The algorithm automatically finds job opportunities for minority “silver medalists”.
Thousands of people from underrepresented minorities are finding work, thanks to an automated AI system.
technology developed Junkoan Israeli startup, scans a database of job applicants for American Express, Nike, Walmart, Booking.com, Adidas, Paypal and many other global companies.
It identifies minority “silver medalists”—those who have come close to a job but haven’t been entirely successful—and finds similar job vacancies for them to apply for at other companies.
Since 2021, I’ve helped 250 applicants find jobs every month in the United States.
“We basically help companies find underrepresented minorities with an automated solution,” says Elite Raz, founder and CEO of Joonko.
“Most companies spend many hours manually searching for under-represented candidates, if they know how to leverage these pools – and most don’t.”
The platform was created in 2016 to connect highly qualified and underrepresented candidates with global companies that care about diversity. They don’t have to lift a finger. Joonko has access, with permission, to applicant tracking systems and automatically searches for opportunities across all companies it works with.
The company, which is based in Tel Aviv, is named after Junko Tabei, the Japanese mountaineer who became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, in 1975. Raz says her perseverance shows them there is no challenge too great for them to overcome.
Joonko is connected to companies’ applicant tracking systems, and databases that receive thousands of applications per month. When it identifies a shortlisted candidate from an underrepresented group (women, people of color, or veterans) who didn’t make the cut, it reaches out to them and asks if they want to join the platform.
If those silver medalists say yes, Joonko analyzes the pool of companies you sign up to see if there are any suitable job postings, and automatically emails them personalized job recommendations twice a week.
Joonko’s talent pool is only open to professional individuals from underrepresented groups who are referred to the platform by one of its partner companies.
“The nature of the platform creates a situation where the company, which is the demand, brings supply with them,” Raz tells NoCamels. “It’s just a supply they don’t need that other companies might want to look into.”
“We only focus on underrepresented minorities, which no other platform does. The other thing is the ‘product’ itself. All candidates have silver medals, which means they’ve made it to the last two steps of the recruitment process.
“Since they didn’t win that opportunity, they were invited to our pool, and they could potentially get a chance to another company. So, basically, everyone in the group is an underrepresented minority, highly qualified, pre-screened candidate.”
Joonko is able to reach these candidates by connecting to its partner companies’ applicant tracking systems, and software manages the hiring process by screening thousands of resumes.
Companies pay a subscription fee based on the amount of jobs they have. So small companies with 10 open positions will pay less than companies with 2,000.
“We analyze every candidate who doesn’t get an offer, and try to understand their gender, ethnicity, and veteran status using algorithms that we developed in-house. Once we do, we can guide them and determine whether or not they are relevant to the pool,” she says.
“We connect these systems and get access to them so that when you get rejected, we understand if you’re a silver medalist and have all your information,” Raz says.
“So we can analyze your demographics, identify the job you were rejected from so we can move forward and match you with a similar job.”
Other than the importance of spreading tolerance, diversity benefits companies in many ways. Search It shows time and time again that companies that are racially and gender diverse are more likely to outperform their peers, and that companies with women on the board of directors statistically outperform their peers over an extended period of time.
However, whites still make up the majority of the workforce in the United States 77 percent. Joonko is working to change this statistic by increasing diversity among global companies.
“I really wanted to create a solution that was interesting enough from a technological perspective, but also solves the problem of underrepresented minorities in the workplace,” says Raz.
Over the past two years, Joonko’s sales have grown by 500 percent.
“I think it all started from the movement that started after the death of George Floyd, in 2020, that started to force companies to be more transparent. And with that transparency, they have to get better.”
Joonko says that the average business leveraging its platform sees a 25 percent increase in under-represented candidates in their recruitment funnel (the series of stages through which a candidate’s consideration for employment progresses), and hires one in six of the candidates sourced from during the platform.
Within the platform, 97 percent of candidates identify as underrepresented in the workforce — 68 percent are women or non-binary, 32 percent are Black, and 21 percent are Hispanic (a person of American descent/descent) Latin).