Telstra News |

We’re adding 2500 more roles

By Alex Badenoch April 8, 2020

Today we announced we’re adding 2500 temporary roles to help better serve our customers and play a part in supporting employment in Australia during this unprecedented time. This is on top of the 1000 people we’re already recruiting, as well as other ways we’re mobilising our workforce to support our customer needs.

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A few weeks ago we said we would recruit 1000 temporary contact centre roles across six sites in Australia, including in some regional centres. We knew there would be demand, but we didn’t anticipate having more than 19,000 people apply. This shows there’s plenty of talent in the market and we’ve started to welcome some new team members with more to join us over the coming weeks.

Now, we’ll bring on another 2500 people and in more locations. Some of these roles will be directly employed by Telstra and others by our partners in Australia so we can get people on board as quickly as possible for our customers.

These new jobs will be a mix of contact centre and back of house specialist roles covering a range of activity like customer service, order provisioning and testing, as well as team leaders. In addition to the locations already advertised, we’re also looking for people in Newcastle, Perth and Sydney. But a lot of these roles will be flexible as many of our new recruits will be working from home so we’re absolutely open to having more people in regional Australia.

We’re also reaching out to our Alumni network who have some of the specific technical skills we need at this time, such as network engineering, software engineering, data and analytics.

To help us meet our customer service needs, we’re also redistributing work around our business where we can. For example, many of our stores are quieter than usual as Australians ‘stay home.’ So these teams are helping other customers when they’re quieter by interacting with customers through our digital messaging service, processing digital orders and checking in with our small business customers to see if they need our help with connectivity or service at this challenging time. Similarly, some of our techs are stepping out of the field and into our contact centres.

Using technology to recruit and train new team members

Processing and interviewing 19,000 applicants and making offers to the first group within two weeks has been possible through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the algorithm we’ve programmed specifically for these roles. All candidates complete two steps as part of the process:

  1. Record a video interview based on a series of behavioural questions. Our AI software converts the candidate’s spoken responses to text and reviews all answers against the required skills for these roles.
  2. A game-based cognitive test that measures candidates against the skills needed for the role.

The AI takes the information provided in the video interview and the cognitive skills game and categorises candidates based on an assessment score. Those in the top-tier progress directly to hiring managers for review, without the need to involve a recruiter. While those in the tier below go to a recruiter for further assessment.

This approach allows our hiring managers to review candidates at a time that suits them so they can continue to focus on delivering for our customers at this busy time.

Speed is only one of the benefits we’re realising from AI-aided recruitment. This process assesses the candidates in a standardised fashion, so any bias or subjectivity is removed from the process upfront. We’ve also seen a high satisfaction rate from candidates who prefer the simplicity and flexibility of the new process. They can complete the interview and assessment at a time that suits them, on a device that suits them.

Supporting our customers and the broader community

We want to be there for our customers and keep them connected as we all manage through this global pandemic. Expanding our team is one way we’re doing this, but it will take time for all our new recruits to be on board and fully trained. We appreciate your continued patience as we work to improve our call wait times and better help you with your enquiries.

Creating new jobs in a time where many businesses are standing employees down is an important way we can play our part in ensuring Australia’s economy comes through this pandemic as strongly as possible.

Digital, technological future
Tech and Innovation |

Telcos at the heart of distributed superpowers

By Sami Makelainen March 9, 2020

Every year, the tech industry likes to make predictions for the next year. That can be tricky as technology trends rarely align with the calendar year. For identifying broader trends and more fundamental changes in the landscape beyond just individual cool new products, it, therefore, makes sense to take a longer view.

Taking a longer view is what foresight work is all about.

When it comes to foresight, it is essential to look at the world with as broad a perspective as possible. That is why Telstra partners with the leading futures think tank in the world, IFTF. The Institute for the Future is a Palo Alto-based non-profit that has been around for half a century after being spun off from the RAND Corporation and typically considers the future with a 10-year horizon.

What the IFTF calls this decade is The Age of Distributed Superpowers.

As the world has become more connected and complex, as technologies and ubiquitous connectivity permeate our lives, corporations and individuals alike have seen a new set of powers come to their disposal – powers that can create impact faster and with more reach than ever before.

The Internet is enabling us to shift the public narrative seemingly overnight; rapid technological transformation is creating pressure for regulatory overhauls, altering the rules; markets are being re-invented almost overnight; data-centric tech companies pose an urgent competitive threat to many incumbent organisations that have enjoyed decades of relative stability.

We have already witnessed some early examples of these superpowers in action.

We see them in the remarkably fast creation of new or disruptive business models, from the rise of Uber to the electric scooters taking over cities globally; the latter went from being nowhere a couple of years ago to being practically everywhere today.

It’s not all awesome, of course.

Wind turbine farm over the water

Disruption inevitably has downsides as well, and the same powers that drive growth and innovation can be harnessed for other purposes. Not only do they enable quickly capturing opportunities, but vulnerabilities in our systems are also discovered and then exploited at breathtaking speeds and at massive scale, leaving critical infrastructure from hospitals to the power grid vulnerable to attacks.

What has enabled this state that is simultaneously scary and exciting, brimming with potential but also fraught with systemic risk?

Much of it has to do with connectivity – both the digital and the physical kind.

Humanity can look at the result with some pride – physically connecting the world has enabled a plethora of good things, such as aid to be delivered to disaster areas, and food to be transported to countries struggling with famine. Countless lives have been saved, and countless others enriched through industries like tourism.

Digital connectivity has an equally impressive list of good outcomes; it has enabled much more efficient operations of almost everything. From sectors like agricultural production to entertainment and connecting people globally, technology has had a transformative impact over the past decades.

However, there is a flip side to every coin. Especially in recent years, we have come to appreciate that not everything that happens online can stand the light of day – sometimes, we know the technological communities we have built are swarming with roaches, but we’re scared to turn the lights on. Unintended consequences often cast a shadow on even the best of intentions.

Using the superpowers responsibly

Recognizing the likelihood of unintended consequences, and as we enter deeper into the age of distributed superpowers over this decade, we need to do so with a sense of humility, and a sense of positive purpose.

It behooves us to consider Kranzberg’s First Law of Technology:

Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.

What he meant with that is the all technical developments have environmental, social and human consequences that go far beyond the immediate intended use of the technology – and the same technology can result in radically different outcomes when introduced in different contexts and circumstances.

This is why we – as a nation, as organizations, as communities, as individuals – need to approach the future with eyes wide open, acknowledging the potential for our tools to produce unintended consequences, and deploy them in a thoughtful, considerate manner.

What can we expect in the 2020s, then?

We can expect more markets to be re-invented and more rules to be re-written: by 2030, for example, it seems likely we might routinely be BBQing beef patties that come not from slaughtered beef, but either from lab meat or plant-based alternatives.

In futures thinking, it’s common practice to think of the future in terms of three cones expanding from today: possible futures, being all the possible ways the world could turn out to be – obviously, a vast range of scenarios. Then we have the probable futures, which are the scenarios the world seems to be heading towards currently. Finally, we have the preferable futures – for the lack of a better word, the utopias we would all like to happen.

What the emerging superpowers are doing is expanding the cone of probable futures.

Technologies like connectivity, communication, data processing, storage and artificial intelligence remain at the core of most future scenarios, so it’s our moral duty to do everything in our power to try to shift the window of probable futures to overlap as much as possible with the preferable futures.

In other words, to the best of our abilities, use the new superpowers for good.

Smart home and tech of the modern, future house
Devices | Smart Home | Tech and Innovation |

A tour of your futuristic smart home at CES 2020

By Luke Hopewell February 14, 2020

2020 is the year that tech takes over your house. From the front door to the bathroom and every room in-between, tech titans are bringing the latest gadgets home for your convenience. Step inside for a look at your smart home of the future.

Welcome home, reader.

You’ve just stepped into the home of the future through a front door that features smart, NFC keys. It’s a comfortable two-bedroom in the suburbs, and thanks to the major tech manufacturers at 2020’s Consumer Electronics Show, it now has all the latest gadgets. From smart fridges to clever household robots that pick up your dog’s business (seriously).

Fancy a tour?

The kitchen

The fridge is more than just a fancy gadget. It’s helped you cut down on food waste dramatically, and has saved you so much time going to the supermarket to pick up groceries. It’s a Samsung unit with built-in Artificial Intelligence that can recognise your food.

It lets you know what you’re running out of, makes suggestions based on what you have and helps you reorder stuff when you’re out thanks to the big screen on the front. You don’t even need to add stuff to your shopping list anymore!

Speaking of food, you’re about to be treated to a dinner designed specifically for you, down to the molecular level. DnaNudge is a new service you’re using that recommends the food you should and shouldn’t be eating based on your genes.

Because you’re the type of person who retains too much salt after eating it, you’ll find nothing too salty in that new smart fridge of yours. They know everything about what’s good for you after doing a cheek swab and sending it back.

When you do have stuff you need to throw away, it’s easier than ever thanks to the Townew trashcan that automatically seals your trashbags for you for more considerate disposal without the unwanted smells.

The sink is fitted with a smart tap that you can speak to via Amazon Alexa. You can ask it to pour you a specific measure of water at a specific temperature for perfect portion control while preparing recipes, and also for cutting-down on wastage.

The bedroom

When you lie your head down at night, you won’t have to worry about your sleep apnoea or keeping your partner awake with annoying snoring. Not since you got the second-generation MOTION Pillow that is. With airbag technology, it intelligently repositions you throughout the night, so your breathing isn’t inhibited. Your phone even charges wirelessly as part of the pillow too so you can see your sleep habits as soon as you wake up.

Of course, before you go to sleep, you want to watch some stuff, and control your content without losing a smart remote in the bed sheets. That’s why you’ve got the Hachi Infinite Projector installed: a short-throw projector that turns your bedroom wall into a touchscreen.

The bathroom

Yep, there’s even tech in here for making your life easier and more connected.

The Moxie Showerhead is from Kohler, and in addition to spitting out water, it spits out tunes and the latest news thanks to an Amazon Alexa integration.

There are touchscreens inside the bathroom mirror so you can keep binge-watching your latest show while brushing with your smart toothbrush, and your lipstick shade can change daily thanks to L’Oreal’s new Perso gadget that mixes you a new shade each day based on what your favourite influencers are wearing. And your skin glows each day thanks to Neutrogena’s new Skin360 app which delivers personalised skincare for your exact needs.

But be careful on your way out: the cat’s smart litter box that analyses its stool for health problems before intelligently cleaning it up is in the corner over there.

The lounge room

Every surface in your living room – from the coffee table to the arms of the chairs – allow for your phone to be charged wirelessly in here. After all, everything in your house is controlled from your smartphone, so why risk it running low?

Plus, all your content and smart home tech is controlled via the phone as it connects to the superfast new Wi-Fi 6 modem router with intelligent cybersecurity controls built-in so the bad guys can’t easily hack your house. You can pair that with the updates to Google’s voice Assistant, which can now schedule actions, read you an article or start a call for you.

“But where’s the TV?”, your visitors might ask in puzzlement. “Oh,” you can respond modestly, “it’s integrated into the ceiling”. At the push of a button, LG’s latest rollable OLED TV unfurls from the ceiling like a projector screen without the projector to deliver dazzling colour and deep blacks.

When buying the TV, there were a lot of considerations in mind. You had to consider whether you wanted either LG’s Real 8K TV, or Samsung’s portrait-oriented Sero TV. Perhaps you even wanted to pair a TCL TV with its new sound-reflecting technology for better Dolby Atmos sound immersion. In the end, however, you decided that technology shouldn’t be the focal point of a room. Rather, it should disappear out of sight when not being used.

All in all, your new home of the future isn’t a bad place to put your feet up.

Telstra Graduate Program 2020
Inspiration | People | Students | Telstra Careers |

Our 2020 graduates take their marks on our new grad program

By Kate Stewart February 14, 2020

Starting a job can be equally nerve-wracking and exciting. For some recent university graduates, this is their reality as they start their careers at Telstra.

We’re excited to recently welcome 178 graduates who will experience our redeveloped 13-month Graduate program. They will be involved in two in-depth rotations to get an understanding of the business, with three learning and experience accelerators to develop specific technology-based capabilities.

These new team members join specialised pathways including software and network engineering, information and cyber security, data analytics and management, product and service design, technology consulting and solutions, as well as finance and human resources.

This intake is a significant boost to our talent pipeline. Our graduates will be spread across the business, supporting the cutting edge work we’re doing in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), software-defined networking, 5G, cyber security, drone technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Transforming our graduate program has been a huge effort from many people across Telstra and we were thrilled to hear in the past week that the refresh is making its mark with our graduates and their experiences:

We are proud to be recognised in both the engineering and technology space and are committed to boosting the pipeline of talent in these areas within Australia.

Harrison Jones

Among the new starters in the 2020 cohort is Harrison Jones, who was previously part of our CareerTrackers Indigenous internship program, having completed rotations with Telstra Health and Telstra Broadcast Services.

“I really enjoyed being a Telstra intern. The culture, the employees and the grads that I worked alongside seem to shine – which is what I want in my career. I’m very excited to be joining Telstra as part of the 2020 graduate program and seeing all those people I worked with and meeting more in the future.”

Justin Dolman

Justin Dolman echoes these thoughts after 13 months in the program and is excited at the opportunity of travelling to Hong Kong for his final rotation in the International Sales team.

“I have found that my graduate experience at Telstra has been an amazing opportunity for me to explore where I can best apply myself. I’m really looking forward tothe opportunity totake ownership ofprojects in Telstra’s Global OTT (OvertheTop) team.

“There’s so much available within Telstra, and so much that I have yet to explore. It’s great knowing that even after the grad program I’ll be able to move through the organisation. The graduate program has been an opportunity for me to explore different areas of the business, while showcasing my abilities to different teams. This has allowed me to find where I fit best in the organisation, making sure I’m both challenged and rewarded throughout my career.”

For those interested in applying for the Telstra 2021 Graduate program, applications open 3 March 2020.

Ezra Aydin speaking with customers at Telstra Vantage
Students | Telstra Careers |

Balancing business smarts and tech know-how as a Telstra Graduate

By Ezra Aydin February 6, 2020

As someone who studied a Masters in Machine Learning at Monash University, being part of the Telstra Graduate Program has given me an insight into what I need to do to be a successful programmer.

I chose to apply for the Program because of the cutting-edge projects that the company is delving into – the organisation has a clear direction of moving into edge computing and building Australia’s 5G capabilities. These projects also go hand in hand with artificial intelligence, which is my focus area. Because of these factors, I knew the work I would be doing at Telstra would align with my own career direction.

As part of the Program, I need to do three rotations in different areas of the business. In my first rotation, I worked in Networks and IT where I was mainly designing chatbots. It was a great experience because I’m really interested in deep learning and artificial intelligence. I’m currently in my second rotation where I’m working in the computer vision department in Telstra Labs.

What I really enjoy about my current rotation is the diversity of the work I do. For example, I could be doing something quite technical or I could be engaged in a task that requires me to learn more about a different business unit within Telstra. Whatever it is I am doing, I’m finding out a lot about the broader business because my current team does a lot of work for different business functions.

I love being part of the Telstra Labs team.

Since starting at Telstra, I’ve noticed the size of the business is a strength in terms of what it offers graduates. I’ve been able to get involved in the commercial aspect of how things work and how products are launched. This has helped to grow a different side of my career as previously, I’ve only been involved in the technical aspects of a product.

On top of that, the people and mentorship I’ve had access to has really given me a lot of guidance and helped me grow professionally.  During my first rotation, my direct line manager was a real technical specialist and very attentive, so I learned heaps from him. Then in my second rotation, my leader has taught me a lot about the commercial aspect of technology. In terms of personal development, my managers have given me a lot of time and have been invested in helping me build my skill-set and knowledge.

But what I have loved the most is that I’ve been able to take my love for edge computing and apply it to a passion project of mine where I had a number of cameras roaming around the vicinity of Telstra Vantage. While they normally record this event, I wanted this year to be different so I enabled them with 4G technology so they roamed around doing object recognition in real-time.

For anybody who is considering applying for the Telstra Graduate Program, I would say, be open to new things and be open to learning, as that’s the way you’ll continue to grow and develop if you are successful in your application. For example, I’ve recently been given the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate my work at Telstra Vantage to technology peers, higher Telstra leaders and other AI and programming buffs, which is something I don’t believe I would be able to do anywhere else.

Interested in a career in emerging technology? Learn more about Telstra’s Graduate Program.