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How to Hire an IT Specialist: A Strategic Guide for HR Recruiters

Ihor Shcherbinin
VP of Recruiting at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

As a recruiter tasked with the responsibility of hiring an IT specialist, you’re at the forefront of enhancing your company’s technical backbone. In your quest to hire an IT specialist, it’s essential to look for candidates who not only show technical expertise but also embody a problem-solving mindset and a clear understanding of business goals.

The ethos ‘Hire for attitude, train for aptitude’ is particularly relevant in this scenario. While technical skills are vital, the right attitude and a willingness to adapt and learn can be equally crucial. A technical specialist with a positive attitude and a strong learning aptitude can significantly contribute to your team and evolve with your organization’s changing technical needs.

This guide offers a straightforward path to hiring the perfect IT professional. We’ll walk you through essential steps like pinpointing the role’s requirements, deciding on a competitive salary, carefully assessing candidates, performing background checks, and finally, making a compelling job offer. This efficient and practical strategy is designed to help you swiftly attract and secure top IT talent for your team. Let’s start with the skills you need to look for :

Required Skills to Look for IT Specialists

Before hiring a professional in IT, you need to consider the technical skills one has before bringing them on board. 

1. Knowledge of Different Operating systems

The IT professionals you bring on board should have advanced knowledge about all the popular Operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. They should also be able to fix all the common issues in these operating systems. 

2. Networking Skills 

Your IT team needs to have intermediate or advanced knowledge about networks and how they work. They should also be able to configure different IT devices to ensure they are connected to your company’s network at all times. 

3. CyberSecurity 

The IT professionals you bring on board need to have intermediate and advanced knowledge of cybersecurity. These skills are vital to ensure your organization is safeguarded from potential cyber-attacks that are pretty common these days. They need to provide safe and secure connectivity of all computers and other IT devices that access the internet.

4. Troubleshooting Skills

One of the core skills that every IT professional needs to have is troubleshooting problems with any IT hardware. So, if a computer, printer, or any other IT device gets issues, they should be able to figure out the cause and also come up with solutions to fix the problem. 

Troubleshooting skills usually increase with experience, so you need some experienced individuals on your IT team. 

5. Cloud Computing

Almost every business today relies on some form of cloud app to do work. So, your IT team needs to know how cloud applications work to help your organization get the best out of them. They should also help your other employees in case any of them get issues while using these apps. 

6. Database Management

If your organization deals with huge chunks of data, you will need to bring on board IT professionals with database management skills. They should have basic or intermediate-level skills regarding reading and using some of the popular database programming languages like Standard Query Language (SQL).

3 Simple Steps to Hire an IT Professional

When looking to hire IT professionals, the procedure will vary from company to company. 

However, there are some common steps that almost every organization needs to go through to ensure the hiring process is a success. 

Let’s discuss the common procedures organizations go through:

1. Start with A Detailed Job Description

Yes, as basic as it sounds, writing a job description is the first step in establishing the needs of the position you are hiring an IT professional to fill.

Along with an enticing summary of the job itself, it’s important to be as descriptive as possible of the job role and transparent to attract the best possible candidates.

💡 Recruiter Tip: When writing your specialist job descriptions, it’s usually a good idea to include relevant keywords to the field you want to hire a professional for. This will help your job posting be found by a larger portion of people searching for jobs on job boards. Some of the generic keywords you can use include:

  • IT
  • IT Specialist
  • IT Professional
  • IT Manager / IT Project Manager
  • Front-end developer / Back-end developer / Full-stack developer

If you don’t want to start from scratch, there are several job description templates you can use to shorten the process. Choose any template that you find suitable and customize it according to your needs. 

2. Running a Job Advert

Once your job description is complete, you’ll need to spread the word and reach potential applicants. To do this, you can advertise the position internally, such as by sharing it on your company’s website or sending out an email. You can also post the job externally on popular job listing sites.

💡 Recruiter tip: You may also publish a job advert on your social media using Google Forms. 

If you’re looking to hire IT engineers who would fit your organization’s culture, contact our expert team at Distant Job with your requirements. Our carefully vetted process ensures that you will get only top IT specialists!

3. Interviewing IT Specialist Candidates 

After running the advert, you will likely get many applicants interested in joining your company. The next step is choosing the ones that qualify and inviting them for an interview. Depending on how elaborate or important the job is, you may need to conduct several different interviews to find the most appropriate candidate.

These interviews can be virtual or physical, depending on what you find suitable and convenient, and may take different approaches depending on what you’re trying to evaluate. There are usually two types of interviews:

  1. Technical interviews: These are your typical interviews, where you prepare a battery of technical questions pertaining to the nature of the job and use them to assess the candidate. As the name implies, these are better suited to evaluating the overall technical knowledge of candidates but say little in terms of how they work as part of a team. If you want to test your candidates on their Python expertise, for example, this is the kind of interview to conduct.
  1. Coding challenges: Coding challenges, such as pair-programming interviews, are better suited to assessing a candidate’s soft skills and team fit. While they can also be used to assess technical skills, they are better suited to testing creativity and problem-solving, all while in an environment that resembles the candidate’s day-to-day job. You’ll want to give your candidates a custom test that closely resembles the types of challenges they will face regularly.

💡 Recruiter Tips For Conducting Successful Interviews 

  • Prepare your questions ahead of time: For technical interviews, you need to prepare about 7 to 10 questions to ask the candidates. Most of these questions should be able to assess the competence of the candidates in terms of their technical skills. However, you can also have 1 or 2 questions that assess the candidates’ soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving, management, and working with others. If you feel that the answers weren’t enough to make an informed decision, consider taking on a coding challenge!
  • Make the candidates comfortable: If you want to assess the competence of the candidates, you need to ensure they are comfortable. You can conduct the interview in a conversational manner to get as much information as you can from your candidates. 
  • Be aware of unconscious bias: By nature, we usually judge people after interacting with them for a few seconds. However, it is always best to stick to the plan and ask your interviewee all the questions you prepared. You should then assess them based on how they answered each of the questions. 
  • Give them a chance to ask you questions: One of the best ways to determine the candidate’s ability to take on an IT job is by assessing the quality of questions they ask. Your IT professional will have to deal with several technical issues that will require asking good questions a good number of times each day. 

Note: if you have already realized that this could be very demanding for you and your team, it’s one of the main reasons to hire an IT recruitment agency. It can save you time and effort, leaving the process in the hands of specialists.

Types of IT Specialists

There are several fields in IT that must be taken into account when bringing a professional on board. These fields are typically managed by different types of IT professionals. Some of the most common IT specialists include:

  • Cyber security specialists: These deploy tools, policies, and necessary training to ensure your organization’s data is safe at all times. 
  • Systems analysts: These have a good understanding of how the hardware and software of the various IT tools work to help you choose the right configurations you need. 
  • Programmers: These are responsible for writing computer programs that can solve various problems in your organization. 
  • Web developers: In charge of building web apps and websites
  • Technical support: Deal with any emergency hardware and software issues that your employees may face while using the various IT tools. 
  • Network engineers: To develop, deploy, and maintain local and wide area networks your IT equipment relies on to communicate. 

Do You Need a Freelancer Or A Full-Time Remote Specialist?

The choice between the two should largely depend on the needs of your IT position. For example, having an IT support staff that is a freelancer may not yield the best results. On the other hand, it may make sense to hire a freelance web developer since such work is not available all the time.

When should I hire a freelancer? You should look for one if:
– You want someone for a short-lived job that doesn’t require heavy support after release.
– You want someone to work on a project but need someone to fill that role until you can find a full-time professional to do it.

When should I hire a full-time professional? You should look for one if:
– You want someone for a long project or one that requires heavy support after release.
– You want someone to work on many short-lived projects in the company over time.
– You want someone that can eventually grow and take on other responsibilities at the company.
– You want someone heavily invested in your project and the company’s success.

Where Can You Recruit IT Professionals?

  1. Freelance platforms 
  2. Job listing sites like Indeed or ThinkRemote
  3. Look internally for current employees who have relevant IT skills
  4. Headhunting from your competitors
  5. Post the job on your website or social media channels
  6. Remote IT recruitment agencies like DistanJob

Need Help?

Hiring IT professionals has no tried and true method: it all depends on what you’re looking for and the resources you have available to do so. 

If you’re struggling to find professionals to help you with your projects, then our expert recruiters can be your valued partner. We have more than a decade of experience finding the best remote developers and IT specialists out there to work for our clients and we can do it for you too. We conduct rigorous vetting processes that will guarantee a professional, culture-fit employee for your company in as little as 2 weeks. Just book a discovery call today and learn more!

FAQ about how to hire an IT Specialist

How do I hire an IT professional?

To hire right, a proper understanding of the job requirements is required, and evaluate the best-suited candidate who can fulfill those demands and are a great fit for your company culture.

Should I Hire A Remote It Professional?

If on-site work isn’t mandatory for your business, you should absolutely consider it! Hiring a remote professional brings many advantages.

What should I look for when hiring an IT consultant?

Look for IT consultants with experience in the areas you need assistance with, good customer service/communication/technical skills, references from past clients, a background/certifications check, and flexibility to create the best solution for your needs.

Ihor Shcherbinin

Ihor, is the VP of Recruiting at DistantJob. He specializes in sourcing and placing top remote developers for North American companies. His expertise covers the entire recruiting cycle, from pinpointing job needs to finalizing hires. Known for his skill in remote staffing solutions and offshore team integration, Ihor excels in matching the best tech talents with U.S. organizations. His approach to virtual developer hiring is marked by insightful candidate selection and strategic offer negotiation, ensuring the right fit for every role.

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