The main role of a network administrator is to maintain both computer hardware and software systems within a company’s computer network. This network is what enables computers to exchange data within the company. For this reason, it is essential for the smooth running of the company, for the network administrator to be exceptional.
Besides this role, these administrators are also responsible for monitoring and maintaining the data network and network equipment. In networks as in most other fields, maintenance is often more essential to proper function, than initial installation. As such, this professional is in charge of evaluating the systems to check whether updates are required, seeking out those updates, in addition to installing them effectively and efficiently.
When seeking out a network administrator for a company, the four top qualities that recruiters look for among candidates are:
1. Investment in Continuous Learning
A great candidate for a network administrator position understands that theirs is a field that is continually evolving. As such, an ideal professional is one who continually seeks out information that will keep him current, well-informed, and competitive in the industry.
One of the ways through which the recruiter can find out whether the candidate has this quality, is to ask him/her about cutting-edge methods that he would like to apply when monitoring the company’s data network.
To a large extent, network administrators work autonomously. They are not micro-managed and yet, are expected to keep the company running. For this reason, it is essential that the candidate be proactive in looking for ways in which to improve the systems as opposed to troubleshooting problems when they have already occurred. An ideal network administrator is able to spot and address weaknesses before the ground falls out from underneath them. The ideal candidate is therefore confident enough in his assessments that he is able to take action before it is absolutely necessary.
3. Knowledge and Skill in Specialized Areas
A lot of what network administrators do is built on knowledge in highly specialized areas. As such, the candidate should possess extensive knowledge in areas such as:
- Networking basics
- Operating systems
- Networking protocols
- Communication providers
- Key network services
- Technical skills
With knowledge in these areas, the network administrator can then be given training that is specific to the company.
4. Project Management Skills
Network administrators are often assigned teams to help them in managing their tasks. This is especially so in large companies. For this reason, it is important for the candidate to be able to manage teams (and consequently, projects) effectively. This includes aspects such as:
- Breaking projects down into tasks
- Delegating tasks to the team
- Managing individual team members
- Effective time management
- Providing incentives to team members
- Ensuring that focus remains on the project
Network administrators do not ordinarily deal directly with clients. For this reason, recruiters do not place a lot of focus on the candidate’s ability to engage customers in conversation. However, they do consider how well the candidate will blend and integrate into the culture of the company. This quality is essential because by being hired, they join a community and as such, possess the capacity to either build the company or hinder its growth.