The Tech Talent Charter’s Diversity & Inclusion Hackathon 2021, Sponsored by Spinks

Technology, Leadership, Talent Retention...


The Tech Talent Charter’s Diversity & Inclusion Hackathon 2021, Sponsored by Spinks

Topic: How to drive Diversity and Inclusion within a Start-up and Scale-up Environment

Teams: 4 teams from varying backgrounds including senior talent partners and advisors from Bought By Many, Ovo Energy, Financial Times and more.

The Challenges to be answered: How to Cultivate an Inclusive Culture, How to Reward & Retain Talent, How Best to Access Tech Talent and, How Best to Assess Talent

What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is typically an event which brings computer programmers and developers together to solve a challenge. Traditionally, by the end of the event, they will have produced a software programme as a solution to the obstacle(s) they were set.

Over the years, hackathons have evolved and in the case of the Tech Talent Charter’s hackathon, the aim was to pull from varying experienced backgrounds to help provide advice for the start-up and scale-up sectors on several aspects of the Diversity and Inclusion agenda.

Ultimately, 4 presentations were compiled (1 from each team), highlighting specific detail on how to approach each area of the Diversity and Inclusion agenda and, any tools our start-up and scale-up friends should consider using.

“Hearing from our friends in the start-up and scale-up space, we know that this hackathon dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion is much needed. We hope it will give them the support they have said they need.”

Debbie Forster, MBE and CEO, Tech Talent Charter

“Knowing how to create an inclusive culture is so important to many of Spinks’ clients, many of them have told us, this area and how to approach it well, keeps them awake at night. So, the work which has been done as part of this hackathon is invaluable.”

Robin Beattie, MD, Spinks

Team 1 Challenge – How to Cultivate an Inclusive Culture

“We approached this challenge by setting up a weekly meeting between us all, given we all work for different organisations with varying and differing schedules, that was our first hurdle to get over. We however, quickly got into a routine.

We then kick-started things with a draft slide deck on Culture and D&I and used that as our beginning point – each person took ownership of a section of the slide deck and updated it by drawing from their experiences from within their own organisations.

This helped us to pull from varying and many real-life examples of what an inclusive culture means and tips on how to approach culture well and bring your whole self to work.”

Kiffey Dalvi, Programme Manager, Centrica

Access the Open Playbook to view Team 1’s employer product (then navigate to 1.1.18 Startup and Scaleup Environments)

Team 2 Challenge –  How to Reward and Retain Talent

“Our area focussed on rewards and retentions and trying to really help start-up and scale-ups understand where they are in this journey and how to improve from that point.

So, we started off by identifying or setting a criteria to establish whether an organisation is indeed a start-up, scale-up or SME and, then, what they could look at doing from a rewards and retention perspective based on the resources these sets typically have.

We also looked at defining the difference between rewards and retention and what each typically means when considered against a start-up, scale-up or SME background. So, for example, there is a lot of research out there which suggests and, drawing from our own experiences, we know, that start-ups tend to typically have a higher rate of churn and, SMEs by contrast, have dedicated HR support meaning, their retention is better.

Also, we typically know that start-ups are lighter in terms of rewards and, that founders, could ideally put more focus on their people in this sense, as well as their investors.”

Gori Yahaya, Founder and CEO of Upskill Digital

Access the Open Playbook to view Team 2’s employer product (then navigate to 1.1.18 Start-up and Scale-up Environments)

Team 3 Challenge –  How to Best Access Tech Talent

“We started off slightly wobbly however, by meeting 2 we got into a rhythm and everything came together. We managed to break down ‘how to access top talent’ into four key areas: adverts, tech tools, budgeting, and employer branding.

For each area, we either came up with suggestions on how to improve things from how they have always been done - so, for example, for adverts, lets remove terminology focused on ‘we need X number of years’ experience’ and move towards terminology which ‘defines the success for the role’ instead – or we defined a list of helpful tools our start-up and scale-up friends can use.

We also put focus on employer branding, in this day and age, candidates will research a company and look at platforms like Glassdoor so, it is important a company makes itself appealing as a place to work.”

Becky Read, Senior HR Manager, Focal Point Positioning

Access the Open Playbook to view Team 2’s employer product (then navigate to 1.1.18 Start-up and Scale-up Environments)

Team 4 Challenge –  How to Best Assess Talent

We approached our challenge by identifying all aspects of the hiring and interviewing journey. So, for example, advertising, CV sifting, cognitive assessments, etc.

We then, researched each area and established a list of tools which could help and make the process more efficient.

We also split each section of the hiring and interviewing journey into two categories – what to assess and how to assess it – and, further defined tools which could help.”

Daisy Hopkins, Innovation Programme Manager at Barclays

Access the Open Playbook to view Team 4’s employer product (then navigate to 1.1.18 Startup and Scaleup Environments)

There are over 670 UK organisations that have committed to drive measurable change in inclusion and diversity in tech by becoming a Tech Talent Charter Signatory. If your company isn’t one of them find out more here.

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