Create an award-winning onboarding program like Atlassian

By / October 5, 2015 / / 0 Comments

We do a lot of business with Atlassian, who were named BRW’s best place to work for the second year in a row. Atlassian has also won The Australian HR Awards for both Best Recruitment Campaign and Best Graduate Development Program.

‘The main drawcards of Atlassian for me was their extensive onboarding process,’ one grad said.

This recognition is phenomenal, given the rapid growth of the company. One in four employees have been at the company for less than five months, and the median time of employment is one year and nine days.

Those numbers usually point to a turnover problem. Atlassian’s average tenures are low because the company is doubling in size every 18 months.

This makes Atlassian’s place atop BRW’s best places to work list even more impressive. Over-coming the pain-points of such rapid growth is a substantial management feat.

Here’s how to onboard like Atlassian, and potentially end up on BRW’s Best Places to Work list yourself:

Automate your systems.

Atlassian
Source: Aundray

Atlassian are some of the biggest tech innovators in recent times, it makes sense they use technology to automate their onboarding process. Automation means the onboarding process is in place the moment a recruiter signs on a new employee.

Automating onboarding means a new desk and systems are set up before an employee starts, removing the awkward shuffling of staff at the start of a new shift.

Reminders are sent so induction and training can start straight away. Security clearances are also enabled, removing barriers for employees to access information.

Nurture new hires into your culture.

Atlassian
Source: Aundray

Technical staff at Atlassian participate in a week-long ‘hack-house‘ when they start with the organisation. New employees spend a week in training, coding and getting to know The Atlassian WayTM. Their onboarding program also includes building a feature for an Atlassian product in 24 hours.

New hires must create part of a product that will be used by millions of Atlassian users- in their first week! That sense of contribution to an organisation is hard to beat.

Non-technical staff get their own special treatment in the onboarding stage too. Social connections and organisational fit are forged in a four-week boot camp, where new employees learn their place in Atlassian.

“Bootcamp is one of the best initiatives I’ve seen at Atlassian, and these changes will make it even better. Thanks!” – Tim Moore, Atlassian Team Lead.

Give new hires a pre-start vacation.

What better way to welcome a new employee than sending them on a holiday. New employees are given a travel voucher to rest and revitalise prior to commencing their role at Atlassian.

Giving your new hires a break is a great way to start them off on the right foot. It gives them a chance to clear their head and recharge before starting work again.

This can also be a great opportunity to take care of a bunch of onboarding practices. New hires would appreciate filling out tax forms on their laptop on the beach instead of hunting around home for pieces of paper.

Global new hires at Atlassian have the added benefit of being flown to Sydney for their induction bootcamp. Coming to Sydney to code with future friends may be considered by many as a second holiday.

Gamify your recruitment process.

Atlassian
Source: Aundray

Atlassian uses gamification to screen employees for cultural fit. The recruitment system is treated like dating: recruiters and candidates can measure their compatibility, giving candidates the chance to self-select whether they’d be a good fit in the organisation.

Atlassian’s recruitment system is also focused on culture. Recruiters look for people that will add something to the office: be it experience, perspective, or talent.

Focusing on these attributes has made the selection process easier for recruiters to target potential candidates. Their fit in the organisation has already been determined which makes the onboarding process easier.

However, looking for people who ‘score’ on culture is not about finding people who fit in. Atlassian recruiters look for people who will influence culture for the better.

Preserve values, let culture evolve.

Atlassian
Source: Dmitry Baranovskiy

Atlassian makes one substantial difference when onboarding new employees: they look for people who will change their culture, instead of people who conform to it.

Atlassian recognises that a company culture changes over time. Preserving company culture is a waste of company resources, as it changes every day.

Atlassian works on preserving company values instead. The values of the company are a famous part of Atlassian’s history, and these are the basis on which people are hired.

Company values can scale as an organisation grows. Well-defined values can guide organisational decisions at any size of an organisation.

Culture changes depending on various factors: company size, industry, even the weather can influence culture on a given day. Atlassian knows that keeping culture fluid is the way to stay progressive.

Culture can be influenced by company values. An organisation’s culture will always be healthy and productive as long as employees believe in the company values. It’s this belief in company values that has allowed Atlassian to scale with such growth.

Follow these insights to put your organisation on BRW’s best places to work list.

Not every organisation can afford to have Nerf gun battles or onboarding ‘boot camps.’ What you can take away from Atlassian is extensive onboarding with strong values leads to happy employees.

Onboarding employees from the moment they’re hired creates more engaged teams down the line. Onboarding gives your new hires a positive first impression, setting the tone for their work in the future.

Defined company values allow you to filter the right candidates before sending them an offer. Learn to identify who will add to your culture over people that conform to your culture. Positive conflict is one of the most constructive ways for organisations to grow.

Engage your employees from the start like Atlassian. Book a demo of HROnboard today and take the first step to becoming Australia’s best place to work.
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