This report profiles technologies with transformative potential to serve both sides of the labor market—and boost the career prospects for millions of American workers.

New JFF Report Highlights Companies Pioneering Technology for Career Navigation

Published sep. 29, 2020
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BOSTON (SEPTEMBER 29, 2020) – JFF, a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, today released the fourth report in its series of market scans—this one focused on emerging career navigation technologies designed to help working adults successfully identify, select, and prepare for new career opportunities. The pioneering study, Career Navigation Technology 2020, highlights companies deploying new technologies to help frontline workers navigate the complex world of career search and planning and address the recruitment, hiring, and talent development needs of employers.

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Against the backdrop of unprecedented labor market volatility, the experience of searching for a new career is too often chaotic, confusing, and difficult to navigate. This is particularly true for low-income workers who could expand their career opportunities through access to information and social networks that create a leg up in this economy. This report profiles technologies with transformative potential to serve both sides of the labor market, to simplify and improve the career navigation experience, and boost the career prospects for millions of American workers.

Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF

The report, which also identifies opportunities for further investment and innovation, was produced by JFFLabs, a team within JFF that designs and scales new technology-enabled approaches to promoting economic advancement. JFF’s report comes at a time when more than 30 million Americans remain unemployed in the wake of a global pandemic that has brought entire industries to a standstill, with economists also estimating that more than 40 percent of layoffs may become permanent job losses.

In the report, JFF announced its “Innovators to Watch” in the career navigation market, a list of 18 companies—all founded in the past 11 years—poised to address a wide range of career search, planning, and recruitment needs across industries. To assemble the list, JFFLabs reviewed more than 1,000 companies of all sizes and at all stages of growth focused on recruiting, employment, and career planning, and assessed them based on innovation, the efficacy of their offerings, and ability to contribute to social impact. Here are the “Innovators to Watch” (in alphabetical order):

  • Blendoor, a people analytics platform used to improve hiring and mitigate unconscious bias
  • Career Karma, a platform that matches workers with training programs and a community of peers
  • Career Explorer by Sokanu, a career assessment platform based on users’ interests and experiences
  • Drafted, a referral-based recruiting tool that leverages company networks that has launched a new platform for workers displaced in the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Eightfold, an artificial intelligence platform for talent acquisition and management
  • Fairygodboss, an online career advice and networking community for women
  • Fuel50, an AI-powered platform that matches employees to internal career opportunities, vacancies, and gig assignments based on their skills and talents
  • Good&Co, an assessment tool that matches workers with ideal roles based on culture and fit
  • Jobcase, a platform that provides access to jobs, career networking, tips and advice
  • Jobwell, a task management tool for the job search
  • Landit, a career development platform that offers workers recommended actions, resources, and other supports
  • Mentor Spaces, a virtual mentorship platform for workers from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • MyBestBets, a platform that helps guide low-income young people to high-value education and training pathways
  • PAIRIN, a service that matches individuals to personalized career exploration, hiring, and professional development options by measuring and developing users’ soft skills
  • Steady, a platform that connects workers to jobs and also provides financial services and advice
  • StellarEmploy, a high-volume recruiting and staffing solution
  • Traitify, a system that uses image-based personality assessments to improve hiring and talent development
  • YouScience, a service for young adults that helps users create accurate career profiles that tap into their natural strengths and aptitudes

According to research compiled in the report, more than $16 billion was invested in human resources technology ventures in the past five years, and more than $6.7 billion in venture capital invested in HR technology businesses went to career navigation companies in 2019 alone. JFF’s scan is designed to help employers, investors, and entrepreneurs better understand this maze of career navigation technologies. The report offers a new framework that assesses products based on their ability to help workers explore options, connect to career opportunities, position themselves for successful employment, and develop social capital while on the job.

Career Navigation Technology 2020 is funded by Walmart Foundation, and sponsored by Tyton Partners, an investment banking and strategy consulting firm exclusively focused on the global knowledge markets. For more information on JFFLabs and its market scans, visit