Turn Technologies came to fruition in 2016 with the goal of developing a recruitment platform that leverages the gig economy while also effectively screening potential talent.
Founded by Rahier Rahman, a local serial entrepreneur and graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Rahman is also the founder of Chicago mobile payments startup Pangea, but left the company in 2016 to launch Turn.
Using public record databases, Turn accesses over 100 billion records on 300 million people to give employers the most comprehensive look at prospective employees. Workers listed on Turn’s platform have been checked against sex offender registries, global watchlist registries, national criminal databases and motor vehicle records, Rahman said.
The startup also has the ability to do credentialing, education verification and drug tests. Turn’s platform shows companies this personal identity information, as well as data on their ratings from past gigs and the length of time they’ve held certain jobs.
“All of the problems came down to acquisition, engagement and retention of 1099 workers,” Rahman said. “As far I see, the ecosystem has a really difficult time doing all three of those things. We had a vision for building a new ecosystem that was more collaborative in nature, and would allow companies to source workers more efficiently and create the right amount of incentives to have them engage more frequently and stay longer.”
Several gig economy companies have caught fire for not vetting workers thoroughly enough. Last year, it was found that Uber had cleared thousands of people with criminal backgrounds to give passengers rides. Just in May, CNN reported that former Somali military commander Yusuf Abdi Ali, who has been accused of war crimes and torture, was driving for Lyft and Uber in suburban Virginia.
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