Tag Archives: Talent Management

Lessons from Atlassian- fantastic employer branding and recruitment strategy

I was on the twitter machine this week and happened to come across this:


I checked out Atlassian’s website, and I thought I might blog about them because I think they do a great job in the employment brand space. I will disclose that I know some of the guys from Atlassian off twitter but want to make clear that this is not a shameless plug for the company. I was introduced to Atlassian at a HR Conference ages ago- and was enthralled by what they do- so read on and be prepared to get excited.

I think the toughest thing to convey to potential employees is what it’s REALLY like to work at the company underneath the all the glossy brochures and marketing speak on company websites. Atlassian do a great job at this with this amazing video on their website.


I like this because its real staff talking about what the values mean to them.

You also get a sense of what the working environment is going to be like, which is so important for someone deciding whether this is the place to be for them. Even the little things can be so important like:

• What is the culture really like? (Will I fit the culture here?)
• What do they wear to work? (Will I have to wear a suit or something I’m comfortable in?)
• What will my office space be like? (Do I work better in a closed office or am I comfortable in open plan?)
• What is the vibe at the office like? (Are they heads down and serious all the time or do they like to play games?)
• What are the people like there?
• What are the company values (and do my own values align with these?)
Ultimately a video like this will either make you excited about the prospect of working there, or cringe and think it’s not the place for me. No matter what the response, the individual and organisation get the most beneficial outcome.

Atlassian also have a lot of great incentives such as a ‘holiday before you start’, ‘refer-a-mate bonus’ and even a bounty hunter for recruiters. Which reminds me, they are on the look-out for 32 Engineers! Check their website out for more details.

Stay tuned and I’ll try and get one of the Atlassian crew to do a follow up post on the success of the campaign.



Filed under Recruitment, Talent Management

Has the GFC affected the way you attract talent?

AHRI has recently released “EXECpulse” ;a research report which aims to determine the direct impact within businesses of the global financial crisis. Earlier this year, AHRI conducted an online survey of a limited sample number of executive-level respondents on the ramifications within Australian business. A total of 122 executives responded to the survey.


A key key insights include:

• Approximately six out of 10 respondents (61.48%) report their organisations have downsized or are planning to do so.
• Of the downsizing organisations, more than three quarters (75.67%) report having reduced headcount up to 10%, and 8.11% of respondents more than 20%.
• Two thirds of respondents from downsizing organisations report the decision was made following careful analysis.
• Nearly nine out of 10 respondents (88%) from downsizing organisations believe downsizing was necessary.
• Respondents are evenly divided on whether the GFC will fundamentally change how business is conducted in the future, with a similar response to the question as to whether greater market regulation will prevent another GFC.
• Nearly two thirds of respondents (64.48%) believe that organisations will more actively pursue CSR and ethics policies in the wake of the GFC.

However, one of the most interesting things that I read in this report were the comments from the Execs on whether they thought the GFC would change the HR function. I’ve spoken recently on the ‘war for talent’ that has consumed many HR strategy documents for the last few years. Here is what one Exec had to say regarding the impact of the GFC on talent management:

“Less focus on recruiting scarce talent, more on clear identification of top talent and retention of them. Employee focus to shift from demanding entitlements to being grateful for non-financial benefits which represent the companies care and loyalty to employees”

They make a fantastic point. In the past, much emphasis has been placed on FINDING that talent in the ‘war’, because talent was scarce and individuals were able to freely pick and choose what companies they would like to work for. This normally meant that companies were willing and able to throw the talent great remuneration packages to join the organisation.

With the impact of the GFC, this means that companies have had to cut back and downsize, which means unemployment rates have raised tremendously; meaning there are more people in the labour market. Organisations are less able to offer huge salaries to staff and individuals are in less of a position to demand large salaries. However, it is important to remember that the top talent will always have somewhere to go to and if you can’t offer them a massive salary- what can you offer?

From a HR perspective, this means we really need to promote and sell all the benefits of working at our respective organisation- it’s no longer just about money. Examples of benefits that may be a key factor for prospective employees might include:

• Flexible working hours
• Generous paid maternity leave provisions
• Flex time
• On-site gym or discounts
• Massages or company wellness programs
• Free flu vaccinations
• Study assistance
• Child care facilities
• Subsidised transport
• Ability to work from home
• Increased superannuation payments
• Free onsite parking
• Fresh fruit delivery to work
• Volunteer Day (day of leave for purpose of assisting a charity)
• Staff referral programs
• Corporate rates for private health cover

I’d be really interested to hear from other HR professionals- what benefits are you promoting as a result of the GFC to attract and retain your talent?

One last comment from an Exec in the report:
“HR functions that add value will survive. So HR has to stand up and be counted or perish”

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Filed under Talent Management

Er… what is Talent Management exactly?

Talent management is a concept that has been around for a while particularly in response to the ‘war for talent’. But what is it exactly?

Talent management is hard to define as the processes and what it involves can vary from organization to organization. For instance, research conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity asserts that more than 75 per cent of the companies they surveyed don’t have an agreed-upon definition of talent management (Galagan. 2008).

They do however go as far to state that ‘talent management concerns competencies- what employees should know and be able to do- and performance processes- how to leverage those competencies by putting them in the right parts of the organization, and then measuring their impact on real goals’ (Galagan. 2008). For this reason it is important to have processes which encapsulate talent management at each touch point for employees from recruitment to employee engagement strategies.

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This means talent management strategies should be based around recruitment, leadership development, culture, succession planning, performance management, brand or the employee value proposition, learning, career development, remuneration, and employee engagement (Gilmore, 2008; Galagan, 2008; Ready, Hill, and Conger. 2008).

Linda Sharkey who is the Vice President of people development at HP summarizes talent management as ‘about having people at the top of their game and who are able to drive the performance of the company (Gilmore. 2008). More simply it’s about ‘getting the right people in the right place at the right time for the right cost’ (Galagan. 2008).

How does your organization define talent management and what strategies are you putting in place to retain your talent in the GFC?

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Filed under Career Development, Recruitment, Talent Management

HR Blogs to Check Out…

Recently some people have asked me how I get the interesting articles and info that I do, and to be honest I subscribe to blogs and try and do a bit of reading each day to see what is out there. I thought today I might provide some lists of HR blogs that you might like to check out when you have some time.


Fistful of Talent has released its Top 25 Talent Management Blogs

Evan Carmichael released his Top 50 HR blogs to watch in 2009

In Australia, here are a few ones to subscribe to:

Human Capital Magazine
Destination Talent

Otherwise, another good idea is to check out the blog roll when you find a blog you like. You can then click through to that blog and subscribe if you like it.

Happy reading!

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Filed under Recommended Readings, Talent Management

How are you assessing your talent this year?

This morning I revisited this article from Great Leadership on using the performance and potential matrix and thought it was worth sharing.

I’ve used the 9 box matrix before and really like it because its simple, and easily explainable to managers. Rather than loads of forms and text, it clearly highlights where your people are and what actions you need to take for each.

Performance and potential matrix

Have a read of “Using the performance and potential matrix to assess talent” and also check out the related posts underneath- some great tools here if you are unfamiliar with the process.

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Filed under Talent Management