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50 Best Companies to Watch 2019

An Interview with Yoshimi Iyadomi, Ejento Founder and CEO: ‘Our Core Mission is to Help Businesspeople Meet and Collaborate with Like-Minded Entrepreneurs and Investors, and Help the Startup World Grow Faster in More Meaningful Ways’

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“Ejento is the combination of four of the most visionary firms in the industry, coming together to redefine recruitment.”

Successfully scaling a startup hinges on building the right team. A talented and dedicated team drive growth and innovation with the support of VCs, visionary leaders, and strong product teams. That is why quality hires should be consider as an investment into the company.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present Ejento.

Ejento is an end-to-end provider of talent acquisition and career development services and software for the startup era. The company enables clients – typically fast-growing Series A, Series B and Series C enterprises in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles – to hire the talent they need to execute their strategy – and empower them to best compensate, develop and motivate their organization.

Ejento is the combination of four of the most visionary firms redefining recruitment: Neohire South, specialized in tech and non-tech recruiting for top VCs and start-ups in LA; RockIT Recruiting, the best tech recruiting firm in SF Silicon Valley; Hero.jobs, a software company creating systems to power tomorrow’s elite recruiting businesses; and TS2, the US growth platform for Persol, the 6th largest Recruiting firm globally.

Ejento was incorporated in 2018 and is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Yoshimi Iyadomi,

Ejento Founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to

The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

As an entrepreneur myself, I love working with entrepreneurs—the people I hire, as well as the clients and candidates we work with. We love the startup world, where innovation is born, and contribute to it by optimizing talent demand-and-supply with everyone’s goals in mind. My core mission is to help businesspeople meet and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs and investors, and help the startup world grow faster in more meaningful ways.

My unique blend of experience comes from building a startup in Silicon Valley/Beach and learning about the global landscape from the point of view of a publicly traded firm. Knowing that the recruiting/staffing industry is behind when it comes to technology and innovation, putting us at major risk of losing shares to tech companies, my goal has always been to evangelize innovation in our industry.

Ejento combines this core mission and my industry-specific goal. I acquired RockIT and NeoHire, both recruiting firms deeply tied to the Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach VCs and startup founder communities. Together we created our new brand, ‘Ejento’.

Having a good doctor, lawyer, financial advisor, and recruiting (career development) agent are the keys to your success. Ejento recruiters are personal career development agents, offering premium high-touch service. Ejento means ‘personal agent’ in Japanese – エージェント.

Ejento offers VCs, investors, and their portfolio companies recruiting support to help grow and scale, with three unique services designed for various stages of the startup lifecycle. Our Contingency service is perfect for the early stages—including seed/series A funding. Once you are ready to scale, typically series A/B, we provide Augmented Recruiting (AR). And when a startup has outgrown the initial formation stage and needs a different type of leadership, we offer Leadership recruiting for a mature stage retained executive search.

At the same time, as I was forming Ejento, I worked with data science, engineering, and product experts from Snap and MIT to establish a sister company, RIZE Global. RIZE will offer AI/ML-powered matching to bring together entrepreneurs and investors for meaningful collaborations within the startup ecosystem. It will connect the world’s innovation hubs: Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, New York/Boston, Berlin, and Beijing. We’ll also attract emerging investors, corporate VCs, and family offices into the startup environment. In the second stage, RIZE will offer a variety of valuable data insights applied to recruiting and partnership collaborations.

We’re very excited to see how the partnership between Ejento and RIZE develops, and what we can do with it.

What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

Our clients are thrilled that we introduce them to the top five percent of the talent pool. This talent pool is often hidden because they aren’t actively seeking a career move. And when our clients are hiring, they can be ineffective at attracting and keeping the talent interested throughout the hiring process. In some cases, this leads to losing the candidate to their competitors.  Knowing this about our clients has motivated us to offer three different service lines - contingency, augmented, and leadership recruiting. This helps our clients, no matter where they are in their business lifecycle, to attract and hire the best talent efficiently and effectively. Because in the end - talent is an investment in the company.

Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?

Absolutely! Our culture is very open to feedback. In addition to regular follow-up meetings, our management team conducts random check-ins with both client companies and candidates. We like to do this by meeting face-to-face because we get more candid feedback that way and can show them our genuine appreciation for what they have to say. We ask if they have any concerns we haven’t addressed yet, and where we can improve.

An organization is defined by its core values. What are your company’s core values and how are they helping you succeed?

Entrepreneurship: We are entrepreneurs at heart, who respect and love working with other entrepreneurs. We are driven. We take responsibility for building solutions and determining our destiny.

Innovation: Whether technological or process-focused, it takes creativity and bravery to implement innovation. Champion change even if it’s hard. Be courageous.

Collaboration: We respect each other. We nurture relationships. We value teamwork and working together.

We apply these core values when hiring our people, signing new clients, and recruiting candidates and partners.

What are the factors that make your brand stand out among the competition?

At Ejento, we believe being the best company starts with making innovation a habit. This requires four things: (1) Investing in innovative talent. (2) Encouraging prudent risks. (3) Living a customer-centric innovation process. (4) Aligning metrics and incentives with innovation activity.

Having this type of mindset at all levels of the company empowers everyone to listen to clients and candidates more intently, talk more about new ways of solving today’s challenges, invest resources and time mindfully, and reward learning and innovation over scorekeeping.

How do you keep your company up and running? What are the factors that help your company to compete on a global platform?

Keeping Ejento up and running requires us to identify and mitigate issues before they become too big to address. Our leaders are constantly watching the sales pipeline, monitoring financial analysis, and mentoring our employees. All of this plus constant communication helps us compete globally.

As the CEO and Founder, I am not only communicating within Ejento, I’m also in close communication with the global human resource firm, Persol. I am committed to monthly meetings with my leaders and quarterly lunches with Persol’s key management. And I facilitate an open and free-flowing conversation so we can really exchange ideas at their core. We also work closely with technology leaders to bring tech innovations to our service-oriented firm.

Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

In October we’re launching RizeHQ, an exclusive, technology-enabled trust platform that connects top professionals with experts. It’s a place where they can share insights, seek mentorship, and consult vetted industry experts.

Our thesis is two-fold:

Technology connects people like never before and yet it too often fails to bring them together.

Traditional consulting firms hold a reputational monopoly on ‘expertise’. That strikes us as somewhat limiting, not to mention prohibitively expensive for startups and SMBs.

Why RizeHQ is unique:

We complement existing professional networks. While they focus on maximizing reach (great for sales and recruiting), we place precedence on face time. This helps us foster more meaningful and productive relationships via our AI-driven professional network matching, community-sponsored events, and exclusive conferences.

Most importantly, our RizeHQ community upholds standards that represent our commitment to trust, professional excellence, collaboration, and civic responsibility.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

With our group of companies finding synergies and collaborating, and our business models gaining multiple layers of innovation, we are scaling and attracting more partner companies and investors. Together, we’ll be producing more innovative methods of professional matchmaking in the startup ecosystem and accelerating our growth tenfold.

About | Yoshimi Iyadomi (Shinohara)

Yoshimi Iyadomi, Founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Ejento. She’s also the founder/Chairperson of RIZE Global, President/Chair of Yoshiko Shinohara Foundation, and second largest shareholder in Persol (World’s #6 Recruiting & HR Services Company. Traded on Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO: 2181). Revenue @ $10B).

“Ejento brings together the best of the recruiting world to offer unmatched insight, perspective, and experience. We are redefining recruitment for the startup era.”