Hackathons are becoming more and more common amongst companies the world over. These investments are made despite the concept of hackathons being somewhat new still. Facebook is one of the best examples; they take hackathons so seriously that even though it's just been a few years, it's become a company tradition. Two key innovations that the social media platform took on that were hackathon results were the 'Like' button and Facebook messenger. They've since started hosting online hackathons in three categories: messaging, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.

Hackathons Can Make All the Difference

Plenty of people are seeing the benefits of using hackathons for the development and improvement of services and tools alike. Cisco, Jet2, and LinkedIn are amongst those that have gone on to find tech-based solutions to employee and user problems through this method.

Employee involvement is also a key benefit in having an HR hackathon. They will be able to have more of a personal investment in the tools which come about. It completely sidesteps the usual issue of new tech being introduced and having employees interested to get on board. Employees vary in their specialities and levels, so everyone getting involved also allows for a clearer picture of overall needs. The changes being led by employees will also offer a sense of ownership. This is key for overall staff morale, and they are more likely to support the end results full on.

Collaboration Is Key

Aside from technology that helps improve the product or service itself, HR personnel can also use the hackathon as a new way to look into issues. Employee feedback can go from a survey that's pricey and time-bound to a certain period down to a more real-time and regular cycle of feedback. It's also a good time to address remote workers' security issues by way of a messaging tool that's in-house and encrypted.

If you're looking to set one up but not sure how to have an effective HR hackathon, keep these in mind:

  • The Hackathon’s Goals Should Be Clear from the Get-Go

This includes not actually having a set goal at all. The very beginning can involve learning what people across the company or organization need. However, in cases when there's something specific needed, it should be established from the start. Expectations should always be clear to everyone right away.

  • The People Have to Be Well-Equipped and Get Ample Time to Brainstorm

One of the most important parts of a hackathon is speed. People shouldn't show up to brainstorm. A good rule of thumb is to give a two-week period for idea generation. Virtual spaces like Slack or Trello can make all the difference.

HR Hackathons: Employee Empowerment

Putting together a hackathon in the HR sense can do wonders for employee empowerment. That said, the goals should be clear from the start, and the people need ample time to brainstorm. It's a great way to solve user and employee problems alongside offering staff the means to be involved in solutions, which will keep them engaged.

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