Co-created with Johan Torssell
- Generate innovative ideas by thinking outside the box
- Get out of your comfort zone to drive personal & professional development
- Expand your network through the diverse audience with similar interests
- Gain brand exposure and position the company as creative, innovative, and alive
- Find new talent through “silent interviews” working alongside potential hires throughout the hackathon
- Increase employee engagement and satisfaction
Hosting hackathons have for a long time been a popular medium for employer branding and generation of creative ideas for established corporations. We do agree hosting hackathons is a great way to achieve these objectives but we also believe there is a complementary method for established companies to gain value from them, by sending employees to participate as attendees. Throughout this article, we will describe the 6 main reasons why corporates should not only host but also participate in hackathons.
Generate innovative ideas by thinking outside the box
During a hackathon you’ll need to develop creative solutions for the presented challenges in a very short timeframe. To do so requires thinking outside the box in close collaboration with the rest of the team. The event itself also often facilitate discussions with other teams allowing you to quickly share ideas and feedback in a cross-collaborative manner. This does not only enable your company to identify new creative ideas but can also help refining your company’s processes for finding new features, products, and services.
Get out of your comfort zone to drive personal & professional development
For those who are looking for a personal development challenge, hackathons can be a great way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. They do so by requiring you to in a short timeframe learn new technologies and concepts together with a team you’ve never before worked with. It is therefore also a great opportunity to improve your skills or learn new ones. Due to the nature of the challenges and the solution-oriented environment, it participating will help you improve your problem-solving skills. No matter what your goals are, hackathons can be a great way to boost your personal and professional development.
Expand your network through the diverse audience with similar interests
Hackathon participation also provides a great opportunity for networking. No matter if the theme is covering one or multiple industries, you can rest assured you’ll find a diverse set of skills and knowledge amongst the participants. Given the shared interest of the hackathon theme, it’s easy to strike casual conversations and build stronger connections than would ever be possible over a phone call. As an example from our most recent attendance of the Bosch Connected Experience hackathon, we met everything from super niche software developers to executives of global corporations, many of which certainly wouldn’t have replied to a cold email outreach. Make sure to use this well as the people you meet easily could turn into future partners, customers, or experts to reach out to when in need.
Gain brand exposure and position the company as creative, innovative, and alive
In recent years, hackathons have become increasingly popular as a means for companies to gain exposure. Many tech companies use hackathons as recruiting events, offering cash prizes and other incentives to participants who develop innovative solutions to problems exposed by the company.
However, it’s not just about organising hackathons, participating on them is also a way to expose a company’s interest for activities that involve risk-taking and creativity, two things that are essential for any company that wants to stay ahead of the competition.
Find new talent through “silent interviews” working alongside potential hires throughout the hackathon
Using the hackathon theme, the event present an audience with diverse skills and a common interest. This allows you to find talent with a great interest in the area you work in, something often difficult in traditional role- or experience-based recruitment activities. Working together with the potential future hire as part of a hackathon also gives the recruiter great insights into the person’s attitude, collaboration, and skills, therefore providing way more input than traditional interviews or case assignments.
Increase employee engagement and satisfaction
There are few activities that can foster collaboration, educate, and challenge a team in the same way as a hackathon can. The nature of the hackathon challenges often requires cross-functional collaboration bridging the gap between ex. developers and strategists often present in medium and large corporations. This cross-functional collaboration does not only develop relationships within the team but also has the capability to improve the overall team efficiency. Additionally, who doesn’t feel engaged when breaking off the day to day activities with a new, challenging, and fun hackathon!
So, if you’re looking for a way to challenge yourself, have fun with your colleagues and learn new things, consider signing up for a hackathon near you!