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Atlassian on the hunt for best tech talent

Monday, 1 December 2014 | By Kye White

Atlassian is searching Australia for the nation’s best tech talent, as it looks to fill 150 Sydney-based mainly tech vacancies over the next six months.


Over the past week the company has held pop-up networking events for interested applicants, in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. The tour is in Brisbane on Monday, December 1 and finishes up in Adelaide on Tuesday, December 2.


Roughly 40 potential employees gathered at Friends of Mine in Richmond last week, many of whom worked for startups in Melbourne. It was an exclusive event, not all those that registered interest were invited to attend.


Head of APAC recruiting at Atlassian, Caitriona Staunton, says there’s world class talent in Australia, but not enough of it. The company finds about a third of its employees via traditional job applications, the rest come from other avenues, like referrals and headhunting. About 1000 people registered their interest in meeting Atlassian in one of the five cities it was holding recruiting events.



“We know that great people are often very happy at their jobs. A lot of the people we hire at Atlassian were very happy in their jobs until we call them and tell them about a new opportunity and they’re open to hearing from us,” Staunton says.


“Just look at the startup scene in Sydney, where we’re based these days, it’s just crazy the amount of amazing talent that has come through, from Google Maps, to Canva, Atlassian, Shoes of Prey.


“Unfortunately, there’s just not enough graduates. That means we need to have a dual strategy, both domestic and international. But still most of our employees are in Australia when we hire them.”


Friends of Mine had been decorated to look like an Atlassian office. Posters emblazoned with Atlassian’s values like “Open company, no bullshit”, adorned the walls, along with t-shirts “Coders Gonna Code” and “Powered by you”.


“We brought some of the magic of the office. The games, the t-shirts, and definitely the beers, are very reminiscent of our office in Sydney,” Staunton says.


It’s the first time the company has held a hiring tour that didn’t focus on graduates in Australia. Providing a taste of the company’s culture to these experienced candidates is valuable, Staunton says, as it helps ensure it’s a fit for both parties.


“Our own employees are fantastic at referring people they just know would be a great fit for Atlassian, that would work really well in our environment. Because the environment’s not for everyone,” she says.


“Work hard, play hard.”


While tech companies Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Melbourne-based Envato publicly release diversity figures, Atlassian has yet to take that step, but Staunton says diversity in the tech industry is an issue the company is acutely aware of and is taking steps to address.


“Diversity is extremely important, and again the challenge is the labor market,” she says.


“Just like finding local talent, local female talent is again harder. I think something like 10% of grads are female.


“We hire the best person for the job no matter what, but we do invest a lot in the earlier stages, encouraging girls to study computer science is a really big piece for us.


“All our hiring is done with a diversity lens, when we think about our office, we always try to be as inclusive as possible, so everybody can feel like they can bring their whole selves to work.”


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