Workey, a recruitment-focused startup that promises to help millennials find a career, has raised $8 million in a series A round of funding led by PICO Partners and Magma VC.
Founded out of Israel in 2015, Workey’s artificial intelligence-powered platform serves to compare a user’s skills and employment history with those of other users, and recommends potential career moves accordingly. But this isn’t strictly about finding a new job here and now — the platform cloaks a user’s real identity to enable them to “passively” investigate new opportunities without anyone (e.g. their current employer) finding out. It also opens the door to introductions by suggesting good matches between companies and prospective employees.
Using AI and comparative analytics, Workey presents employees with positions that may be relevant to them — roles they may not have previously considered or known about. They are also encouraged to connect their social networks with Workey to help establish any existing connections at companies they are matched with. The companies can then contact a potential candidate who can decide whether to reveal their full identity.
In effect, Workey gives companies access to a passive “potential” workforce that isn’t actively seeking new jobs, while also allowing workers to keep their finger on the pulse of the job market.
Though Workey focuses on recruitment for technology companies, many of the positions are in non-technical areas, such as business development, marketing, sales, and customer support.
The story so far
Workey opened to companies in Israel in early 2016, before launching in private beta in the U.S. back in February. Up until now, Workey has been liaising with U.S. companies remotely from its base in Tel Aviv, but with $8 million in its coffers Workey recently opened a New York hub, where it’s currently hiring.
Today also marks the official public launch of Workey in the U.S. market, where it has already been working with a number of notable names, including Amazon, Yahoo, Dell, Oracle, Nielsen, and Cisco.
“In a candidate-driven market, Yahoo always strives for innovative approaches to recruitment, and Workey has proved to be an invaluable service,” said Yahoo recruitment manager Omri Perek. “The smart recommendations and quality introductions facilitated by Workey, combined with its easy to use and welcoming platform, has enabled us to fill multiple positions with ideal candidates.”
Recruitment marketplaces have proven to be ripe for investment over the past year or so: Shiftgig raised $20 million to connect employers with short-term workers, Job Today grabbed $20 million to bring its 24-hour recruitment platform to the U.S., The Muse nabbed $16 million to grow its recruitment service for millennials, Jobandtalent wolfed down $42 million, and Jobbio raised $5.6 million.
In some ways, Workey is similar to Hired — a recruitment platform that closed out its Series C funding round at $70 million late last year — insofar as it flips the hiring process on its head by enabling companies to apply to hire or interview candidates, rather than vice versa. But with a firm focus on anonymity and “passive” job-hunting, Workey is looking at the recruitment problem through a slightly different lens.
“Far too often, people leave one job for another without clear direction and without necessarily supporting their long-term aspirations,” said Workey CMO Danny Shteinberg. “Unlike job sites, Workey does not merely aim to find people a job; our aim is to help people take steps that build a career by providing a true reading of the job market and an individual’s potential.”