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How To Hire a Systems Engineer

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this Systems Engineer hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

Systems Engineer Recruitment Guide

What does a Systems Engineer do?

A System Engineer will design, implement and maintain an environment comprising a large number of networked digital devices such as computers and IOT devices. They manage all systems and infrastructure to ensure the highest level of systems are available.

Day to day tasks of a Systems Engineer

Skills assessment

Systems Engineer definition

System Engineers primary responsibilities are to design, implement, maintain, test and retire digital devices in a networked environment in a highly automated fashion. This process is done in a holistic manner using knowledge from different areas of engineering and science in order to successfully manage the complete life cycle of a digital environment.

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Systems Engineer Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a Systems Engineer

A System Engineer must be very technically savvy with good collaboration skills as they will often work as a part of a large team to maintain and monitor a large collection of devices in environments. An example would be various different VMs and servers in a production environment.

Pro Tip

Candidate’s need to understand networks in great detail so they can figure out problems happening between two VMs. For example, understanding if SSH packets are getting dropped between two VMs or if SSH is just broken on one of the VMs.


How to write a Systems Engineer job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your Systems Engineer job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a System Engineer must be very skilled in using a piece of technology called Ansible.

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Sample skill tests for a Systems Engineer

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1


Question Type: Video

Explain the difference between a container and a VM?

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Question 2


Question Type: Text

Explain the difference between the following storage technologies:

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Question 3

Operating System

Question Type: Video

Have you had experience with AWS?
Please elaborate on your level of experience and which products sets you are familiar with in AWS


How to interview a Systems Engineer

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a Systems Engineer?

The US average for a System Engineer is $98,910 according to, whilst the salary reported on is $89,467. According to, ninety percent of System Engineers will take home upto $123,000 and the lowest ten percent will be paid up to $54,000. Alternatively reports the median salary to only be $71,311.

Systems Engineer Salary United States

A System Engineer salary in the United states ranges from $54,000 – $123,000 (USD. This salary will be heavily dependent on the location of the organisation and the bonuses the engineer might make for their hard work.

Systems Engineer Salary United Kingdom

The salary for a System Engineer in the United Kingdom can range from £29,000 and £81,000 (GBP). This would be heavily dependent on the location of the organisation and the seniority of the position.

Systems Engineer Salary Australia

The salary for a System Engineer is between $70,000 – $148,000 (AUD). This would be heavily dependent on the seniority, industry of the organisation and most importantly the scale of operations that the engineer will look after.