How to recruit candidates who are underrepresented in the labor market

Two Israeli startups believe they’ve cracked the code to attract more underrepresented candidates — women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans — into the job market.

Yet the two companies, TaTiO and Joonko, use very different methodologies.

TaTiO has developed a set of online simulations that a candidate must complete and pass before being presented with relevant positions listed on TaTiO’s job board.

Joonko essentially “recycles” candidates who were nearly hired by a company, ultimately lost to another job seeker, but have a lot to offer the right employer.

TaTiO standardizes the rules of the game

TaTiO (formerly Skillset) was founded by two women – Maya Huber and Mor Panfil – who had worked in human resources for 13 years. Nir Familiar joined them as CTO of the company.

How to recruit candidates who are underrepresented in the labor market
The founders of TaTiO Nir Familiar, Maya Huber and Mor Panfil. Photo courtesy of TaTiO

“Clients have contacted us to find jobs that had a resume that was full of gaps or that didn’t represent their skills because they had changed careers or there was a change in the market,” Huber told ISRAEL21c. . “The bottom line is that their resumes don’t reflect what they can do.”

The problem, according to Huber, is that “so many solutions still rely on resumes.”

Huber knows this from his own experience.

Even though she has a doctorate and 15 years of HR experience, “no one will consider me for a role like ‘product manager’. They don’t understand relevance. There are so many people like me. Why should a company fail me as a qualified candidate? »

TaTiO’s simulations are fit for the job. So candidates interviewing for a sales rep position will go through a simulation where they enter a CRM (customer relationship management) tool and attempt to close three deals while interacting with potential customers. TaTiO’s software tracks candidates’ progress online.

“We collect 150 data points on a person’s performance,” says Huber. “The candidate then receives a report” which can help him improve next time.

The software not only looks at what a candidate types during the simulation, but also analyzes audio and video — all anonymously, Huber points out. “We don’t do any facial recognition video analysis.” Natural Language Processing (NLP) converts audio to text.

How to recruit candidates who are underrepresented in the labor market
Sample TaTiO report, courtesy of TaTiO

If a candidate does not pass the simulation, TaTiO may suggest a job in a different field, as well as other simulations that last five to 30 minutes.

Once a position is presented and the candidate clicks the button to advance, the process continues on the employer’s website.

Before choosing a simulation, a candidate doesn’t see job titles, but “opportunities,” says Huber, describing TaTiO as “an array of work experiences.”

From a business perspective, TaTiO is B2B – their customers are employers who pay an annual fee to guarantee that a certain number of slots will be held for the available jobs of this company.

How to recruit candidates who are underrepresented in the labor market
Maya Huber and Mor Panfil of TaTiO. Photo courtesy of TaTiO

TaTiO targets candidates for entry-level, blue-collar, permanent, or volume hiring positions, “the kind that don’t normally advertise on LinkedIn,” says Huber.

“When the volume is higher, the impact is greater,” says Huber. “These markets are really lacking candidates.”

TaTiO’s platform is fully automated, “no humans are involved,” notes Huber. “We only intervene if a job seeker asks questions.”

Huber launched TaTiO in 2019 and the company raised $5 million. The product is currently an “open beta” with approximately 12 paying customers. The service is only available in the United States, although the company has conducted a test for Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Human Services to hire more people with disabilities.

Covid has impacted TaTiO’s business – how could it not have been otherwise with so many people out of work or working from home? “A lot of people were forced to change careers,” Huber says. “They have great skills, but their resume says they are unqualified.”

Huber’s bottom line: “I get up every morning and I want to change the world, create a workforce where people are hired based on their skills. It’s a new paradigm.

Joonko – chasing the silver medalists

Joonko focuses on “silver medalists”, people who have interviewed at a company and come close to being selected.

They are highly qualified and shortlisted candidates and, says Ilit Raz, CEO of Joonko, they deserve another chance at another company. This is how Joonko hopes to help underrepresented candidates rise to the top.

Raz and his team first ask companies for a list of their “silver medalists” to present to other Joonko clients. In return, these companies gain access to other silver medalists beyond their own databases.

How to recruit candidates who are underrepresented in the labor market
Joonko CEO Ilit Raz. Photo courtesy of Joonko

“Let’s say you applied to Nike for a marketing manager position but didn’t get the job. But you might be good for Adidas,” Raz told ISRAEL21c.

Raz discovered the market opportunity for Joonko “by accident,” she says.

“We were trying to hire a data scientist. One of our investors realized how difficult it was to find a woman for such a role and said, “For all the women you don’t hire, send them to me. They hired four or five people that way. I thought, “We can do this on a large scale. She wasn’t working for us but someone else wanted her, so it was a win/win and everyone was happy.

This realization has been lucrative: Joonko has raised $38 million since launching six years ago. The company now employs 40 people in Tel Aviv and New York. Raz divides his time between the two offices.

Unlike TaTiO, which has a consumer-facing website to attract applicants, Joonko is exclusively for its corporate clients and operates behind the scenes.

Like TaTiO, Joonko’s product is subscription-based rather than pay-for-success. The price depends on how many jobs a company has to offer, but Raz points out that’s a lot less than posting a job on LinkedIn.

Raz adds that 10% of applicants in Joonko’s database are veterans.

Joonko works with 150 companies, has 500,000 candidates in its database, and places around 200-300 people in jobs each month. It focuses solely on the United States, where the Black Lives Matter movement “really pushed us forward,” Raz says.

Joonko also differentiates itself from TaTiO by not specifically targeting blue-collar workers.

“If it’s a store manager or a warehouse manager, we’re not the answer,” says Raz. “We take care of everything behind a desk: HR, marketing, customer success.”

What about these names?

We couldn’t let Huber and Raz go without asking about their unusual company names.

TaTiO takes its name from El Tatio, a geothermal field with many geysers located in the Andes of northern Chile.

“It’s indicative of the volume of applicants we’re attracting,” says Huber, “even if in the end, TaTiO is a pretty name. In five years, we hope everyone will know.

Joonko is named after Junko Tabei, a Japanese mountaineer who in 1975 became the first woman to summit Mount Everest.

“We wanted something inspiring but not something that everyone immediately understands,” Raz notes. “His relentless perseverance reminds us that no challenge is too great to overcome.”

As for Joonko’s spelling change, Raz simply explains that “we didn’t want people to call us ‘trash’.”

More here for more information on TaTiO and here for more information on Joonko.

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