How Atlassian plans to triple its local workforce

Image: Chris Pash
  • Atlassian plans to triple its local workforce by hiring remote workers across the country.
  • It follows the launch of its remote working policy in April 2020.
  • “If we remove this constraint related to the location of our physical offices, we can hire the best employees where they are. It’s a win-win,” said Dom Price, Atlassian’s Work Futurist.
  • Visit the Business Insider Australia homepage for more stories.

Atlassian has grown its workforce by 50% over the past two years, the company announced in November.

Now he wants to hire 5,000 more local employees, says Dom Price, Atlassian’s Work Futurist and one of the drivers of the company’s “Team Anywhere” remote working policy, which he says is a factor. key to its future strategy.

Price told Business Insider Australia that the company took a leap of faith when implementing the policy.

Now, following his rollout and what he says has been extensive and ongoing engagement with employees about their experiences, he said he is making remote working a key pillar of his vision for the next phase of the ‘business.

“I think we’ve intuitively known for years that if you’re truly happy outside of work, you end up happier at work,” Price said.

The company’s offer to employees that they could look beyond Sydney’s bloated property market while having meaningful work has been echoed by an encouraging number of people.

“You don’t lose the benefit of having the job you have, you don’t lose your co-workers, or the mission or your passion for that job,” Price said. “You just change where you work.”

The policy, announced in April 2020, meant that after the shutdowns, employees would no longer have to return to the office, but could choose how long they wanted to be in the office.

At the time, the founders of Atlassian made headlines by promising that they would only expect their employees to come into the office four times a year.

Co-founder and co-chief executive Scott Farquhar told The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald the move to a permanent work-from-home organizational structure aligned with its history as an Australia-based company that had always had a hand – global workforce.

“If you think of Atlassian, historically we’ve been essentially a global company, we’ve had the belief that talent exists all over the world, not just in Silicon Valley,” Farquhar said.

Amy Glancey, chief of staff at Atlassian, previously told Business Insider Australia that the company was already beginning to see the impact of its recruitment strategy, with evidence emerging during hiring that candidates are declining job offers. other companies that don’t have flexible working policies. .

“We think that will be a strategic advantage for us, especially when it comes to talent. And it’s really coming to fruition,” she said.

Price said as of January around a quarter of Australian staff now live outside Greater Sydney, with the vast majority still in New South Wales.

The company considers a remote worker to be someone who lives outside of a two-hour commute to the Wynyard office.

While it employs around a third of its team in Australia, a number which currently stands at over 2,000, the plan is to triple that number in the coming years to build a 7,000 strong local workforce. people.

Out of office

Amid an ongoing conversation about how office work could be reinvented in a future that is increasingly seen as a “new normal” as opposed to the “post-pandemic” optimist, the policies of The company, modeled on Silicon Valley companies with long-standing remote work policies like GitLab, imagine a future built for mostly self-directed knowledge workers.

The policy uses a self-service model to automate the moving process that does not require manager or HR approval or intervention for employees to move.

“We believe that distributed work is the future of work, and that by living it at Atlassian, our teams will create better products for customers in the future,” Atlassian said in a statement.

“I think even we were pleasantly surprised at the access to incredible talent we had saying, ‘Actually, we’re not limited to people who can travel from our office in Sydney,'” Price said. .

Suddenly the Australian market opened up to “a whole new spectrum of people, a whole new kind of talent pool”, he said.

Remote hiring has been forced on almost every organization due to stay-at-home orders. But Price said that necessity helped the company understand how their onboarding processes could work alongside remote work.

This “gave us confidence” to move forward with its longer-term strategy.

“When we made ‘Team Anywhere’ we thought we were onto something, we just weren’t sure? We didn’t have the data at the time,” he said.

“What’s happened over the past two years of the ups and downs of the pandemic is that it’s actually created a level of adaptability and resilience in our people.”

Price said in surveys that 75% of staff responded on a scale of their satisfaction, with “Team Anywhere” being excellent or very excellent.

Hire the next 5,000

Proving it could grow in the midst of a pandemic meant the company could now move on to the next phase of growth, Price said.

“Now we’re not doubling, we’re tripling because we want to go from 2,000 to 7,000,” he said, which “will be no small task.”

“But we’ve known for 18 months that we have the mechanisms in place to do that.”

Atlassian’s plan to cast a wide net across the whole of Australia to find not just tech talent but the “best people” in a range of roles is set to become more of a standard for a wider range of people. Australian businesses.

“I hope other companies do the same,” Price said.

“I actually think this is an incredible opportunity for a lot of Australian businesses, some of which I think are already starting to do this.

“If we remove this constraint related to the location of our physical offices, we can hire the best employees where they are. It’s a win-win.

Michael A. Bynum