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Hiring in Web3 is Hard: Find Out How to Use Hackathon to Attract the Right Developers

Web3 is booming, but with this growth comes a significant challenge: attracting and retaining top-tier Web3 developers. This is where we come in.

Image depicting an ongoing physical hackathon with lots of developers hacking with their laptops.
Source: Freepik

What is a Hackathon? 

Hackathons are two or more day get-togethers that have become a popular and effective way for companies to recruit top talent. During the hackathon event, hackers from diverse backgrounds who are passionate about technology, work on software-related challenges. Those challenges are often provided by sponsor companies or organizations, who hope to profit from transforming promising prototypes into finalized products, while at the same time recruiting talents for IT-related jobs.


Recruiters use hackathons to get creative solutions from their employees. Companies also organize developer challenges where participants develop solutions tailored to address specific business challenges. These events aim to harness creativity and innovation in tackling company needs. 


According to Draft Dev, You tap into a pool of developers eager to build with your product. Brandon Kessler mentioned that they have seen a 5-35% conversion rate from hackathon registration to submission, showing a very strong ROI in terms of engaged user acquisition



In this article, we'll cover why hiring in Web3 is hard, the effectiveness of hackathons as a hiring strategy, and how you can leverage hackathons to attract the right developers.


Why is Hiring in Web3 Difficult?

 Images showing statistics to back the claim that hackathons are the best way to engage the tech community.
Source: HackerEarth

The decentralized nature of Web3 introduces novel challenges for hiring. Traditional recruitment methods need to be revised in identifying and attracting talent proficient in Web3 development. Companies must adapt their hiring strategies to effectively navigate this evolving landscape and hire quality developers capable of driving innovation in the Web3 space.


Several factors contribute to the difficulty of finding Web3 developers:

1. Emerging Field: Web3 is a relatively new field, and the developer pool is still developing. Experienced professionals are scarce, and the learning curve for those transitioning from Web2 is steep.


2. Specialized Skillset: Successful Web3 development requires a unique blend of skills, including blockchain technology knowledge, cryptography, smart contract development, and experience with specific protocols. According to the 2023 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the most in-demand skills for blockchain developers include Solidity (smart contract language), familiarity with specific blockchains (e.g., Ethereum, Solana), and understanding of decentralized protocols.


3. Globalized Talent: Top Web3 developers are often spread across the globe, making traditional geographic recruitment methods less effective.


4. High Demand, Limited Supply: The demand for Web3 developers far exceeds the available talent pool, leading to fierce competition and inflated salaries.


“In 2023, the number of open blockchain positions has increased by 340% year-over-year, while the number of qualified hopefuls has only grown by 120%”. – BSV Blockchain  


Benefits of Using Hackathon to Hire Developers

A study by HackerRank found that companies hiring through hackathons saw a 46% increase in the number of potential developers they received. 


The benefits of utilizing hackathons in recruitment are manifold, they include;

  • Cost reduction: Traditional hiring processes entail substantial costs, with the average cost of hire reaching $4,425 according to the Global Benchmark Report.  Hackathons serve as efficient recruitment tools, enabling companies to identify promising candidates without incurring the substantial resources typically associated with traditional methods such as job postings and interviews. This approach not only economizes time and finances but also broadens access to diverse talent pools within a single event. This cost efficiency has prompted many companies to start using hackathons for recruitment, especially considering the flexibility of hosting them online, which further reduces expenses.

  • Engagement of Passive Candidates: Well-executed hackathons can captivate the attention of talented individuals who may not have previously contemplated applying for positions at the company, colloquially known as passive candidates. The infectious energy surrounding hackathons entices participants from varied backgrounds, all eager to exhibit their skills and absorb insights from peers. This creates a prime opportunity for employers to directly engage with potential hires, nurture relationships, and stimulate interest in future employment prospects.

  • Real-Time Evaluation of Soft Skills: Hackathons offer unparalleled opportunities for real-time assessment, enabling recruiters to gauge candidates' soft skills beyond the confines of resumes and interviews. Participants demonstrate crucial competencies such as teamwork, collaboration, creative thinking, and resilience under pressure during the intense coding sessions. This firsthand observation facilitates recruiters' assessments of candidates' aptitude for thriving in fast-paced tech environments that prioritize teamwork and adaptability.

Statistics about hackathons and coding workshop
Source: HackerEarth

Diversity: Companies discover that online hackathons attract candidates from diverse geographical locations, expanding the talent pool beyond traditional recruitment areas. Embracing diversity enriches organizations by tapping into a broader range of talents and perspectives, ultimately fostering innovation and growth.


How to Use Hackathon to Attract The Right Developers

1. Define the Objectives

Clearly outline the goals of the hackathon before organizing it. Identify the specific skills and attributes you seek in potential candidates to tailor the event accordingly and attract the right talent.


2. Plan the Hackathon Format

Determine the format that best highlights the desired skills. Decide whether it will be an individual or team-based competition, online or offline. Set the event's duration, and outline the challenges or projects participants will tackle to ensure alignment with recruitment goals.


3. Select Hackathon Platform

A crucial step for companies seeking to recruit talent through hackathons is selecting the appropriate hackathon platform.  techFiesta is a platform that you can use to launch hackathons, developer challenges, and crowd tasks. Companies that organize hackathons on techFiesta have opportunities to work with a diverse and talented group of tech innovators, harnessing their fresh and inventive ideas to fuel growth and success in their businesses. 


We have over 9,000 users building projects for blockchain protocols and infrastructure companies, 350 projects have been built, and $280K+ has been paid in bounties. techFiesta currently utilizes blockchain for transparent bounty distribution and identification of IDs and credentials during hackathons and developer challenges. 


4. Promote the Hackathon

Spread awareness about the event through diverse channels like social media, industry forums, and targeted email campaigns. For example, when companies host hackathons on techFiesta, we play a crucial role in promoting hackathons, engaging with the community, and organizing events that attract a diverse group of hackers. We emphasize the unique opportunities and advantages participants will gain, such as networking with other industry professionals, job opportunities, and grants.


5. Provide Necessary Resources

Ensure participants have access to essential resources and tools required to complete the hackathon challenges. This may include supplying relevant datasets or software.


6. Evaluate Participant Performance

Assess participants' performance throughout the hackathon based on predetermined criteria such as problem-solving ability, technical skills, teamwork, and creativity. Recognize individuals who excel and demonstrate exceptional talent.


7. Engage with Potential Candidates

Following the hackathon, engage with promising participants through interviews or additional project assignments. This allows a deeper understanding of their capabilities, interests, and compatibility with the organization. By maintaining positive relationships, a talent pipeline can be built for future recruitment needs.


How to Select the Best Hackathon Platform

  • Research available platforms: Begin by researching the various hackathon platforms available in the market. Consider customer reviews to determine which platform aligns best with your recruitment objectives and budget.


  • Evaluate platform features: Assess the features offered by each platform to ensure they meet your requirements. 


  • Consider customization options: Find out if the platform allows for customization to tailor the hackathon experience to your organization's branding and specific needs. Customizable features may include branding options, customizable registration forms, and the ability to create custom challenges or project briefs.


  • Review security, trust, and data privacy measures: Use platforms that prioritize security and data privacy to safeguard participants' information and intellectual property. For example, techFiesta is a blockchain-powered hackathon platform making all its operations safe, trusted, transparent, and secure. We offer Soulbound tokens to participants which open new possibilities for ownership, verification, and trust in the digital domain of CVs and credentials


  • Seek a user-friendly interface: Choose a platform with an intuitive and user-friendly interface to ensure smooth navigation and participation for both organizers and participants. A well-designed platform enhances the overall hackathon experience and encourages engagement.


  • Test platform usability: Before finalizing your selection, conduct a trial or demo of the platform to assess its usability and functionality. Test key features to ensure they meet your expectations and requirements.


  • Consider scalability and support: Select a platform that can accommodate the size and scale of your hackathon event, whether it's a small-scale competition or a large-scale recruitment drive. Additionally, assess the level of customer support and assistance offered by the platform provider to address any issues or concerns that may arise during the event.


Conclusion

Hiring in Web3 is indeed a challenging endeavor, but by leveraging hackathons as a strategic approach, companies can effectively attract the right developers to their teams. attract and identify top-tier developers. Through hackathons, you can build a strong developer pipeline, cultivate a passionate Web3 community around your company, and position yourself as a leader in innovation.


Are you looking to attract the right Developers through a hackathon? techFiesta is your best bet. 


Companies that host events on techFiesta have the opportunity to work with a diverse and talented group of tech innovators, harnessing their fresh and inventive ideas to fuel growth and success for companies. 


To further help you make smarter hiring decisions, our new Soulbound tokens feature offers new possibilities for ownership, verification, and trust in the digital domain of CVs and credentials


About EkoLance

EkoLance revolutionizes the future of work by empowering professionals in Web2 and the blockchain industry. EkoLance has two products: an educational platform with training programs for upskilling in the blockchain space and a developer activation platform called techFiesta, where companies launch hackathons and developer challenges. EkoLance has a community of over 8,000 blockchain professionals.

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