Why you should go for an online hackathon for your next software developer hire?

Hiring the best and brightest software engineer is becoming one of the biggest challenges for many companies and startups, as there are more software developer openings than qualified people to fill them, according to the research from the app association there are 223,000 job openings for software developers in the US alone while the demand for applications predicted to grow three times by 2020.

With hiring challenges such as lack of experience, technical skills and software skills (workplace experience), and high salary demand, we have to ditch the old-school and replace it with more innovative and up-to-date methods to attract the right talents.

Here are 6 main reasons why you should consider online hackathons and coding challenges for your next hire:


1. Attract qualified candidates: Hackathons and coding challenges attract aspiring talents looking for a dynamic organization that values innovation and collaboration, talents who are up for a real-life challenge and aren’t afraid to tap into a competitive space to show their skills and bring what they have to the table.

2. Asses your candidates’ problem-solving skills, how they see real-time problems and the steps they take to tackle them is as important as the final solution they reach.

3. Test teamwork and collaborative skills, since online hackathons allow for working in teams, you can assess skills that can be very hard to test through interviews or home assignments like leadership and teamwork.

4. Working under pressure, since online hackathons are tied with a limited timeline, you get to test who can endure extended hours of intensive work to solve a certain problem when needed.

5. It’s efficient yet flexible! based on your timeline and resources, you get to choose the scale, ranging from a coding challenge that only takes a few hours, to a hackathon which takes from a few days to a few weeks. It is worth mentioning here that it has been observed that the recruitment time is cut down by almost 80% in hackathons

6. Evaluate accurately based on a set of predefined skills, giving scores based on all of the previously mentioned criteria rather than just the final output.


To conclude, many companies are moving towards online hackathons to reach the right talent as it is a cost-effective and time-efficient method, especially when using a dedicated platform to run the whole thing, you can pick a convenient software based on your budget and the kind of support you are looking for.

We encourage you to try your first experience with online hackathons and share with us how it went!

You can check out Untap Compete solutions here.

Your Ultimate Guide to Online Competitions

Online competitions could be a very useful method to find qualified job seekers and innovators.

Think of all the ways that can make you benefit from an online competition:


  • Going for a real-life challenge. Something you face regularly. A problem you have always thought should be addressed in an innovative way. It can also be something outside your company but within your industry. It will connect you with your audience while providing you with extremely valuable insights.

  • Defining what skills this challenge should test. It has to be aligned with the set of skills you are looking for, a combination of technical and soft skills that are inevitable for a job you are trying to fill within your organization.


Organizing a successful competition can be very easy compared to the traditional process of a job posting, screening, running interviews, then evaluating and selecting.

Now let’s move to the steps you need to kick-start your next online competition.


  1. Define your goals. Is it hiring? Is it gathering a database of potential hires to consider later for physical interviews? Or maybe you are looking for a solution to adopt and a team to implement this solution as a pilot project.

  3. Define your target audience. Based on your predefined goals, start creating an applicant persona/s. A persona will help you make the right outreach plan. It will also guide you while tailoring every step to the kind of applicant you’re targeting and will ensure that the process is easy and clear to encourage them to consider then apply.

  5. Structure your competition. Make sure to include a clear timeline and duration for each phase. Also, define precise steps/scenarios from a competition organizer’s standpoint and from an applicant’s standpoint.

  7. Document the mechanics. Since each competition requires certain mechanics depending on its own nature and its previously defined structure, this step will help you figure out if any extra technicalities or offline events are needed.

  9. Build a communication and outreach plan. Include all communication messages, platforms, and tools relevant to each phase. Align them with the timeline you built before.

  11. Create a competition toolkit. State the problem background, introduce the competition concept as the solution, an overview of the target audience, include the mechanics and the winning criteria, and finally, all important dates and deadlines. Share it among your organization and onboard all concerned teams to be aligned.

  13. The Action Plan. Translate all of the above into actionable steps. Start with the announcements (in line with the communication plan). Create action steps for each stakeholder and find a suitable tool to run and manage your competition. Make sure you choose the right tool based on your competition mechanics and rounds needed at the same time at an affordable price.


Start tapping into new ideas, solutions, skills, and attract qualified candidates. If you believe your organization is the right place for bright minds and a suitable environment for adopting innovative solutions and applying new ideas, you should give competitions a go! 

Learn more about Untap’s solutions here.