SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal

Recruiting Startup of the Year Nominee: Joonko

Companies can now address diversity and inclusion challenges using AI. Joonko, named for Junko Tabe the first woman to summit Mt Everest, is a platform that acts in real-time to identify and solve workplace bias as it happens.

The Joonko story began in 2016 when CEO and founder Ilit Raz decided, after 13 years in tech, it was time to change the way people work – especially when it came to addressing bias.

Meet the companies vying for the title of Recruiting Startup Of The Year (RSOTY) at Hiring Success 18, in San Francisco, March 12-14. Register here!  Your vote determines which six are flying to California to pitch their ideas to 1000+ Talent Acquisition leaders and puts them in the running for the grand prize.

One of these six will be selected by a group of C-Suite experts and industry analysts for the ultimate prize of a Gold Sponsorship to Hiring Success 19, worth $10,000, which includes a branded booth and dedicated demo-room for potential customers to interact with their product.

As a woman in tech, Ilit Raz is all too familiar with the unconscious, and conscious, bias that comes along with being part of an underrepresented group in a professional setting so she dedicated herself to putting an end to those unacceptable attitudes.

Give us the elevator pitch for your company.

We’re solving diversity and inclusion challenges using artificial intelligence while delivering measurable results that can move the needle for our customers.

Joonko is a real-time diversity and inclusion coach for companies, which can identify unconscious (or conscious) bias events as they happen and help your employees and managers to overcome them immediately.

Any thoughts on 2017 as a landmark year for awareness surrounding sexual harassment?

Campaigns like #metoo and #timesup have revealed the prevalence of sexual harassment in almost every industry including tech. There is an undeniable need for comprehensive solutions, like Joonko, to help HR/Talent leaders check and eliminate these biases and harassment – unconscious or conscious.

What lead you to create an inclusion and diversity tool?

I started in tech at the age of 18 and the bias I experienced was extremely isolating. I truly thought I was the only one who felt excluded, and it was extremely frustrating. Of course, through the years I found that these negative experiences were a problem in most workplaces and that’s when I decided I needed to do something about them. I didn’t want anyone else to experience what I went through.

How do you envision your idea changing the talent acquisition landscape?

We tackle the ‘pipeline problem’ when it comes to diversity and inclusion hiring. The ‘pipeline problem’ is the idea that a company can’t achieve diversity goals because there aren’t enough qualified candidates applying outside of their usual demographic. On average we are able to improve candidate representation by at least 12-24 percent in the first 90 days, which shows bias is usually the problem not a lack of candidates.

What’s the role of technology in hiring?

Rather than fearing a future where technology replaces you, learn how to leverage your tools to become a better recruiter. Tech speeds us up, measures our work, and helps us see patterns – just those three things can amplify your recruiting 10 fold.  




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