Why Aren't You Hiring Like A Hackathon (Well today you CAN)

This week in the Human Cloud #40

“We don’t have one office anymore, we have a thousand offices for each individual employee” - Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin on This Week In Startups

Important Updates

  • 20% of current employees (10m people) are considering freelancing.

  • More than 900K jobs in the US were added in July. This means budgets are open to embrace hiring freelancers!

  • Americans renounced citizenship at a record high last year, increasing 237% from 2019. This signals the rising importance to create a global presence. No longer can only multi-national corporations tap into a diverse cloud of talent or revenue streams.


  • Traditional hiring is broken.

  • Hackathons are an ideal way to hire top talent.

  • The freelance economy is no different than a hackathon for hiring top talent.

This last week was Miami Hack week. While most hackathons mean locking yourself in a room for 24 hours, Miami Hack week was a full week of 1,000+ tech talent (PM’s, dev’s, designers) spread across 10+ mansions each sponsored by a company.

Now why would a company spend all that $$$ to sponsor a mansion?

Because traditional hiring is broken, and a hackathon is a better way to find and hire top talent.

The traditional hiring & interview process is dead. In an analog world a paper resume works good enough. Today it’s as outdated as a flip phone.

Why Do Hackathons Lead To The Best Hires?

While traditional hiring is a guessing game made for Ivy Leaguer’s or extroverts, hackathons get to the core of what makes a good hire - would you like working with this person?

Hackathons let you get in the trenches before hiring someone full time.

How Can Hiring a Freelancer Be Like A Hackathon?

Freelancers work on a project basis. For example, instead of hiring the incredible video marketer Frederik Eksteen for $120/yr (and the relevant headcount process), you can 1-click start collaborating on his below scoped offerings.

Or instead of hiring Lauren Detweiler as your head of marketing, you can hire her for the below scoped offerings.

For both Frederik and Lauren, if it works you add them to your talent cloud, renew the contract and increase responsibility. If it doesn’t…no hard feelings, freelancers are equally evaluating fit.

Freelancers work on a scoped project basis, so if you like them…renew. If you don’t…no hard feelings.

What if they stay freelancers?

They probably will (and that’s a good thing, because they can be more effective as freelancers).

There are some massive hesitations we need to shatter.

  • It’s not employee OR freelancer. Freelancers are just as much part of the team as employees.

  • Working with a freelancer is NOT like working with an agency or with a stranger. You see the white’s of each freelancers eyes, and build the relationship directly with them.

  • Freelancers are NOT freelancing because they can’t find a job. Instead they make more and can choose who and what they work on by staying independent.

And one massive bonus unique to you as a leader: There’s no poaching risk when taking freelancers with you to your next company.

For these reasons I consider freelancers partners, and I still work with partners I started working with in college.

Freelancers are trusted partners you’ll work with for the rest of your life no matter what opportunity you’re pursuing

Next Steps

  • Step 1: Hire a freelancer for one of THESE outcomes.

  • Step 2: Unlock budget. If you need help, use THIS deck to convince leadership.

Ready to fall asleep? Check out Raising The Bar, a video series we partnered with on Payoneer to dive deep into why you need to hire freelancers.