Joonko raised $10M to create prequalified pools of diverse job candidates

Joonko gathers the applicants who did not win the job and makes them available to firms looking to fill positions where diversity is a priority and employs artificial intelligence to perform the sorting and matching.

Main Highlights

Joonko has secured $10 million in funding to build a pre-qualified pool of diverse employment prospects for corporate recruiters. Tel Aviv, Israel-based human resources digital firm was founded on an astonishingly basic concept. In the aftermath of Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and other social movements, many businesses are looking for diverse applicants. However, they are frequently only able to recruit one individual from a broad pool of candidates.

Joonko gathers the applicants who did not win the job and makes them available to firms looking to fill positions where diversity is a priority. It employs artificial intelligence to perform sorting and matching.

“We conceive of it as a peer-to-peer network, where firms are linked directly into their recruiting systems,” CEO Ilit Raz said. “And we are able to extract the best-underrepresented finalists who were not selected and give them to other firms in exchange for applicants from other companies. So none of the people in the pool came from employment boards, pools that we purchased, or anything of the kind. It is all of the underrepresented candidates who were prequalified by corporations and progressed to the very last steps before being rejected.”

Vertex Ventures is a venture capital firm. The financing was led by Israel, and this is Vertex’s first investment in a social justice business. Tami Bonner, a female partner at the VC company, seemed to be a good fit for Raz.

Joonko’s recruitment solution helps companies achieve their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) goals by identifying and recommending pre-qualified candidates from a variety of underrepresented sectors, saving recruiters valuable time spent sourcing, attracting, and validating relevant candidates.

According to Raz, the company’s application pool presently includes over 100,000 pre-qualified individuals from minorities and other underrepresented groups. “We believe they are underrepresented. And they are now part of a carefully nurtured pool to which everyone has access and may trade high-quality, underrepresented talent,” she explained.


How did Joonko start?

Raz served in the Israeli Army for roughly eight years before joining a handful of companies. She was used to being the lone woman at various tech firms and events, so when she discovered a group for professional tech women, she was startled. She decided to put her technological abilities to work in order to find a solution for increasing diversity in tech businesses.

“I wanted to establish a firm that was similar to Salesforce in terms of culture,” she explained. “Diversity is an important part of a company’s culture. I wanted to find a solution that would push me technically, as well as create a platform for workers to manage culture based on facts and analytics rather than gut instinct.”

For example, using Joonko’s platform makes it simpler to locate a broad range of applicants rather than just thinking that because you haven’t received any applications from such people, they don’t exist. Joonko allows businesses to share talent flows. Companies that share that talent flow can also have access to the talent database.

“There is no scarcity of talent,” Raz said. “It’s simply that most businesses aren’t sure where to seek for them.” She claims Joonko can accomplish 100 to 120 job placements every month. The firm has now grown to employ additional salesmen, with around 20 employees.

Raz discovered a method to go beyond the small Israeli market that she was familiar with in order to focus on the challenges of the larger market and, in particular, the United States. According to Raz, a lack of diversity in business is a global issue, but each country, such as the United States, has its own set of issues. She said that organizations in the United States are more openly discussing the need for additional talent as a means to thrive in business, which makes the timing of Joonko’s debut ideal.

Joonko’s Operations

Joonko interacts with partner organizations’ applicant-tracking systems to identify pre-qualified individuals and resurface them as suggested talent anywhere in the Joonko ecosystem, utilizing an AI-powered algorithm to match the talent to relevant job opportunities.

According to Deloitte’s 2020 Human Capital Trends study, a sense of belonging is a major driver of organizational performance for 93 percent of respondents. According to Boston Consulting Group research, businesses with higher-than-average diversity are more inventive, generate more money from their inventions, and are more lucrative overall.

Many businesses, especially big firms such as McDonald’s, have implemented diversity recruiting incentive schemes. Despite this, the tech sector does not appear to be making much progress in terms of inclusiveness, according to Raz.

Adidas, PayPal, American Express, Regions Bank, Atlassian, and Intuit are among Joonko’s clients. Raz aims to increase his earnings by investing in marketing. Throughout 2020, Joonko’s revenues climbed by 40% quarter on quarter, thanks in part to increasing awareness of social justice concerns.

As public opinion pushes firms to focus more on their diversity pledges, both customers and executives are placing pressure on HR directors to improve minority worker participation, with corporations offering incentives for recruiting managers who meet diversity mandates.

As previously said, Joonko provides a simple answer to a complicated problem, and AI may very well play a role in hiring more diverse employees at more firms.

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