person hired for this position be able to find creative solutions to unusual problems. This would include identifying the problem, asking the right questions, locating resources, and making quick and informed decisions.
A good problem solver will also know when to ask for help and seek out other advice, A Systems Administrator that is willing to learn from others is one who can effectively solve a variety of problems.
Critical thinking is a necessary part of problem thinking. A Systems Administrator is required to solve novel and sometimes unusual problems which at times may require critical thinking skills to solve the problem efficiently.
When interviewing it may be helpful to ask candidates about challenging system problems they have solved and how they did so.
As with any position attitude matters. The Systems Administrator is often a key employee that interacts with staff from many other departments.
In addition, the computer system is often what connects employees to each other, various departments, as well as customers or clients. This means that the System Administrator needs to be a team player who works to keep the computer system working efficiently.
The Systems Administrator also needs to understand the roles and perspectives of the many people they interact with as it relates to multiples of the company’s systems.
System Administrators also need to be adaptable. Situations may change suddenly and the workday is often unpredictable. It is helpful for the system administrator to be adaptable to change and patient with the quickly changing expectations of the role.
Attitude incorporates aspects of characteristics such as communication and problem-solving. A good System Administrator will be confident in their own abilities, an effective communicator, adaptable, and willing to learn and support others.
Similar to most positions in the field, extensive knowledge of technology is a must. It is expected a Systems Administrator will have expertise in a variety of systems and related equipment.
A Systems Administrator will not be an expert in every system a company uses. However is expected that they would have sufficient basic knowledge to quickly learn a novel system and equipment.
A potential employer should also consider any relevant certifications as well as continuing education. The fields of technology and systems, are constantly changing. A Systems Administrator that takes time for continuing education is more likely to be aware of these changes and up to date on the newest information.
Selecting The Right Candidate
When selecting a candidate there are several things to consider, It is expected that candidates have the necessary degrees and some experience, however, there are several other characteristics to be considered.
Experience both longevity and specific, communication skills, the ability to problem-solve, and a team-oriented attitude are all important characteristics to consider when hiring a Systems Administrator.
Most careers in technology are fairly competitive with an increasing number of college students choosing careers in the field, Systems Administrators aren’t an exception. Ideally, the competitiveness of the field will result in many well-qualified candidates.