Rules to Better Offices


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  1. Rules to Better Recruitment

    ​Do you have trouble finding amazing developers?! Here is how we do it!

    ​​At SSW we do not use recruiters, instead we rely on word of mouth for referrals, or we advertise a position using LinkedIn. We find that the filters on LinkedIn are a good way of attracting people with the correct skills. You can choose up to 10 skills per ad, saving you a lot of time.

    We also try to make our ads interesting and fun to help them stand out. For example, when we needed a new State Manager for Brisbane, we needed someone with a Business mind, who also knew our industry inside and out. So we created the title "A Business Guy (once a wannabe developer)". This got people's attention, and got us the right person for the job!

    Business Guy.png​ ​​​
    Fi​g​ure: Good example - Our "Business Guy" role as show​n on our website.

    Once we have our candidates, we call them for a chat, put them through a communications challenge, and then a coding challenge. This ensures that we find people who are the right cultural fit for our company, as well as a kick arse consultant and coder.

    Image: SSW's recruitment process.

    Read more about Rules to Better Recruitment
  2. Do you know how to make newcomers feel welcome?

    ​​​The first day of a new job can be daunting.  For the new starter, the workplace is unfamiliar, their colleagues are strangers, and there’s so much to learn they think their head might explode. All up, it’s a stressful time.

    There are few simple ways to help new hires feel more comfortable as they adjust to their new workspace: ​

    Before they start:

    Prior to the newcomer’s arrival, make sure their desk and work area are clean by giving the desktop, monitor, mouse and keyboard a wipe with a damp cloth. Then test that the equipment on their desk, such as the computer, phone and any other electronics, is in good working condition.

    ​​The day before they start:

    Give them a call and make sure they're ready and know what to bring with them, what to wear, etc.

    At SSW we give the newcomers the option to bring their own equipment, so make sure to ask them before they start.

    On their first day:

    On the newcomer’s first day, have the manager leave a short “welcome to the company” handwritten note and a cup of good coffee at the newcomer’s workstation to greet them first thing (The welcome message could even be written ON the cup if possible). Make sure they have someone looking after them.

    Other nice day 1 gifts could include:

    • A mug
    • A map of the area with some cool things pointed out (good coffee spots, restaurants, etc.)
    • Use a blank notebook to write a welcome note and put handy hints inside, then they can continue to use the notepad during induction!
    Penny Welcome Pic.jpg
    Good example: Personal, fun welcome to SSW Sydney with all of the good food and coffee tips​!

    It’s also a nice idea to take the newbie out to lunch on their first day so they can get to know their co-workers outside of the office. NB: check if they have any special dietary requirements.

    These are some thoughtful ways to show the new hire that the company is pleased to have them on board, and leaves them with a good first impression of their new workplace.

    Find the longer version of this post on Facebook and LinkedIn​.

  3. Do you color-code your keys?

    ​​​Keys, we all have them. A key for the front door, a key for the garage, a key to the letterbox, and keys to your office… the list is often endless! How much time do you waste finding the correct key?​

    If you allocate each individual lock a color and then tag or colour your keys to match, you can save a lot of time and effort identifying the correct key.

    keys 2.JPG
    Figure: Bad example - Figure: Bad Example - a key bunch with no color-coding, total anarchy! 
    keys 1.JPG
    Figure: Good example - color-coded keys with labels, perfect order.

    Tip: While you can buy colored keys, they are not as strong as their silver counterparts, and can break in the locks of heavier doors. Using nail polish to mark your keys, or using a key ​cover is a better way to go! 

  4. Do you identify your online purchases?

    When making an online purchase using the company account, remember to include your name in the postal details so that the item is correctly identified and given to you. Having it sent to the company unidentified or under the boss's name​ can lead to confusion and the package may end up in limbo. 
  5. Do you know to prepare a special goodbye to a co-worker leaving the company?

    It can be sad when a co-worker is leaving the job, but you should always find a good reason to celebrate the day and make it special – especially if they worked for the company for a long time.

    You should always provide as good of an experience for when your staff they leave, as when they joined the organization.
    Here are some ideas:
    • Have a special lunch with the whole team
    • Prepare a card signed by all team members to say goodbye
    • Get the team together for drinks after work (if you are working remotely, this can be done via Microsoft Teams or Zoom)
    • Get the boss to write a speech about the soon to be ex-employee and make sure everyone can participate in the farewell​
    Of course, you can personalize it according to each employee’s personality.
    As a goodbye could be due to redundancy, or a resignation, it’s always a good idea to ask the employee how they might feel about the situation. This is an important step to ensure they are comfortable.