▲ ▼ Challenge platform for non tech graduates
There are number of platforms for tech graduates to show their skills via hackathon, competition to get recruited. But there are no such platform for a non tech graduate or for someone who has non technical skills in general such as agriculture, cooking, sales, marketing, accounting, communication, research, writing, travel, fashion, art, design (non-digital) etc. to showcase their skills for getting recruited.
I think its high time cookathons, saleathons, writeathons etc. for non-tech fields is conducted to connect the skilled with those who are looking for them. My wishful thinking is that this should encourage even those without proper degree or formal education in those fields should be encouraged to participate if they have necessary skills.
This sounds like a true problem, but one reason for why this hasn't been taken up or solved yet could be because the majority of those who are facing this problem are jobless and entrepreneurship is the last thing which comes to mind when someone is not having any money.
hi jobseeker, is there anyway we can discuss this outside of this platform? I have some things to share that might interest you. Let me know.
Sorry, The reason I posted here was because is that the problem of non-tech people unable to showcase their skills in a competitive way is huge and should be discussed in public.
Please share what you might want to share in this discussion, as you can see several others have added valuable feedback and we doing a private discussion would not be fair.
oh well thats sad, I just wanted to see if you wanted to partner up before I take off with this, It was for my own peace of mind that I had reached out...thanks.
MindSumo.com (business, writing, marketing, research) is somewhat like this as is Eyeka (for design) and they both tried the job angle much more heavily in the past in the past. The problem was that companies never bought into the concept so they had to pivot heavily.
One of the big problems is that for every undiscovered gem, 100 people who enter are absurdly unskilled. MindSumo entries were all public at one point for portfolio creation and the quality of most of them was terrible. You could easily spend hours reading entries without finding ones that were even of passable quality. You will absolutely get a couple of stellar entries out of a MindSumo challenge, but you have to find them from among the rubbish.
The other challenge is that the successful people on the sites are also conventionally successful people. Examine the leaderboard and you find a group of people with many other accomplishments to their names who can get past traditional resume screening. MindSumo has not proven that a wide pool of candidates with otherwise weak on-paper backgrounds exists. It is another feather in the cap of people with already strong backgrounds.
I appreciate the resources and also sharing your reasoning on why they didn't work.
https://www.mindsumo.com/ seems to be targeted towards corporates over potential employees, as you say it might be because the latter didn't work. https://en.eyeka.com/ seems more focussed, although limited to designers.
Evaluation seems to be the biggest problem in creating challenge platforms for non-tech people akin to hakathons for tech. In Tech, all it takes is to launch the challenge, submit the project, evaluate(which is easier, aided by automations).
How can we create a evaluation metric for non-tech challenges, which makes hosting challenges easier?
It was a full out recruitment platform many years ago. https://www.cnet.com/news/mindsumo-the-x-prize-of-hiring/
It would be sufficient for evaluation to just throw out obviously low-quality entries. About 80% of people who apply for any given job are not qualified for it. 80% of Mindsumo entries are garbage. It would be a major improvement just to throw out those applications. A journalism checker might just toss any applications which have more than 5 spelling errors.
Just as a demo about the quality of entries for these things, look at all the ones people are accidentally putting their answers in the comments. Notice how many people copied the same answer at the top of the comments and tried to submit it. https://www.mindsumo.com/contests/c19-impact-food-companies
The evaluation metric is going to be business specific. I'm not really sure what most jobs require an applicant to know.
Thinking more about the low quality entries problem, I wonder how tech challenges handle them - https://www.hackerearth.com/challenges/hackathon/ ; because it doesn't seem to be filtered with automation like I previously thought.
Perhaps may be it's because the amount of work involved to submit an entry is itself a barrier? Then again it should be case with several other categories e.g. say Art and entries should submit a video of them painting (or) like you said grammar could be a great filter for anything involving content writing.
I also do the hackathons. Most hackathons are designed to require a two-minute pitch so you quickly get a sense of what may be good and what is probably not that great. 2 minutes is under the 5 minutes it takes to read one page for a Mindsumo challenge for example.
The amount of work to submit a competitive entry is indeed a barrier. Most hackathons require 18-36 hours of straight coding (no sleep and take your food back to your computer) which again is well over a Mindsumo. A hackathon is your entire weekend, so if you do them, you probably love to code anyway.
There are also so many tech competitions that if anything, they have trouble finding people to enter them. The number of artists is comparatively higher.
I agree, I guess submission for a tech hackathon itself seems to be a great filter. But, I feel employers recruiting non-tech people for various jobs still would like to have the best among the lot and so there must definitely be a need, it's not like a non-tech job is sub-par; It's just the filtration and grading process is itself a huge problem like you mentioned.
I hope this gets addressed soon.
There are many options if you look at beyond the obvious, at least for some of these fields. Nowadays there are many self-publishing platform and different avenues for one to showcase your knowledge. A few possibilities:
- Agriculture, cooking ==> create article/video tutorials, search reddit forums for questions that people are asking, volunteer to write guest posts at blogs like MarksDailyApple
- Writing, fashion, art, travel ==> Start publishing and/or create lookbook. It seems that the founder of Glossier did just that and gained a following. Artists of the world, Patreon can be your resume.
- Photography ==> take some great photos, publish on Unsplash
- Sales, marketing, accounting, communication, research, writing ==> Quora, HackerNews, ProductHunt to engage the community + topic in your areas of expertise. Answer people's questions on reddit (the high-quality questions). How about start working on some projects at freelancing sites to sharpen skills, build portfolio, while gaining some income? Also, how about answering questions on Needgap? 😉
Thanks, those were useful suggestions.
All of them are ways to showcase individual talent albeit non-tech examples, yet the need gap I mentioned is that there aren't many hackathon like events for non-tech skills, may be industry leaders from the categories you have mentioned should start one.
Interesting. Will spend the night thinking of that. A couple of questions that come to my mind right now:
How would you determine if someone accomplished a challenge?
What about cheating?
Cooking etc do only work when physically present in my mind. Do you have an idea for that?
I don't think validation is a bottleneck, the real effort would be to get industry which employs non-tech people and skilled non-tech candidates under one roof for a hackathon like event.
Coding competitions have been there for several decades in almost every decent university across the world. Once they started to bring in employers and skilled candidates under one roof with a catchy branding like 'Hackathon, techathon etc.' it became very successful.
It's high time we do the same in non-tech space.
I think validation should be more or less same as what's happening with tech hackathons. I guess physical presence becomes mandatory for non tech hackathons, but then again most hackathon's final rounds require physical presence as well.
Agree about the validation if done in presence. I was thinking of a remote way to do that. For example, you don't need to go to a hackathon to proof you skills. Could as well build a portfolio of apps / websites / etc. from home.
I can only speak about Germany but everything here is bureaucratics and you need offical degrees, issued by the chamber of commerce or a certified party, to work in certain jobs - this is especially true for low-paying jobs.
For a lot of high-paying jobs university degrees are required by your employer, but not by law. Thus tech hackathons are a legit way to recruit because all you need are your skills. Cooking is pretty much the only area I have in mind right now.
>Could as well build a portfolio of apps / websites / etc. from home
OP is talking about non-tech, there are numerous ways to showcase talent for tech. Non-tech has a huge need gap for platforms which enable them to showcase their talent.
I know he is talking about non-tech... The portfolio was an example where you can show your tech skills remotely.
As you said, the effort is to get industry and candidates under one roof. It would be easier if you could do it remotely, thereby decreasing the costs for all participants.
Showing your tech portfolio is basically zero cost - you just send them your link. Showing you're a good cook is not.
I still think the idea is good, but that makes it a tough business case. More a possible recruiting strategy for mid to high paying jobs in my opinion.
I would like to differ, I think platforms where non-tech candidates can showcase their skills has huge need gap due to rising unemployment, weakening economy throughout the world and hence large business opportunity in addressing it.
Found this on Reddit, sounds similar.