How ClearHub Finds the Right Atlassian Contractor
Finding the right candidate or contractor for an Atlassian project is a lot harder than just matching a set of skills to a job description. It requires analysing the job description, knowing the hard skills and the soft skills of the job – and picking up on the subtle nuances of what our customer is trying to tell us they really need.
ClearHub sources Atlassian contractors for some of the world’s largest organisations, as well as SMBs and startups. Our success rate is a whopping 90% on the first candidate – thanks to a diligent process, and decades of experience on both sides of the recruitment fence.
Join our Technical Resourcer, Nick Williamson, as he takes a deep-dive into our process. Find out why companies who hire through ClearHub get the right person for the job – and not just the right skills.
Reviewing the Project
Hi, I’m Nick – Technical Resourcer at ClearHub. Let me run you through how I get the ideal candidates for our customers, from the top of the process.
The very first step is to get a job description with as much detail as possible. After that, I’ll carry out a discovery call, with the customer’s assigned Account Manager.
At this point, I ask myself a few questions:
- Does the job description line up with what the customer is saying?
- What’s the real problem they are trying to fix?
- What was mentioned or talked about multiple times in conversation?
To get the answers, I’ll have a discussion with the Account Manager (who was on the call with the customer), to piece things together. We’ll get a feel for what the customer was focused on in the call – and go beyond the paperwork.
There have been times when a skill or task was only mentioned once in the job description, or was put down as a “nice to have” – but it was actually crucial to the project.
As an example, a client had jotted “can train staff on Jira” at the bottom of a job description. It turned out that training employees to use Jira was the first thing one of our contractors was tasked to do – and by having the discovery call, we were able to get the right person to fulfil that role.
Understanding the project, and the true needs of the customer, are the first (and arguably most important) steps to landing the perfect contractor. And once we know exactly what skills and persona we’re looking for, it’s time to go to our network.
Luckily for us, we’ve got access to one of the biggest tech talent pools in the world – our famous ClearHub Network.
Now that we truly understand the customer’s needs, we consult the network.
The talent pool we’ve created is rather unique, because of the niche market we operate in. We built this network ourselves, extensively, and over time. It’s mostly made up of skilled Atlassian professionals who have, at one time or another, been a consultant at an Atlassian partner.
It’s also common to find former in-house employees of organisations, who have taken their in-demand skills into contracting or freelancing.
Going out to our network is very different from the way a generic IT recruitment agency does it.
Some agencies will take on a job, quickly realise they do not have the talent within their database, and go to market instead. What this means is that they take the job description you have provided, and post on multiple job websites to get candidates.
We don’t do that.
Our network is built on relationships. Because we’re Atlassian specialists, the best of the best come to us. We nurture relationships with them, get to know their strengths and abilities, and assign roles based on who they are and what they do better than anyone else.
This means that our candidates don’t just have the technical skills and experience needed for the role – but the soft skills, too.
From our discussions, we ask ourselves:
- Does the customer want someone who can get on with tasks?
- Or do they want someone who can give advice to teams and stakeholders?
We’ll build a profile of what we are looking for in our ideal candidate, and start selecting our top picks – weighing up their strengths and weaknesses in different areas.
Next, we reach out to our selected candidates, to find out their availability and gauge their interest in a new project. We create a longlist of candidates, who are interested and available, and then start the process of refining it down to a shortlist.
Sometimes, it’s an extremely quick process. If we know the contractor well and they’re currently available to work, or are about to end a contract in a couple of weeks, then we can get them onto the next job almost immediately.
Our current record is a 48 hour turnaround, from job order to placement. And transition of contractors between roles can happen overnight.
But more often, we’ll go through a longer process.
Vetting and Assessment
We’ll always check to see if the candidates in the shortlist have been suitability assessed and vetted by a consultant recently, to ensure they’re proficient.
This is discovered through a technical test, conducted by an Atlassian Certified Professional. It’s a review of the candidate’s ability – not just with Atlassian tools, but any DevOps tools, or agile methodologies they may be familiar with.
If they’ve already been vetted recently, I go through the report to assess the candidate’s strengths, and possibly where they are lacking. For instance, maybe they have excellent technical ability, but aren’t very articulate in their explanations.
Using this information, we create a final shortlist, and have further in-depth discussions with each candidate on it.
This call usually lasts around 30-45 minutes. Its main purpose is to give the candidate as much information as we can about the project, to discuss challenges they have faced in the past – and find how they overcame them.
Throughout this whole process, we’re also silently assessing their reliability:
- Do they respond to emails quickly?
- Do they answer the phone, or call back?
- Are they professional and presentable when on a call?
If a candidate has not had an assessment recently, we’ll organise one with a consultant, analyse the report, and go through the same process.
This part is where I need to pull the trigger – and put a candidate in front of the customer.
It’s a big moment. Our selection sets the bar for how the customer judges our ability to deliver on their requirements: if we’ve interpreted them correctly in their view, and if they will have confidence in us moving forward.
All the steps up until this point were taken to mitigate any challenges the customer may have with our selection – and it was for us, too. We need to be able to put our faith in the candidate, to present and interview well.
But people are people. And sometimes, they do strange things like:
- Not turn up for the scheduled interview with the customer
- Ghost us or the customer completely
- Take a video interview in a loud coffee shop
- Send a totally different person to the interview pretending to be them
- Start a video call without a top on
We’ve even had a customer not show up for an interview.
Thankfully, these cases are extremely rare – but people can still surprise you!
Ultimately, it’s up to the customer to decide if we’ve done a good job, and found the right person for them.
With a 90% hit rate on our first selection, we think it’s safe to say we are.
If you think ClearHub can help you with your talent search let us know.
The best contractors come to ClearHub. You should, too.
Find the right person for your Atlassian project – with ClearHub.
Our team pairs businesses with Atlassian, Cloud, DevOps and ITSM experts. Everyone in the ClearHub network is vetted, skills-checked and ready to go from day one. We support all our clients and their chosen experts while they’re on the job, too; so you’ll never have to worry about choosing the right candidate again.
UK contact: Aaron Rowsell
Global Contractor Manager
Call: +44 2381 157 811
US contact: David Runyon
Call +1 858 304 1215