Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Great Recruiting Program

There are many ways to grow your team quickly, or simply to attract great talent. Let's take a quick look at Atlassian for some tips. Atlassian is a fast growing software development company planning to grow from 250 to 500 in the next few years. They've ramped up the team before and they know how to put some love and care into a recruiting program.

  • First, take note - their website's career page and job descriptions are approachable, casual, and fun. It looks like they value the page and put some time and thought there. They list being 'open and transparent' as the #1 reason why people would want to work. That is significant by itself. To me, it signals they recognize why people really work: to really be part of something bigger, to be engaged in work, etc...
  • A beefy referral program. To ramp up the team, they will shell out $10,000 for an internal referral and $2,000 for referrals from outside the company.
  • They have parties and beer carts and that stuff.
  • How about a weeks vacation before you start? Yeah. they do that. Sounds nice.
  • Having a limo pick you up at the airport when you arrive into town, sending you on a hiking tour, and out to a nice lunch with your partner to start things off.
  • Make staffing agencies work for you efficiently! Atlassian came up with a very clever idea to drive better performance from staffing agencies while significantly reducing the amount of time involved managing the process. They created a 'bounty'. Any agency can submit resumes for open jobs, but they can only send in 4 candidates. IF Atlassian hires one of the candidates, they will continue to do business with the agency. If they don't use any of the 4, they won't work with the agency again. You can imagine the agencies scrutinizing candidates before sending them along. Brilliant. Good for the company and good for the (good) agencies.
  • When the new employee starts, they get a T-shirt, some chocolate, pen and paper, computer and chair set with workstation and user accounts set up in advance. And a welcome card. That's enough to make them brag to friends.
There are lots of different ways you can attract great talent. What are you doing?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't Forget Your Daily Impact

Startups face crucial decisions everyday. What projects will you take, who will work on them, where should resources be allocated, and when is it alright to stray from previously agreed upon strategy?

During all of this, many of us forget the impact each employee can have. It's easy to see the CEO's decision making power. We might see a how a project manager tackles a problem. But we don't always see the power every person brings with them each day to work.

Understand your daily impact and foster employees to bring their power to the organization.

Creating an environment where each person knows they change the course of business is exciting. There are new ideas and new momentum. It increases the chance people will step up and deliver.

As a leader, do you find easy opportunities to allow people to speak up? How often are your actions squashing new ideas? How are you harnessing and directing energy and ideas?