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12 Feb 2017

Three Ways to Create High Touch Connections to Attract Top Talent

Automation, streamlining, smart processes. It’s the way forward for savvy organisations looking to scale up. But is it always the best way forward? While there’s a time and place for automation, your recruitment processes may not be one of them according to Caitriona Staunton, Head of Talent at Atlassian.

“It’s really critical as you grow that you keep the high touch connections with the candidates you care about most,” Caitriona said during her presentation at HR Innovation & Tech Fest 2016. With each interaction you have with a candidate, you have a unique and valuable opportunity to show that you care –  something that we are all craving today as the bots increasingly take over many HR processes including recruitment.


Think high touch. When companies grow, people tend to think, “Okay, this is the time to streamline, to automate and to add processes.” There’s definitely a time and place for that, but it’s really critical as you grow that you keep the high touch connections with the candidates that you care about most.

I believe that for every candidate experience or hiring process you create, the more high touch and personalised it is, the more effective it’s going to be every single time, and that gets tricky when you’re dealing with scale. At Atlassian we had about 50,000 applications last year, but with every little small interaction that you get with a candidate, you get this unique opportunity to reinforce your care, and thinking high touch is really about making people feel special, even if you’re going to reject them and tell them that they didn’t get the job in the end.

High Touch Advertising

Atlassian High Touch 1When we think about high touch, if we look at the very beginning of our hiring funnel and our branding and marketing, we try to find ways that we can embed our values into our advertising and really put them on display. This latest campaign is called Team Up, and in our open company and no bullsh** fashion we show actual Atlassian employees as they play together as a team. One of our values, build with heart and balance, is all about bringing your whole selves to work, including your passions, and that’s what this campaign aims to do as well. When we make new hires, we often tell them, “What was it that made you say yes?” and often it will be the culture and values, but it almost always with that “It’s about the people I met, it’s about the interviewers,” and so this campaign really puts our people front and centre and makes them the focal point of that campaign. Then we run this across lots of different platforms, so, LinkedIn, Google Display Network, Stack Overflow and things like that.

High Touch Videos

Atlassian High Touch 2We also put them into our marketing videos, we really try to find cool stories that is going to bring our brand to life, so we make them the face of our marketing videos. We really think that gives the videos some authenticity and really helps resonate with our audience. We have these marketing videos that follow the employee journey, and it’s much more about the employees than this kind of top-down “This is why it’s great to work at this company.” Over the past couple of years we’ve created a library of marketing videos that tell the story about what a day in the life of Atlassians is like, what different teams do there, and what candidates can expect in their new roles. We even get the founders involved. Early our candidate would have received an eCard with a video message from our founders which really resonated with her, and it’s actually not very expensive to do any of these things. But that library of videos not just helps candidates log on and find out stuff for themselves, but it also means that our own employees can actually go and push those videos through their own networks globally, which is huge for driving referrals as well.

Tools and Resources

Atlassian High Touch 3And we try to give them the tools and resources to really make that happen. We have a social media workshop that employees can come to, and they learn there how to transform their LinkedIn profiles and transform their online presence so they become great marketers for us, but also how they can share job ads, tweets, and blogs out their networks as well. I just love when my Twitter feed fills up with all of these unprompted tweets from employees that are just used to seeing cool stuff, taking a picture and tweeting them. Really easy and free stuff to do that helps you keep that high touch relationship with your candidates.

About the Speaker

Caitriona Staunton HR Tech Fest

Caitriona Staunton is Head of Recruiting – APAC for Atlassian. She leads a team of 20 to scale Atlassian’s high-energy culture with talented people who can do amazing work, and who live Atlassian’s ‘no BS’ values in everything they do. Atlassian has been named the #1 Best Place to Work for two consecutive years in Australia/Asia and Caitriona’s recruitment team have won numerous awards for their work including Best Recruitment Campaign and Best Grad Program in 2015.


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