The Second Work4 Social Recruiting #Hackfest: a Recap

July 16, 2013 5:13 pm Published by Florent Bachelier

Here’s a recipe for you:

Take:

60 people

In 2 locations

Separated by 5563 miles

Add:

4 judges culled from the cream of the crop

5 prizes

Tons of coffee and Redbull

Stir thoroughly on the eve of the summer solstice…and then wait 24 hours.

And you’ll have your very own summer edition of the Work4 Hackfest!

This is the second time we’ve run such an event and, if you ask me why we keep on doing this, I’ll answer you with the same reasons as the first edition:

Here at Work4, our product roadmaps are still highly trafficked (think US 101 during rush hour!), yet our staff remains eager to come up with even more new concepts, products, and services to add to our social recruiting roadway.

It has been about 6 months since our last Hackfest, and we felt it was high time to give our creative minds another chance to “hack” their craziest ideas.

For those of you just joining us, you may be wondering exactly what a “Hackfest” is. Traditionally, it is a gathering of “techies” in competition for the purpose of creating the most impressive applications using cutting edge technologies in a limited time. At Work4, we brought in non-tech people, such as members of our HR, business development, and marketing teams to further foster creativity and cross-departmental cooperation and exchange of knowledge. We upped the ante on this particular Hackfest by running it simultaneously in our Paris and San Francisco offices. Talk about collaboration!

We began the event at 10 am by introducing the rules: “You have 24 hours to build anything related to social recruiting. To win this Summer edition Hackfest, you’ll have to convince the Jury and/or the other teams that your solution is the most creative and solves a real issue. Your goal is to win either the Jury Prize or the Public Choice Prize (or both)! We will also deliver a prize for the funniest team. You’re all set, so grab your stickers, T-shirt, summer bracelet, and hack something great!”

Here’s Marah, our Head of Recruiting, duly prepared to start this day


During the first hours, all the open spaces were filled by teams taking part in intensive brainstorming in order to choose the best idea and strategy for the upcoming hours. Matt Brown, our Co-Founder and Head of Product, spent 10 minutes with each team to discuss ideas and offer guidance if necessary. Then Nick Groleau, VP of Engineering, went to see the teams and gave them all advice for adopting proper time management strategies (so that everyone would be sure to finish on time). After this period, everybody rushed back to their keyboards for a long day and night of crafting the next social recruiting solution.

After a long brainstorm nothing is better than a sun bath coding session

Once the Hackfest was launched, the most important priority was keeping our Hackers hacking until the early morning. To do so, nothing worked better than pizzas and energy drinks.

The pizza table…always crowded!

But sometimes after lines and lines of code a power nap is necessary…

We have discovered that even business developers @Work4 were able to code…nap well deserved!

And after all those hours of hard work, we were finally ready for the final pitch. The 11 teams had 10 minutes to present what they had crafted during the previous 24 hours. I have to admit that what we came up with was quite impressive.

Guillaume, of Ads Operations, kicked us off with a very serious speech

Indeed, in this edition, the quality of products and the presentations given by our teams were above and beyond what we had imagined or expected. Since we’re already planning to launch some of the solutions developed at the last Hackfest (hint hint*), I can assert that these teams have gone pretty deep into the next big ideas around data visualization, mobile job search, and job matching tools… I just can’t wait to see recruiters and candidates’ reactions once this Hackfest’s solutions are shipped!

Stay tuned,

Florent

PS The names of our winning teams were:

Public Prize: Team Y No Ear

Jury Prize: Team HamHack

Funniest Team in Paris: Team Water Ponies

Funniest Team in SF: Team TutHACKhamun

*We can’t yet go into details, but stay tuned to our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter channels to find out the second our newest solutions are launched!

This post was written by Florent Bachelier