As companies look to build a diverse workforce, the biggest problem seems to be finding candidates from historically underrepresented groups, often because companies don’t know where to look. TaTioan Israeli startup spun off from two HR veterans, has created a platform to help companies connect with candidates who have the skills, but may not have a traditional resume.
Today, the company announced a seed investment of $5.3 million.
TaTio CEO Maya Huber says she and co-founder COO Mor Panfil have more than a decade of experience running HR companies. They personally felt the frustration of trying to place people from diverse underrepresented backgrounds, and the biggest problem was getting applicants through the resume review stage.
“Every existing solution always relied on CVs as the first step for people to apply. And we thought there had to be a different path because over the years, as we worked with different kinds of underrepresented populations, we found that resumes often didn’t reflect the actual skills of a nobody,” Huber explained.
The company has developed a solution to help companies fill vacancies with qualified workers, but without traditional references. “These hidden workers are disproportionately from underrepresented groups. TaTiO sources and verifies job seekers with their AI work experience simulations and provides employers with pre-qualified candidates to interview,” she said.
The company has built a two-sided market. On the one hand, they search for candidates, then build tests that simulate the job the person is applying for. The idea is that if the person works well enough, they should be able to do the job. But the important thing is that it allows them to overcome the obstacle of recovery.
“We track candidates and engage them through tests that simulate the main tasks of the position… So if you apply for a job as a sales representative, you will have 20 minutes to close three deals. We give you the lead pipeline you need to qualify and create interactions with potential customers,” she said.
Using an underlying machine learning model, they assess candidate performance and assign a score, then match candidates to job postings with the goal of placing them in a job.
The company says these models should improve over time as they collect more data on each type of simulation. For now, the goal is to find someone who will be a perfect fit for an open job with a particular employer, but in the future, the company hopes to surface skills beyond what has been explicitly tested.
They find candidates from a variety of sources, including partnerships with NGOs and continuing education and training programs that work with disadvantaged populations.
The challenge will be to measure the results. It’s hard to know how many candidates are from underrepresented groups unless they self-identify. The hope is that by working with the companies using their service, they will be able to collect more data on the link between their diversity hiring success and the use of the TaTio platform. Huber says companies using the platform are already reporting improvements, with some increasing their diverse hiring by 25% since using TaTio.
The company currently has 16 employees, over 75% of whom are women, although it is always trying to have more women in the engineering group. They also have age diversity, with some employees over 50 and others early in their careers. So they try to practice what they preach in terms of diversity.
Today’s round was led by Mensch Capital Partners and Cresson Management, with assistance from Cerca Discovery, Tau Ventures Ltd., Techstars, GoodCompany and a number of other angel investors.