How Hackathons Can Help You Attract, Engage, Hire, And Train Top Talent

July 12, 2022

To find the best talent, companies should look for, engage with, and hire people that think out of box and like solving complicated business problems while simplifying chores and processes. In this case, a hackathon is the most appropriate method for staging mock sophisticated problem-solving exercises as part of both campus hiring and open-sourcing efforts.

Hackathons are both competitive and collaborative environments in which professionals from various backgrounds come together to solve a common set of problems. Hackathons have traditionally been used by large organizations as a talent engagement tactic to reinforce their domain leadership and maintain high quality of hire.

Now all organizations regardless of size or industry have adopted hackathons as an efficient way to engage and identify top tech talent. Organizations can hold external hackathons or internal hackathons, depending on their need.



External hackathons

Organizations are increasingly conducting hackathons on college campuses to give their recruitment strategy a creative edge. It has recently been the ideal arrangement for firms looking to employ the top talent by distributing job offers and attracting freelancers. 

Companies are replacing the intimidating interview setting with a competitive drill where candidates can demonstrate their skills through hackathons. Recruiters are better able to assess applicant proficiency since they are able to witness prospective workers applying their abilities in real-time.

Companies also use hackathons to crowdsource ideas, access the most up-to-date technology, and evaluate the efficacy of new business models. Hackathons become a platform that represents a company’s work culture, in addition to establishing firms as appealing employment destinations among prospects. Candidates become more involved as a result of this, increasing their chances of improved performance and long-term commitment to a business.

Job roles that companies are looking to fill through hackathons

Hackathons are typically 24 to 48 hours long. During this session, participants brainstorm and work together as a group to ‘hack’ their way through specified tasks by devising creative and effective solutions. The competition brings together a diverse group of experts and amateurs under one roof, pooling their individual skills to produce collective outcomes. Recruiters can then assess candidates based on a variety of factors, such as their ability to work in a team, their ability to work under pressure, and how successfully and creatively they can apply their abilities.


  • Build a diverse team and find fresh talent: The hackathon hiring process also provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people from all over the world to collaborate on a project. The hackathon’s organizers may eventually recruit these participants to join their team.
  • Build a diverse team and find fresh talent: Participants will have the opportunity to network with industry insiders and grow their network.
  • Expand the developer community: This provides an opportunity for the recruiting manager to communicate with the tech community and form new connections.
  • Boost corporate branding: Corporate hackathon ideas give businesses a fresh approach to show off their product or service, which is typically more effective than traditional marketing campaigns.

Internal Hackathon 

Internal hackathons are also useful for developing a talent pipeline and planning future business plans. Internal hackathons can assess an individual’s ability to collaborate across departments and functions while also identifying essential leadership traits such as empathy, communicating with a team, managing it, and guiding it to a common goal. Internal hackathons pave the way for the identification of HiPos (High-Potential) employees for internal job roles, international transfers, and crucial deputations, as well as their training and development to fit them into your succession planning and organizational vision.

As a result, companies frequently use hackathons to develop problem-solving skills and foster cross-departmental collaboration among their employees. Hackathons are also used by businesses to drive internal innovation and encourage staff to push their creative bounds. The environment also aids firms in expediting product roadmaps and producing many prototypes in a short period of time, as skilled individuals collaborate in teams to plan, design, create, and sell solutions to real-world business and technology problems.



  • Team building activity: Hackathons are a low-risk, low-cost way to encourage your team to be more creative. It provides an environment that encourages collaboration and allows people to communicate in ways they wouldn’t be able to in the office.  
  • Upskill employees: It allows them to expand on their current skillset while also adding to their resume. 
  • Boost morale: Hackathons are a terrific method to re-engage employees in their work while learning new skills and collaborating with colleagues with whom they may not have previously interacted. 
  • Opportunity to build new products and services: Hackathons are a terrific opportunity for employees to come up with innovative ideas that could lead to profitable goods or services in the future. 

Apart from assessing candidates’ diverse abilities, hackathons are frequently used to test niche and emerging technologies like as AI, machine learning, IoT, AR/VR, and blockchain, among others. Given that the influence of these technologies is only going to grow stronger and wider in the next years, it’s probable that a growing number of companies will continue to use hackathons as their preferred method of recruiting.

Technology is one of the industries in India where hackathons have already begun to acquire hold. More companies will spend more money on hackathons in order to crowdsource product innovation ideas, build a strong employer brand, and acquire the top people all at the same time.

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