Jibe Dominates First-Ever HRTech Hackathon

Jibe Dominates First-Ever HRTech Hackathon

Mike Roberts

Last week, HRTech hosted its first-ever hackathon in Las Vegas. In addition to Jibe, competitors included Salesforce, ADP, SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone, and Ultimate Software. Each team was given 48 hours leading up to Tuesday afternoon to design and then build brand-new solutions that address real HR and business challenges.

By applying modern web practices widely used in advertising and eCommerce applications to the realm of recruiting, the Jibe Hackathon team’s “Purple Squirrel Finder” stole the show.

In this post, we’ll discuss the product’s ideation and its function more in depth, as well as its connection to why recruiters need to start seeing candidate experience through the eyes of job seekers.

The Winning Innovation: Purple Squirrel Finder

Tasked with quickly developing something new that could drive real change in the HR space, we put together a diverse team of some of Jibe’s best engineers: John Hatcher, Hunter Powers, Boris Kozak, and Shamir Saddler (left to right, below).

A few ideas were thrown around, but the Jibe team quickly decided to highlight the core competency of Jibe, incorporating elements of consumer user experiences into the candidate experience on career sites. In just a few hours, the Purple Squirrel Finder was in the works.

So many of today’s leading companies still offer an outdated, ATS-forward candidate experience, while candidates who used to just “deal with it” are losing patience. Jibe already adds a layer of consumer-quality technology on top of this outdated experience, but the Purple Squirrel Finder showed how companies could take that a step further.

The Purple Squirrel Finder was essentially a personalization engine for career sites. For years, the Ad Tech industry has been leveraging personalization to deliver more contextualized ads to consumers wherever they are. The Purple Squirrel Finder followed that strategy, only for career sites.

In marketing and advertising, personalization has proven to drastically increase click through rates and conversions. The Jibe team made this the focal point of their product, showing what it would look like for our demo career site Morton Financial to target HR professionals right from the HRTech conference.

purple squirrel recruiting tool
In another example, the team showed what it would be like for someone coming from the Harvard campus to the Bank of America careers site—getting a pop up message about how a high number of Harvard graduates work there.

Lots of influencers and practitioners in the crowd seemed excited about personalization and contextualization added to an already modern-looking career site:

But it was the poll results that highlighted the feelings of the almost 500-person crowd:

recruiting hackathon results at hrtech
You can play around with the demo here.

Candidate Experience Through the Eyes of Job Seekers

We were excited to beat out some of the HR technology industry’s giants, but more important was the opportunity to get the crowd thinking of candidate experience from the perspective of job seekers. A while back, we asked recruiters when the last time they went through their own candidate experience was, and the results were concerning.

We’ve spent months trying to raise awareness of the fact that the first step to improving your candidate experience is by personally going through it. If you read our Seize Their Moment series with our characters Nick and Zoey, then you’re well aware of that.

In the case of Nick, a more-than qualified analytics manager, who was passively searching for a new job and getting frustrated with the process, imagine how much more likely a company would have been to convert him into an applicant if they had been using something like The Purple Squirrel Finder—treating him like the consumer that he was.

Technology may not be the only answer to improving candidate experience, but reliance on outdated IT is one of the biggest culprits for the gaps between consumer and candidate experiences. Fixing that problem could be the driver behind your competitive advantage. And the longer you continue with “what’s worked in the past,” the more behind you’re falling.

During his presentation at the hackathon, Jibe’s Senior Director of Engineering, Boris Kozak (shown below), posed a few questions to the crowd.

boris kozak engineer at jibe
He said, “What if you could know who was coming to your careers site? What company they work for, what college they’re associated with? Where in the country they’re located? What if you could deliver the perfect message to that candidate at the exact moment they visit your careers site?”

The real question is, why can’t you do those things? Play around with our demo career site to move a step closer to that answer. You can request a demo at the bottom of that page for one of our experts to show you a deeper dive of the product.

Interested in learning more about improving your candidate experience? Download this free toolkit!

candidate experience toolkitcareer site assessment


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