How to hire the best systems administrator – Top 5 characteristics of an ideal server administrator
One of the popular questions we get asked is, “When you hire system administrators what qualities do you look for?” Instead of boring you with our recruitment format, let’s approach this question from another angle.
Since 2001, Bobcares systems administrators have managed over 75,000 servers for businesses of all sizes, playing a pivotal role in the rapid growth of many of these companies. Looking back at those success stories, the following emerge as the top traits that distinguished our server administrators.
1. Knowledge of computing fundamentals
Year after year, new software, computing platforms and programming languages keep pushing the horizons of what is possible. To keep pace with competition, service providers get into a perpetual hunt for those proficient in the “hot” new technology, but those with Bobcares server administrators in their ranks smoothly transitioned into new technologies by relying on a key critical skill – knowledge of computing fundamentals.
100% of Bobcares server administrators are computer science or electronics engineers, who completed a rigorous 4 year graduate program on computing fundamentals. Just like how a skilled, experienced driver can drive any vehicle, an expert engineer quickly becomes proficient in a new technology with little or no technology-specific training. This factor has many a times proved crucial in quickly implementing an evolving technology, and thus gain early market edge. It additionally allows our engineers to implement solutions that transcends the limits imposed by a specific software suite, by working at the operating system level.
2. Intellectual discipline and drive to innovate
In addition to technical competence, a demanding course like Engineering imparts another key skill to Bobcares server administrators – intellectual discipline. It is the ability to patiently and persistently grind away at a problem until the perfect solution is created. This is critical because, when managing complex systems, it is easy to fall into the trap of using a quick fix that solves the immediate problem. But such band-aid fixes usually result in greater problems over time, causing costly damages. An engineer with persistence hacks away methodically at the problem, until the root cause is identified, and a complete solution is implemented. Over time, such solutions lends to a stable and reliable server infrastructure.
Another key quality is the drive to innovate. Bobcares engineers are essentially technophiles. We love technology and keep updating ourselves with anything new that hits the computing scene. When our engineers identify a better way to deliver a service, we set to work on how efficiently and cost-effectively that can be implemented in the infrastructure we manage. It enables service providers to stay ahead of the demand curve, and thereby gain early market share.
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3. Effective communication skills
Only a true master can explain complex concepts in a way anybody can understand. All of our engineers who helped transform businesses were able to explain computing concepts in simple terms to colleagues and stake holders facilitating quick, decisive resolutions for service improvement. This ability is invaluable in helping end-customers to quickly fix service issues or custom configure their service, which directly results in high customer satisfaction ratings.
Given that our engineers work with colleagues around the globe, efficient team work is attained not only through excellent written and oral communication skills, but also with the ability to understand cultural nuances, listening, and engaging all participants in a conversation.
4. Mature emotional intelligence
Things might get a bit testy once in a while for any online services company. Irritable customers, clueless up-stream service providers, harassed colleagues, all could take a toll on the quality of service and support. Bobcares administrators who made a change were able to time and again transform negative situations into positive ones with empathy, tact and patience. In our recruitment process and inhouse grooming, the ability to empathize is given a high priority. It enables our administrators to instinctively see a customer’s point of view, understand the emotional distress, and defuse the tension while quickly working towards a solution.
5. Crisis management skills
How much ever you try to prevent it, or prepare for it, there’ll be one day when all hell breaks loose. Services would be down, cause of downtime would be unknown or noteasily fixable, and customers would be yelling at you over phone, chat and email. It’s a crisis. What you do at this time makes or breaks your reputation. Star system administrators from Bobcares always kept their cool, prioritized the actions to be taken, got everyone in the team working coherently on different fronts, kept everyone on the same page regarding the progress and methodically resolved the problem in as little time as possible.
While crisis management is mostly an acquired skill, the raw material for it is quite easy to locate. In our hiring process, we look for individuals with multi-tasking abilities, decisiveness, positive attitude, excellent analytical skills, and a clear record of managing crisis in their academic or personal life. Further, in our inhouse training and grooming, we emphasize training on crisis management, so that when the time comes to act, our administrators just go out and make things happen.
Bobcares server administrators are hired, trained and continuously coached to excel in the exacting business of online services. Are you considering hiring a systems administrator? Try out a Bobcares engineer for Free for 7 days, and see for yourself how we make a difference to your business.