Hackathons have been growing in popularity for some time now and have proven very useful at putting talented people in front of organizations in dire need of that talent.
I wrote last year about the growth in the trend for hackathons to be used as part of the recruitment and talent management processes. At the time most of these events were sticking to the roots of hackathons and looking for technical talent.
That is beginning to change however, and the recent Staffup Weekend is a great example of that. As with traditional hackathons, the Staffup events are hosted over a weekend, but where they differ is that they aim to give participants a chance to show off their skills to prospective employers.
The aim is to give people a chance to observe people strutting their stuff rather than relying on staid CVs or recommendations.
The events operate via a series of projects, which participants pitch to work on over the course of the weekend. So, just as with events such as unconferences, participants put forward their idea at the start of the weekend, and try and recruit participants to work on it with them.
Each event aims to attract a number of hiring managers to them who can observe participants beavering away on their projects and get a good idea of how they actually work.
As with traditional hackathons, at the end of the weekend each team gathers to present their work, both to the other participants but also to the recruiters in the room.
It’s an interesting approach to recruitment, and should certainly provide companies with a better insight into both the skills and the personalities of candidates than the rather dry method traditionally used.
The venture is currently running in various places in California, although there are plans to expand to places like New York and London. It’s quite possible that there will be similar ventures run by other organizations too.
Certainly an interesting trend and one to monitor with interest.