Site Reliability Engineer: at the Right Time, at the Right Place

Client: US company offering data protection and recovery solutions
Vacancy: Site reliability engineer
Consultant: Julia Melnikova

Our new case study is all about coincidence: when an employer finds a first-class specialist in a very narrow market, and the candidate, who has several offers from capital companies, decides to work with an American company that is developing a competence center right in his hometown. That’s what it means to be at the right time, at the right place.

Business challenge

Our client — a large American company with a team distributed around the world — applied for an SRE search in the expertise center in Smolensk.

The main requirements of the employer were high-level professional experience and excellent communication skills, which is typical for international companies.

In addition, the client was looking for someone highly skillful and experienced with Docker, Ansible/Puppet/Salt, AWS, CI/CD, Linux administration, Networking, Git, and the desired Scrum/Agile process. The candidate needed to be a team player with systemic thinking and be willing to build a server support process infrastructure for all company projects. Moreover, the portfolio of projects consisted of new and old projects written in different languages, such as Java, C++ and Python.

With the corporate culture of a Western company, the matrix subordination and work in a distributed team required a thorough assessment of the candidate’s professional skills, including social and intellectual competencies.


The search for a specialist was complicated by two factors. Firstly, there are still very few specialists in Russia providing web services reliability, and demand for them is growing. According to HH there are four times more DevOps specialists. The second factor was the untypical job location: not all specialists were ready to consider moving to Smolensk, even with a relocation program.

Russian companies usually have formal, stringent selection criteria: the requirement of higher education, experience in commercial development, and the availability of certificates. Nevertheless, we searched for specialists throughout Russia and at the same time carefully worked out the target region.

Julia Melnikova, the GlobalCareer consultant who worked on the vacancy, explains that, «When working on candidates with the right employer stack, we, among other things, paid attention to candidates with experience in freelance work. These candidates are of interest to international companies because of their developed soft skills, related fields of knowledge and ability to organize their work remotely.»


The vacancy was filled within a month and a half. We went through 116 candidates who met the key requirements of the employer. According to the results of the interviews, four suitable candidates with resumes that met the requirements in full were sent to the client. Two candidates passed the technical interview; one of them accepted the job offer.

Note that the candidate who accepted the job offer is a specialist with more than 20 years of experience in system administration of UNIX systems. For the past eight years, the candidate has been involved in DevOps freelance projects. The hired candidate’s expertise includes Python, Java, Node.js, Docker, K8s, Prometheus, ElasticSearch, Grafana, Fluentd, CDN.

We have been working with hard-to-fill IT specialist vacancies for 10 years. We find candidates for very specific vacancy profiles, study the labor market according to your requests and provide support at the selection planning stage. We would be happy to share our experiences in IT recruitment with you. Just leave a request on our website.

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