Today, organizations have increasingly begun embracing new-age recruitment tools to source talent. A hackathon is one such tool that several players, particularly in the tech and banking sectors, have begun deploying to their advantage. Generally lasting 48 hours or less, a hackathon is an event designed with the objective of devising and developing innovative solutions to a problem. Infused with the spirit of competition, the experience is typically engaging and rewarding for both candidates and recruiters.
So, how is the talent being hired through hackathons different from those being brought in through the regular medium of campus recruitment? How are companies benefitting from conducting hackathons?
“Hackathons create a great opportunity in a competitive atmosphere in which candidates get to showcase their skills on a real-time basis,” candidates recruited through a hackathon typically bring hands-on experience and hard skills to the table as opposed to purely academic training and theoretical knowledge. “The event is aimed at making candidates collaborate, innovate and strategize, devising a solution within a predefined time frame. So, rather than education and pedigree, they get to display actual competencies,” he notes, alluding to the often-superior quality of talent discovered in the process of hackathons.
While hackathons are widely used as a tool for recruitment, they are also conducted internally in organizations, primarily for boosting employee motivation and engagement while resolving internal issues. Occasionally, they are inspired by other causes. Hackathons are hailed as an effective exercise for employer branding. When a hackathon for hiring is publicized through various employment channels, social media, and networking platforms, an organization is able to maximize outreach, spread awareness, and create meaningful conversations around its brand and recruitment processes.
As far as the future of hackathons is concerned, the opinion appears to be unanimous — they are not going away anytime soon. The existing nature of hackathons may evolve and get better, but this type of recruitment tool isn’t going to fizzle out soon. “At the same time, they cannot altogether replace the standard and traditional campus placement method.