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Computers are the foundation of the modern economy. If your company isn’t using its systems effectively, it could begin falling behind the competition. Hiring a skilled computer systems analyst can be easier said than done. Leveraging job posting sites such as ZipRecruiter, and its over 3 million daily job seekers, can be key in your search.
But how do you fill a vacant computer systems analyst job? What qualifications should you be looking for? And how do you attract qualified applicants? The following guide covers everything you need to know about how to hire computer systems analysts.
What is a computer systems analyst?
A computer systems analyst is a technology expert who studies an organization’s computer systems and looks for opportunities for improvement. Their main goal is to help the company they work for optimize their technology so that all systems are available for use as consistently as possible.
What does a computer systems analyst do?
Computer systems analysts may be tasked with a variety of responsibilities as they work to improve an organization’s systems. An average day for one of these employees may involve each of the following duties:
- Studying existing software and systems
- Consulting with employees to better understand how they use software and systems
- Devising new ways to bring enhanced functionality to computer systems that are already in use
- Researching emerging technologies and considering how they may apply to the firm
- Writing instruction manuals and training employees on how to use different systems
- Testing systems to ensure they will work as expected in different scenarios
If you want to hire a computer systems analyst, you may also have other responsibilities for them in mind. It will be important to include these in your computer systems analyst job description to ensure you attract the right candidates.
How to hire talent for computer systems analyst jobs
The first step toward adding the ideal computer systems analyst to your team is learning how to find great candidates for open positions. The following tips will help you do that, as well as providing some tips on how to make your final hiring decision.
Assess your business's needs
You should begin by conducting a thorough analysis of your company’s needs. For example, what are the specific goals that you have in hiring a computer systems analyst?
You may have a particular system that’s causing the company problems. Or maybe you’re looking for help with scaling your technological stack as your business grows. Your answer can have an impact on the type of skills, experience and qualifications you look for when filling your computer systems analyst job.
Know what to look for in a prospective candidate
Armed with an understanding of what your company needs from a computer systems analyst, you can start considering the traits that candidates will need to deliver on those goals. That process may involve the evaluation of a number of factors.
Certifications and level of education
You may have your own computer systems analyst education requirements, but most employers look for candidates with bachelor's degrees in related fields. This includes computer science and information systems, among others.
That being said, finding an applicant with a computer systems analyst degree may not be the most important thing to you. It may be more important to find someone with the specific type of experience you want, even if they have a computer systems analyst certification instead of a full degree.
Work experience and job performance history
The past is often the best predictor of the future. If an applicant has a proven track record of succeeding in similar positions, they are likely to succeed in yours as well. Hiring a candidate without a solid job performance history is more risky, but may still be the right decision in certain situations.
Finally, you may also have certain skills on your list of computer systems analyst requirements. This may involve work skills, such as:
- Familiarity with certain types of software
- Experience helping employees with minimal technical experience
- The ability to quickly learn new systems
- Familiarity with the latest developments in the industry
In addition, you may want to look for specific personality traits or 'soft skills' when hiring a computer systems analyst. Examples of these include:
- Strong communication skills
- High attention to detail
- The ability to stay organized
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
Start writing a computer systems analyst job description
At this point, you should have a good understanding of what you’re looking for in a computer systems analyst. You can use that to create a job description for sharing on the best job posting sites for employers.
A standard job description includes the following fields:
- A summary of the position and your company
- A list of tasks and responsibilities
- The qualifications you’re looking for in applicants
- Information about salary and benefits
You can find more in-depth guidance on creating strong job descriptions further on in this article.
Promote your career page or job posting
The next step in the hiring process is spreading the word about your open position. You can do that by posting your job description on major internet job boards, in addition to a few other methods.
For example, you may have an easier time attracting qualified applicants who are already interested in your company if you optimize your career page. This guide covering how to create a better career page will help you do that.
You can also look into local trade organizations and networking events for this industry. These can be excellent resources for finding top talent in your area, and you typically don’t need to pay to use them.
If you’ve tried some of the other strategies and are still having trouble finding the right fit, you may want to look into staffing agencies. These are companies that will source qualified candidates on your behalf in exchange for a percentage of the first-year salary of whoever you hire. You can also try using the best recruiting software if you would like to save money while enjoying some of the same benefits of using a staffing agency.
Interview your top choices
Once the applications begin rolling in, you can begin setting up interviews and planning the questions you would like to ask during them. Here are a few examples of the types of professional and behavioral interview questions you may want to use:
- What firewalls do you implement and why? This is a practical question designed to test the knowledge level of a candidate and gain insight into how they think through security solutions.
- How would you describe yourself? This behavioral question will show you how applicants think about themselves and give you insight into the way they may fit into your existing team.
- What do you look for when performing software audits? This is a practical question that will let you know how an applicant approaches their work and whether it aligns with your organization’s existing philosophies.
- Have you ever written instructional manuals for inexperienced users? This question will give you some insight into the amount of experience a candidate has with written technical communication for non-technical users. It could be a very important skill, depending on the nature of the role you are hiring for.
If you plan on interviewing more than a few candidates, using an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you keep track of all the information you receive. This guide covers the best practices for using an ATS if you would like to learn more.
Choose a computer systems analyst to join your team
Now all that’s left to do is make a hiring decision based on an evaluation of all of the factors covered throughout this section. If you are having trouble choosing between several qualified candidates, you may be able to make your decision on the basis of one of the following factors:
- Differences in salary expectations
- Intangible "fit" with your existing team and office culture
- Amount of experience
- Scheduling flexibility
- Any other factors that could make one applicant easier to assimilate into your team than another
You may also want to refresh your knowledge of how to retain employees to ensure you keep the new hire on your team for as long as possible. A major aspect of this is often the onboarding process, which is when you lay the foundation for a new employee to have a successful transition into your company.
Tips for writing the perfect computer systems analyst job description
Posting your open position online will help it pop up when qualified applicants search for “full-time jobs near me.” But in order to convert that traffic, you need to write an effective job description. This section will help with that.
Consider what a computer systems analyst may be looking for from you
Job descriptions are an extension of your recruiting efforts. If you met your ideal applicant in person, you would likely use the occasion to tell them why they should want to join your company. That information also needs to be conveyed in your job descriptions.
For example, your job description should tell candidates what it’s like working at your company, the benefits they would receive by doing so and any other information you think a qualified applicant may want to know. If you include this information, you will have a better chance of getting high-value applicants to apply after they see your help-wanted ad.
Highlight the most attractive aspects of your company
It’s important to focus on the specific aspects of your company that will be most attractive to potential applicants. For example, you may offer a higher starting salary or more paid time off than your competitors. This is the kind of information you would want to feature in your job description.
Mention the benefits and perks you offer to employees
It’s also important to mention any benefits or perks you plan on offering to the hired candidate. Anything that’s likely to increase an applicant’s interest in applying to your company should be included, including:
- Health insurance offerings
- Paid time off
- In-office perks (such as free breakfast or lunch)
- Any employee-friendly policies you have
Use a computer systems analyst job description template
Putting together all of this information on your own can be a challenging, time-consuming effort. You can make the process easier on yourself by using a pre-made computer systems analyst job description template, such as this one by ZipRecruiter, instead.
Templates contain the right formatting and information for a computer systems analyst job. You just need to customize them based on the unique attributes of your specific job opening and company. This makes it much easier to create a stand-out job description with less effort on your end.
Computer systems analyst FAQ
What is the cost of hiring a computer systems analyst?
How much does a computer systems analyst make?
What education do computer systems analysts have?
Summary of Money's guide on how to hire computer systems analysts
Hiring a skilled computer system analyst can help your company get more out of its computer systems and software. You can begin the hiring process by reviewing the factors that matter most to you in any potential candidates.
Then, create a job description that describes what you’re looking for and presents the best attributes of your company to entice the most qualified applicants. After a thorough interview process, you will be ready to make a hiring decision based on experience, educational background and the other factors that matter to you.
*Based on ZipRecruiter internal data. Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2021.