Hiring for Atlassian skills? Here are 5 essential tips…

hiring for atlassian skills
hiring for atlassian skills

Hiring for Atlassian skills? Here are 5 essential tips…

Any talent hunt is difficult. But when you are looking for Atlassian support, it can be hard to find the right candidate for the job.

You need to find someone with a specific cross-section of skills and experience to mitigate any risks and the impact of potential changes associated with migrating, configuring and updating your Atlassian network. So, here are our five top tips to get the right talent into your organisation:

#1 Which Atlassian tools are the right ones to use?

Millions of users rely on Atlassian products to improve their software development, project management, collaboration efforts and code quality. 

These tools bring many benefits to these users. Not only can they integrate with a range of plug-ins, but Atlassian tools are also widely regarded as the best in the industry thanks to the high level of compatibility and versatility they provide.

What’s more, Atlassian regularly updates and enhances its software, improving its tools and further expanding their plug-in potential.

Before you start your recruitment drive, however, you need to make sure you choose the best Atlassian tools to help you achieve your organisational goals.

To accomplish this and point your recruitment drive in the right direction, the key question to answer is: Which Atlassian tool (or combination of tools) is best suited to make your company more efficient?

#2 What Atlassian support do you need?

As we mentioned, Atlassian provides a wide range of tools. As such, you need to pinpoint which tools and services your organisation needs to ensure your team’s computing needs are implemented and maintained as efficiently as possible.

For example, you may need to find a Confluence expert or number of experts to optimise collaboration across your team or teams. Or you may need to find a Jira Administrator to help keep your project on time and budget. Alternatively, Atlassian’s Git management solution can help you manage, share and review your code.

#3 What questions should you ask?

Once you have pinpointed your required tools, you need to check your candidate has those skills to provide the correct level of Atlassian support.

For example, you may be migrating your company’s data over from an old system into Atlassian or consolidating your current systems with Atlassian ones. Both these examples require a very specific set of skills and experience to make sure you get the right person for the job.

When you are vetting potential candidates, ask for clear examples of their previous work and expertise – and test them on their claims in the interview process.

Technical questions are also important. While some of these questions will be specific to your project, there are some more general questions you can ask to test a candidate’s technical knowledge.

Atlassian support

For example, let’s assume you’re hiring a Jira expert. You may want to ask the following:

  • Why is Jira used?
  • Can you explain the Jira workflow?
  • What report types are generated by Jira?
  • How is an issue created in Jira?
  • How can an issue be shared in Jira?
  • What is the purpose of the Jira dashboard? 

Also, don’t forget to check your candidate’s soft skills to make sure they are a match for your business. For example, you may want to ask the candidate if they can provide evidence of a time they met a strict deadline? Or examples to demonstrate their aptitude for time management?

#4 How can you guarantee the candidate has those skills?

While the interview process should help you gauge a candidate’s level of expertise, it may not be feasible to fully test every candidate’s skill set.

However, while any recruitment process is expensive, it could prove more costly to hire someone who claims to have the right knowledge and experience and then to later find out that this is not the case.

So, you might want to follow up with a series of technical tests to mitigate these risks. However, this may not guarantee your candidate’s skill set if you don’t test them in a robust manner.

At ClearHub, we can take this often time-consuming process off your hands, as we test our contractors to ensure we deliver the right technical expert for each project. Each one is vetted for technical ability, cultural fit and work preferences by our market-leading Platinum Atlassian Solutions Partner, Clearvision.

Plus, regardless of what stage you’re at, if things aren’t working with your contractor, we’ll replace them at zero cost to your business under the terms of our 100% success guarantee.

#5 Would a contractor be a better solution? 

It can be difficult to find the right people to provide the right level of Atlassian support to fix the issues your company is experiencing.

Most contractors have years of experience in their chosen field, providing you with the specialist skills you need. They also have the confidence to enter your organisation and jump straight into a task without any training, while providing fast, quality results. Plus, there are none of the long term commitments or costs of a permanent hire. For example, you don’t need to pay an annual salary or factor in work-based benefits such as holiday and sick pay.

 In conclusion

There are many factors to consider to get the Atlassian support that your company needs. Your top priority must be finding a candidate with the right skill set for your specific project and ensuring this candidate is as good in real life as they are on paper.

A contractor could be the solution you’re looking for. They can plug your skills gap and hit the ground running, providing you with the expertise you need.

At ClearHub, we can help you find the expert Jira, Confluence and Atlassian contractors your organisation needs, with integrated technical support and our guarantee that they have the skills to get the job done. Click here to find out more about our guarantee.
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IR35 change is coming in April 2020 – are you ready?

IR35 change April 2020
IR35 change April 2020

IR35 change is coming in April 2020 – are you ready?

IR35 is a complicated piece of UK legislation that attempts to close any loopholes in the tax system where workers could pay less tax by using a limited company structure.

Since 2000, contractors have self-assessed their IR35 status and National Insurance Contributions. However, this arrangement is widely regarded to be ineffectual with HMRC estimating that the cost of non-compliance could escalate to £1.3bn by 2024 in the private sector unless a change is made.

So, in April 2020, the rules governing the IR35 are going to be modified. From that time, the entity paying the contractor will be responsible for determining their IR35 status. 

These changes will have repercussions for both the contractor and the company paying the contractor, including IT contract recruitment agencies. For example, research reveals 65% of UK contractors believe their income will decrease following the changes.

However, if you hire contractors, the impact on your business could be significant. If you get things wrong, you could be liable to pay charges amounting to one-and-a-half times the total amount each contractor is paid. 

So, what do you need to do to prepare for these changes?

Inside the IR35 reform

The UK Government is planning to introduce the IR35 changes to the private sector in April 2020. If the IR35 does apply, your contractors may have to pay tax like an employee.

However, their employment status will not change. So, they will not receive the benefits and rights associated with permanent employment. But the first factor you need to take into account is whether your contractors sit inside or outside of the IR35 legislation.

Inside or outside? 

Whether you’re affected by the changes depends on whether your contractors work inside or outside of the IR35.

If they are outside the legislation, then you are not affected by the changes. However, we recommend you seek professional advice to ensure your contractors really do belong outside the IR35.

If they are inside the legislation, then you will be affected by the changes. These changes could also affect companies outside of the UK if, for example, you hire contractors that are tax-registered in the country.

When you are investigating whether a contractor is inside or outside the IR35, you will need to take the following factors into account:

  • How much control do they have over their place of work and hours, etc?
  • Do you provide their equipment?
  • Do they receive any employee benefits?
  • Could you substitute them for another qualified person?

However, such IR35 assessments are a minefield. We would always recommend you seek professional advice when determining a contractor’s IR35 status.

IT contract recruitment agencies

Are there any exceptions?

Yes. Not all businesses will be affected by the change, even if their contractors are inside the IR35. At the time of writing, the new rules may not apply to small businesses that have:

  • Turnover of £10.2 million or less,
  • A balance sheet total of £5.1 million or less
  • 50 employees or fewer.

Also, if you work with any IT contract recruitment agencies, bear in mind that they may be responsible for the IR35-related tasks.

However, there is much opposition to these changes and, as such, the rules may change. So, make sure you seek up-to-date and professional advice.

What should you do to prepare?

Whatever your circumstances are, we would recommend that you take the following steps to prepare for the IR35 changes:

  • Start by seeking IR35 specialist advice.
  • With a general election looming, remember to keep up to speed with any developments in IR35 legislation. 
  • Assess your current workforce.
  • Keep up-to-date records.

In conclusion

The changes to IR35 could have major repercussions for your business. If you would like some more guidance on IR35, or to discuss a variety of flexible resourcing options we can offer, please get in touch.

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