It is a truth universally acknowledged that companies in possession of a business vision must be in want of skilled employees. It is just as well-known that the first step in the process of creating a strong talent base is to attract candidates with the relevant skills and competencies.
In such a scenario, it is unsurprising that hackathons are fast emerging as the solution of choice for organizations the world over to achieve this objective.
Imagine a contest where top computer programmers, graphic artists, and software designers are brought together and asked to compete – not with each other but against a set of challenges. This is what a hackathon is. Companies are leveraging this innovative setup to identify talent while establishing themselves as more desirable work destinations at the same time.
Hackathons are an innovative way of reimagining employee experience, beginning with recruitment. Usually lasting for one to two days, hackathons provide a fun environment to candidates where they can brainstorm and collaborate as a team to ‘hack’ through or around an assigned task.
The objective is to solve a real-world problem by creating usable or prototype solutions. Recruiters are increasingly leveraging hackathons to attract and hire new talent in an inventive manner.
The benefits of hackathons are elucidated, in detail, as follows:
Discovering Top Talent
A drill which provides candidates with a chance to show their skills in action is undoubtedly a more appropriate way of assessing talent than recruiters asking them to tell what they are capable of during an interview. It has also been observed that many talented candidates often end up feeling overwhelmed by the intense interview setting, causing employers to form an unfavourable opinion of their capabilities.
Hackathons, therefore, offer not only a fairer recruiting setting but also a more effective one when it comes to assessing a candidate’s potential. This is why companies are increasingly preferring to host hackathons in college campuses while searching for promising talent.
Bolstering The Organization’s Position As The Best Work Destination
While conducting hiring, companies also need to market themselves as desirable options to attract the best talent. Hackathons are an effective tool for organizations to accomplish this. They become a significant representation of a company’s work culture and enable candidates to make an informed decision about which organization they wish to join.
That’s the reason why and how organizations can actively leverage hackathons to establish positive brand reinforcement and recall value among their prospective employees.
Hackathons serve two purposes simultaneously. First, as discussed above, they represent a company’s work culture, thus allowing candidates to engage with it before deciding whether or not they want to work for the organization.
On the other hand, the setting also enables recruiters to understand if a prospective employee is a team player. This allows them to handpick candidates who demonstrate the ability to gel with the organizational workforce and work with cross-departmental teams.
Identifying Innovative Thinkers
Hackathons become a unique knowledge-sharing site as candidates applying for different job roles become a part of a diverse set of teams. Working together, each member is driven to learn, develop, explore, and innovate as teams discuss possible solutions and share insights with each other.
Candidates are thus able to traverse beyond the scope of the work they are expected to perform and come up with creative solutions. This helps recruiters to readily recognize individuals who show a knack for innovative and creative thinking.
Identifying Talent With Entrepreneurial Potential
The solutions teams need to conduct research, design products, and find innovative ways of testing and, finally, market them. This requires each participant to leverage their specific expertise to solve the problems most effectively.
In this manner, each team functions as a small model or microcosm of the entire organization. Recruiters are thus able to identify candidates who display an entrepreneurial mindset by singling out individuals who come up with effective strategies needed to run a business.
These are among the key reasons why hackathons are becoming a popular recruitment tool today. As more and more organizations recognise the value of hackathons in identifying and acquiring the best talent, this trend is only going to accelerate in the foreseeable future.