Redefining Talent Acquisition Strategy For NEST DIGITAL with Collaborative Hackathons

NeST Digital is a global technology solutions provider that creates business transformation by combining their R&D, Manufacturing Expertise, Digital Technologies, and Services into integrated solutions.
As a part of their expansion plan, NeST Digital had to decide between recruiting fresh talent or developing internal talent. The new business portfolios required new-age competencies and roles. While the client was leaning towards new talent acquisition, they were concerned about the tedious processes that would be involved with the same, therefore wanted to work with a strategic partner who could streamline this process with a quick turn-around time.

What was the client trying to solve?

The 20+ Year old company was on the lookout for talented tech talent. With great emphasis on sustainable people decisions, they were seeking exceptional talent to oversee some of their new portfolio when they decided to venture into niche Indian markets. As a result, they sought a robust recruitment solution focused on IT roles, with the primary objective to build a team in Kerela.
NeST Digital typically undertook campus hiring while on the lookout for talent coders. However, manually administering 100-odd candidates efficiently as a first-screening process would turn out to be a tedious task. Imagine the logistical hassle of such a massive exercise – assessing each candidate individually, creating a database subjectively, and identifying the thresholds. They would have to invest significant manual efforts to administer, evaluate, and declare results. Therefore, the company was eager to simplify the complexities of technical hiring through automated solutions and handpick preeminent techies and coders.

The challenges they sought to address could be summarized as:

The Solution

Addressing the Hiring Constraints via Collaborative Hackathons and Simulations

1. A Language Agnostic Collaborative Hackathon

Having understood the requirements and the challenges well, we concluded that Yaksha’s Collaborative Hackathons was the ideal screening tool to ensure that NeST would invest time only interviewing candidates meeting various prerequisites. To shortlist talent for the desired skills in the shortest possible timeframe, candidates were required to build the classic game of Tetris. The candidates were also given the flexibility to code in 1 of 4 languages:

The objective of this preliminary round was to analyse the critical thinking ability and ensure technical proficiency in developing the solution from idea to a working prototype. Additionally, candidates were also given the room to work as a team if so desired. While not a mandate, this would highlight their ability to come together as a team to solve challenges.

This allowed recruiters at NeST to automate and scale-up the screening process as a candidates true coding potential was assessed accurately. With the hackathons complete, they now had a comprehensive summary of every candidate’s performance with an in-depth analysis of their code base, allowing them to compare the candidate’s performance with industry benchmarks.

 

2. Simulated Business Challenges

Candidates who met the benchmarks scores were then put in simulated business environments to assess their business acumen, agility, and problem-solving skills. These selected candidates were asked to think from NesT’s business perspective and tackle critical and continually emanating business problems. The aim was to assess ones situational judgement and assess how quickly one could make a decision when confronting a complex business challenge.

3. Marketing the Event with Hackathon Partners

The Yaksha team was also involved in making noise on the right channels within the right communities. From setting up an automated microsite to launching supporting marketing initiatives, the team ensured NeST was able to attract and engage potential participants. Additionally, the hackathon was conducted in partnership with two prestigious educational institutions in Kerela; ICT Academy and KTU. This partnership allowed us to tap into a larger pool of student communities in their final year of engineering.

To incentivize participation, the frontrunners of the hackathon would also be given a cash prize.

4. Customer Support

Our commitment to ensuring a seamless online experience warranted the team to work round the clock to keep the platform and process up-to-date, compatible, and error-free.

5. Proctoring as an add-on

Yaksha’s proctoring and anti-cheat features provided transparent supervision and continuously analysed participant behaviours and environments to prevent suspicious activities, helping detect up to 18 digressions with over 98% accuracy.

The Impact

A tremendous improvement in the hiring process was observed after Yaksha’s intervention. Some key results that helped the company to progress towards the objective were:

  • The organizational efficiency, while conducting technical hiring, increased by up to 50 percent
  • An extensive hackathon and simulation enabled better screening and faster hiring of the talent matching the profile.
  • The upper management observed a noticeable increase in the efficiency of the process.
  • SMEs involved in the hiring process communicated their positive feedback on the relevance of questions and timely support from Yaksha.

The way forward

Based on the success of the exercise to move their benched workforce, the client will be partnering with Yaksha to extend similar initiatives for their upcoming hiring cycles. Additional tools, such as competency-based interviews and other customized assessments, are being added to the gambit as well.

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