People matter, more than you even know. Especially during times of uncertainty and instability, when companies must rely on their adaptability to hire wisely.
It was just one of many topics covered at a recent Sales Kick-off with Robert Allen, Global Head of Talent at Atlassian, who also shared his insights for building a people-first enterprise recruiting strategy. From finding quality candidates — without compromising timelines — to providing a positive candidate experience at scale, Allen shared key shifts any company can make to put people first.
Here are four things all companies need to hear about prioritizing people from Atlassian.
Atlassian is an enterprise software company that develops products for software development, project management, and content management. Best known for its issue tracking application, Jira, and its team collaboration and wiki product, Confluence, Atlassian serves over 160,000 customers around the world. Renowned for its strong culture and hiring practices, Atlassian has been putting people first since it was founded in 2002.
1) Never sacrifice your company’s values
Over the last 5+ years, Atlassian has been on a journey of rapid growth. Unlike other enterprise software companies, the company achieved a serious amount of growth through a unique direct sales model and word of mouth, which helped them attract both new customers and talented engineers to join their team.
Even during this period of hyper-growth, Allen says Atlassian never compromised its company values: “Our values are real—and we live them. It is very much true at Atlassian from the way we do business, the way we transact, and most importantly the way we hold ourselves accountable. To find a business nowadays that stands behind its values has been one of the most important pillars of existence, in my opinion.”
>>Pro Tip: To learn more about Atlassian’s company values, check them out on their website.
2) It’s not (all) about the numbers
In any talent or HR function, you’re always going to be accountable for numbers. But how do you hit the numbers consistently, quarter over quarter, especially at an enterprise company where the table stakes are quite high?
According to Allen, it’s all about focusing on the candidate experience: “Atlassian views ‘talent acquisition’ as a function responsible for everything from the candidate experience, the way we source, the way we attract, the way we keep warm — all of those things fall under our scope.” So it’s not just about the number of hires you make — but the quality (and the how and why), too.
>>What to track? Numbers aren’t everything, but they do matter, especially for advising on strategy going forward. Check out 10 Metrics to Share with Your Board to share measurements like candidate NPS scores and more.
3) You don’t have to compromise your candidate experience, even if hiring slows
Personal touches can be hard to scale. But at Atlassian, providing a quality candidate experience is at the forefront of every employee’s mind. “If an interview is top priority, the most important thing our recruiters have resounding in their head is, ‘I need to make every candidate leave here — whether they’re getting the job or not — feel like they want to work here,’” says Allen.
This also includes smart storytelling. “The more pieces of technology you put between a hiring manager and a candidate, the more responsibility gets taken away from the hiring manager to have a personal connection to the process,” says Allen. “We try to be really intentional about the weight that we put on the shoulders of hiring managers at scale, to realize they’re responsible for driving the candidate experience.”
>>Pro tip: See how you can better work with hiring managers in the hiring manager collaboration eBook.
4) Keep the people aspect front and center
As far as the future of recruiting is concerned, Allen believes the following: “I’m a solid believer in keeping the “people” aspect front and center is key to recruiting. You will learn more about a candidate by being genuinely curious about their interests and values. Curiosity on our part results in a more engaged and motivated candidate and a better appreciation for what they’ll add to your company”
It’s important to mention that keeping people front and center also means that folks working in the HRIT space need to embrace this as well. Think of it this way: “Twice a week, I get an email, which essentially says ‘We’ve solved your problems — click here to book a time here on my calendar.’ The reality is that I’m likely not going to book time on your calendar if I don’t know who you are. If we’ve never spoken, it’s unlikely you understand the problems I’m trying to solve.”
What does this mean for your company? Each and every company in today’s climate should be asking themselves how to make it those experiences a human one. Take the you out of it, and ask yourself how you can be helping them during this time.
Final Thoughts: Lever helps Atlassian build human connection
To put the human touch back in recruiting, talent pros like Allen rely on Lever.
“Out of all the tools that we looked at, Lever felt the most candidate- and recruiter-first,” he says. “When I joined Atlassian, there were 23 recruiters who were not really engaging with the [previous] system other than just to process people through a workflow. Part of that was just because the user interface was not what they needed it to be, and the other part was because we needed something which felt more recruiter-centric. And Lever does that. There’s definitely a connection that people develop very quickly with Lever.”
Managing things from tasks to applicant flow to follow up takes a village. And doing so while moving efficiently requires the right technology. Lever allows over 100 recruiters at Atlassian to collaborate quickly while maintaining their values. Now, Atlassian is still focused on the same principles it was founded on. As was the case even back in 2002, people remain at the heart of every decision.
To read more about enterprise recruiting challenges, check out 5 Enterprise Recruiting Challenges and How to Solve Them.