How carsales is driving learning and innovation

by Contributor16 Oct 2018

Chloe Fast, senior people and culture business partner,, discusses the company’s L&D opportunities and how hackathons work

What are some of the employment training and development opportunities off ered by

At carsales we o­ffer a range of internal and external training and development opportunities for our people. From an internal perspective, we have a large tech workforce within our business, so we’ve run internal coding camps for our people, to engender that interest, knowledge and awareness of tech.

We also put on regular ‘expert series’ events, where thought leaders from across the business share their experiences and knowledge with other employees to help them grow professionally.

In terms of formal education, carsales also o­ffers an annual CEO Scholarship that provides a carsales team member with the opportunity to invest in their career and personal development.

Additionally, carsales supports our people who wish to attend/undertake approved external training courses and events.

Some of the most common requests we receive are to attend conferences, like TEDx, leadership courses and professional networking events.

For people starting out in their careers, this year we launched a graduate program and brought six paid business and technology graduates into the business for 18 months.

At a tertiary level, we’ve been working with Swinburne University and provided a scholarship for someone to study a computer science degree, plus we o­ffer internship opportunities for them at carsales.

For primary school-aged children, we run Kids Coding Camps during the school holidays, to introduce them to the IT industry, excite them about technology and help them pursue their interest in the field.

Can you tell us a bit about how carsales’ hackathons work?

Innovation is at the core of our carsales culture, and our bi-annual hackathons provide a valuable opportunity to bring our people from across the business together, away from the day-to-day business activities, to work with each other to generate ideas to improve carsales, help our consumers and solve business issues.

At our most recent hackathon, ideas were presented by 12 teams, and Jason Blackman, our carsales chief information officer, said he could realistically see around half of these ideas being put into production in the near future.

Earlier this year, carsales won Best Internal Innovation at the Financial Review’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies Awards, for Cyclops, an image recognition tool, which was an idea born at a recent carsales hackathon and is a great example of what can be achieved when people have the time and freedom to be innovative.

Fast fact The vast majority of large businesses in Australia (88%) have cited AI as the number one driver of business change in the next five years, according to research by Cognizant.

Chloe Fast
Senior people and culture business partner