Over $600 billion is spent each year on recruiting activities worldwide, and yet many companies still feel their talent needs are not being met. U.S. companies spend $8,000 - $15,000 and 22-40 hours per new entry level hire, but, because they often target a small pipeline of schools, this investment of time and money does not yield the desired return. Further, companies are looking to increase their return on recruiting investment while addressing shortcomings in diversity and inclusion goals.
Many students and early career applicants want to take advantage of this high demand for their talent, but are unsure how to do so. This lack of clarity is especially acute for students from marginalized or non-traditional backgrounds. They need resources on topics like resume preparation, pitch practice, and networking tips, but don't know where to start and don't identify with generic templates currently on the market.
Upkey has created a solution to empower these students and benefit employers at the same time. Through partnerships with universities, Upkey provides high school seniors and college students with fun, interesting, and engaging learning tracks to help them cultivate a marketable professional image, show off their grit and tenacity, and emphasize their potential. For enterprises, Upkey provides a low-cost tool to reach a wider variety of applicants and remove traditional hiring biases. Each of these solutions are powered by AI engines that provide content recommendations and actionable feedback for both students and recruiters.
We are pleased to announce Tensility has invested in Upkey as a participant in their $2 million seed round led by S3 Ventures. Upkey presents a number of unique advantages over current solutions on the market: First, it creates a data-rich recruiting channel for companies to identify high-quality, diverse talent that may otherwise fall outside traditional recruiting strategies. In addition, these products provide students an alternative to the dry and one-size-fits-all approach to career development. The result is a network of engaged applicants and employers: universities use Upkey to ensure their students are prepared for recruiting while enterprises use Upkey to expand their recruiting footprint cost-effectively.
Upkey was established in Chicago, Illinois in 2014 by Amir Badr, who was previously the diversity lead at Excelon. He was inspired to start Upkey as a way of solving some of the pain he felt as an immigrant in the United States. Upkey has a vision to build an inclusive talent development service that helps students of all backgrounds become more confident and capable of achieving professional success, and we are excited to contribute to that mission.