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A Guide for Hiring Cloud Specialists

Cloud technology adoption is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and for good reason — cloud computing allows businesses to access vast amounts of data over a secure, online connection without having to store it on cumbersome, in-house servers. Using cloud-based applications vs. on-premise solutions offers a host of benefits, including increased security, collaboration, flexibility, loss prevention, quality control, and last but not least, substantial cost savings.

As a result of the ongoing cloud boom, cloud engineers, developers, and architects are in high demand, and therefore, hard to come by. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15% by 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. This demand for technical talent is expected to result in roughly 682,800 new jobs over the next decade.

With a growing number of businesses wading into the same talent pool, it can be exceedingly difficult to find and hire qualified cloud candidates. We’ll unpack why you might consider hiring a cloud specialist, what skills you should look for, and strategies for successfully securing your next game-changing cloud expert.

Why Hire a Cloud Specialist?

Just because your business has dabbled in cloud technology doesn’t necessarily mean you need to build an entire cloud development team overnight. But if you operate a large enterprise with complex systems and multiple cloud environments, hiring a cloud professional can elevate your approach to IT, especially if your organization works with sensitive data.

If you’re still on the fence, take a step back and analyze your current technology needs and future plans. Consider the following:

  • Are you considering implementing and/or optimizing a cloud solution in the near term?
  • Do you have large-scale projects that require multiple resources, including more than 10 cloud services?
  • Are you migrating from an on-premise solution to a cloud environment?
  • Is your cloud spending constantly over budget?

A qualified cloud specialist can assist you in tackling these challenges in a strategic and scalable manner.

What Skills Should You Look for When Hiring a Cloud Specialist

When hiring a cloud professional, there are several critical skills to look for. The first and arguably most crucial step is to identify your organization’s specific needs, because the experience required will depend on the type of cloud solution your future employee will be supporting.

For instance, if migration is your goal, you’ll need a cloud migration specialist. Or perhaps you’re in the market for someone who can design and implement your cloud computing strategy — in that case, you’ll need a proficient cloud architect. And if you want your new hire to develop cloud policies and protocols and ensure uptime, set your sights on a cloud administrator.

In general, a cloud specialist should have at least three to five years of hands-on experience working with cloud technologies. Once you’ve homed in on the type of cloud specialist you need, focus on finding candidates with these key skills:

  • Cloud Service Expertise: Your prospective cloud specialist should have extensive knowledge of cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, OpenStack, and Google Cloud. Keep an eye out for candidates with certifications and credentials in these areas, too. With over 350 active AWS agents in the field, The Judge Group is a certified AWS APN Select Partner and has a robust team of cloud engineers, big data experts, DevOps engineers, cloud developers, architects, and more.
  • Networking: Networking skills are a must-have for cloud specialists. When scouting for potential recruits, seek out candidates who can design and maintain secure network architectures, configure network components, and troubleshoot network issues.
  • Information Security: Data and applications must be protected, and candidates should have a solid understanding of things like identity and access management, encryption, and threat detection. Cloud specialists who possess cybersecurity expertise provide added value in this regard.
  • Programming: Candidates should have a firm grasp of various programming languages, including more traditional ones such as Python and Ruby, as well as PHP, Java, and .NET. They should also be proficient in writing scripts to automate tasks, deploy applications, and manage cloud infrastructure.
  • DevOps: These skills play a key role in cloud infrastructure management and automation. Cloud specialists should know their way around tools such as Docker, Ansible, and Kubernetes to deploy and manage cloud applications.

Technical skills are important, but so are softer skills, including communication, problem-solving, and collaboration. Whoever you hire will need to be able to explain complex technical concepts to non-technical audiences, diagnose and resolve highly technical challenges, and work effectively with cross-functional teams.

How to Hire the Right Cloud Specialist

Even seasoned hiring managers and team leads struggle to hire cloud specialists, partly because they are hard to find, and because of the highly technical nature of cloud computing. Hiring for these roles can quickly drain your resources and pull you away from core business functions.

By working with a trusted talent and staffing partner like Judge, you can source the cloud specialists you need while feeling confident that they’re the right fit for your team. Plus, you can explore different models and arrangements, from direct placement to contract or contract-to-hire, allowing you to test the waters and discover which solution works best.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you find the right cloud specialist/s for your team.