In 2016, Shaniqua Davis was laid off from her job. With few prospects and leads, the Chicago native decided to take matters into her own hands and empower herself.
Necessity is the mother of invention, of course, and in Davis’ case, necessity gave birth to the idea that would become Noirefy.
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“I was looking, specifically, for resources on how to land a job at a big company,” she told AfroTech. “What company would value my personal growth? What company would be inclusive and hire young Black professionals like myself? Of course, there was Indeed, there was Glassdoor, and there was LinkedIn, that were all good resources — but there was nothing out there that specifically targeted young Black men and women in technology. And that’s when I came up with the idea for Noirefy.”
Billing itself as a “diversity enhancement platform,” Noirefy specifically works to connect Black graduates and professionals — specifically those in the tech sector — with high-paying jobs at various companies. Davis said she initially started this as a “side job” of sorts, and it was more of a peer-to-peer network of referrals in the Chicago area than it was a formal staffing agency that helps people gain employment nationwide.
“But it grew,” she said. “Within a six to eight-month period — I don’t know how it caught on so fast — we went from being a peer-to-peer model to being a formal corporate recruiter for some of the largest organizations in the world.”
The “organizations” that Noirefy works with include Coil Technologies, Girl Scouts and more. In the past, the company teamed up with who they’re calling a “top tech company” on a six-month effort to help fill more than 200 positions across the country.
However, Davis goes above and beyond just filling heads into spaces. Like many young Black professionals, Davis is keenly aware of the watershed moments that such tech giants as Google are currently facing in the wake of (well-justified) bad press surrounding their treatment of their current Black employees, and their questionable hiring practices of young Black college graduates. As a result, Davis aims to provide a sense of accountability to these companies that would remain otherwise rudderless.
“We specifically move to be a public-facing and insight-driven platform,” she said. “And this means we’re going to hold companies accountable — we don’t just want lip service. Think about what happened in the wake of the George Floyd murder: every company was posting about ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their career pages. But what happened after that? Where was the initiative to hire more Black people in top-tier positions? Where was the initiative to educate their existing employee base on their racial sensitivity issues? So, that’s another thing we’re going to be focusing on, now and in the future.”
Noirefy is currently accepting resumes for various positions.
Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity.