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How Brands Leverage Hackathons To Attract Millennials

How Brands Leverage Hackathons To Attract Millennials

Legacy Recruiting Channels Have Given Way To Hackathons In Order To Attract The Next Gen Millennials

The new wave of interviewees, who are out looking for job prospects, are changing the recruitment process altogether. The workplace is today being replaced by millennials, who in the next five years will make up one-half of the workforce and in the next ten years will replace 75% of the employees everywhere. If we look closely, today’s workforce comprises of only 16% of Generation-X. So, if businesses are out to hire the best and the brightest talent today, they will have to ditch the old-school, hiring playbook and replace it with something that can attract the new-age talent – hackathons.

A similar scenario was presented by Inmobi, one of India’s Top IT Product companies,when they were hiring developers with high calibre to join them during their First Campus Hiring Drive for hiring Developers and Test engineers . The key problem was identifying high quality engineers to match industry standards and so they needed to work with an online assessment system to combat these problems. This is where Mettl stepped in and worked against the challenge, helping Inmobi use  a wide set of skills from the pre-built question bank on data structures, algorithms, DBMS, operating systems, analytical and verbal reasoning to test candidates.

Additionally, Mettl’s Coding Assessments allowed InMobi to test candidates on their abilities to code efficiently, to ensure that Inmobi got the best development team in place. To top it off though, Mettl’s automated reporting feature enabled InMobi to make on the spot candidate selection decisions – saving many man-week-hours.

What do Millennials Want From A Job?

According to Gallup’s new report “How Millennials Want to Work and Live”, they are known to be job-hoppers. This means that if a job does not interest them, they leave in search for greener pastures.

A study made by Deloitte in 2016 discovered that like any other employee, Millennialschoice of work is driven by the amount on the paycheck and other financial benefits. However, if different organisations they apply at are offering similar financial incentives, then there are other factors that come into play. If employers are able to grasp these factors then it will become easy for them to attract and retain millennials.

The top ten factors that millennials took into consideration, excluding salary, as per the same study made by Deloitte are as follows-

  • Good work/ life balance – A good 16.8% millennials will not stick to a workplace which burdens them with work pressure. They believe in working to earn and spend on the things or activities they like to do.
  • Growth opportunities: If millennials do not see any opportunity for growth at the workplace, they will leave, So, ensure that your brand gives its employees equal opportunities to grow. About 13.6% of millennials seek this.
  • Flexibility- Millennials do not like to be bound by hardcore deadlines or being bound to a closed cubicle. They need flexibility of work hours and the space to move around freely, even at work.
  • Sense of meaning from the workplace:  Are you able to positively affect the lives of your employees via your workplace? Millennials dislike any kind of negative vibes at the workplace, which does not give it any meaning. It’s time for you to make a change if you have not yet.
  • The impact the work has on society: Does your brand make any impact on the society? Ask yourself, because millennials are a values-driven lot. If you do not, neither will they stick around.
  • Quality of products/services: You might hire a millennial, but if the quality of your product/ service sucks, they will go about looking for better jobs.
  • A strong sense of purpose: 6.2% of millennials are purpose-driven and look for the same in their workplace.
  • Opportunities of international travel: Millennials love to travel everywhere and 5.9% said that they would choose a job which gives them this opportunity above all others.
  • Fast growth: 4.4% of millennials want to see their brand growing fast.
  • Working with a leading company admired by all: Being the continuous learners and collaborators that they are, approximately 4.3% of millennials would want to work with leading brands. According to Business Insider, nearly 20% chose Google as their ideal employer, while 13% chose Apple,and 9% listed chose Facebook.

Millennials express little loyalty to their current employers. Being able to cope up with this loyalty factor is the biggest challenge faced by most employers. Hence, newer methods of recruitment have been introduced, of which hiring hackathons have received the most results.

Hiring Hackathons For Millennials

If you think hackathons are only for people in the IT industry, you need to reboot your brains and take in some new info. Hackathons are more than a meeting of technical minds. Today, a hackathon has replaced the old method of campus hiring by way of an event where creative and like-minded people come together as a group and work on projects together.

So, how does this make hackathons special? The speciality of this event is that employers get a live demonstration of how the participants act in a virtual workplace similar to theirs while also gauging their patience and skills under work pressure. Alternatively, participants as well, get a taste of the type of work they would be doing in future. This gives participants the option of making a calculated decision of whether they want to join the workplace or not.

Facebook, an international brand name, too uses hackathons as a part of the campus recruitment process, where he places a challenge in front of self-selected teams to come up with solutions to real technical problems. During this process, Mark Zuckerberg himself takes upon himself the role of chief recruiter inspiring the participants in their quests. Once the candidates are chosen they are taken to “Camp Hackathon” where the winners are announced and given cash prizes or an offer of a summer internship with the company.

To add-on to the process of traditional hackathons, Facebook added a “Project Mayhem” event to its process, which are longer 27-hour sessions that begin at 11 in the morning until 2 pm the next day.


At their current stage in life, Millennials think about their job role as a stepping stone and an opportunity for growth. But, other than that they also want to feel deeply committed to their role. Hence, they are on the lookout for a manager who would be ready to invest in their development. In short, millennials place a greater emphasis on opportunities to learn and grow, which is exactly what hackathons give them.

If your brand wants to do a better job of retaining Millennials, you must understand what motivates them, and create a delicate balance. Even though millennials have a different mindset when it comes to recruitment and retention, yet they largely want the same things from their employers as most other generations. When organisations can provide these attributes, they can keep their Millennial employees from continually searching and pursuing the next best thing elsewhere.

Hackathons are interactive platforms where participants and brand managers mingle together to create something new. If they both click during this stage and do not feel intimidated by one another, both know they have found what they are looking for.

[This post first appeared on the Mettl website and has been reproduced with permission.]