The $55 billion Australian software giant Atlassian has hired 1,200 workers remotely since the beginning of the pandemic and plans to recruit at least 1,000 new workers in its next fiscal year, too.
Its rash of new hires amounts to about 25% of its total workforce, Atlassian’s head of cloud engineering Stephen Deasy told Insider.
The bulk of its new hiring so far has focused on research and development – including engineers, designers, and managers – as the company plans a slate of new releases in the coming months. For example, it has announced upcoming new versions of its popular Jira and Confluence products, which help with project tracking and team collaboration.
Atlassian has interviewed and onboarded these hundreds of employees completely remotely: Because of the pandemic, none of the new workers have visited Atlassian’s offices or met their teammates in person. Given the success of remote work, the firm plans to give employees the option to work remotely on a permanent basis after the pandemic ends.
“There’s really a few reasons for that,” Deasy explained. “One is, we think we can get really good talent around the world and it opens up a ton of opportunities for underrepresented groups.”
Also, he said, Atlassian’s products are perfect for the hybrid work era, since many of them make it easier for companies to support remote workers: “We want to be able to live the future of work.”
Atlassian’s revenue increased 23% year-over-year as of its most recent earnings, and its stock has risen 81% since the beginning of 2020, swelling its market cap to $55 billion.
What Atlassian is looking for when it hires new workers
Atlassian has invested in improving its hiring processes with what it calls its “Candidate Assessment Framework.” Using this system, Atlassian assesses candidates’ abilities based on a mix of technical skills and how they would apply Atlassian’s values at work and while problem-solving.
Ultimately, it’s looking for candidates that can show that they’re critical thinkers who can adapt their skills to different projects and situations.
As part of that, Atlassian is becoming “language agnostic,” meaning that even if a candidate doesn’t know a programming language that Atlassian is hiring for it will still consider them because it cares more about their method of solving problems, Deasy said.
The best candidates may not necessarily have deep expertise in a specific technical tool but instead will talk about how they learn new technologies.
“Technology moves and it moves fast,” Deasy said. “Skills are very important obviously. When we think about problem-solving ability, that’s really what we’re looking for. We really try to balance that with the values side.”
Atlassian plans to continually improve this process over time, as interviewers get feedback. That’s important especially as Atlassian plans to keep up the pace with hiring during its next fiscal year, which begins in July: The goal is to hire at least 1,000 new workers next year, too.
“If we’re going to hire this many people and continue on that growth trajectory for a long time, we need to come up with a consistent process globally,” he said.
Still, Atlassian faced some challenges in hiring remotely. For example, it had to ship more laptops and other equipment to employees around the world, which required more logistical organizing rather than just having all the equipment shipped to the office.
That being said, it’s learned a lot from its own employees who have long been doing remote work, Deasy said. Trello, which Atlassian acquired in 2017 for $425 million, has already been largely remote. Likewise, Atlassian has also published its own remote work tips and strategies online for anyone to reference.
“As the world shifts to remote work, a lot of the products we provide are really in that sweet spot,” Deasy said. “Those tools became crucial to how business gets done because it’s how people are communicating and moving work forward. We’ve invested a lot in exporting and sharing our practices.”