In 2018, Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill turned her back on her well-paid corporate career to start her own business. “As a mother-of-three, and the main breadwinner, it was a risky move,” she says. “But I didn’t want to look back and think, ‘What if?’”

Join Talent now employs 263 people across 23 countries, working on talent acquisition inside companies including scale-ups, unicorns and Fortune 500 brands. She says the company’s USPs are its ‘practitioner-led’ model and proprietary talent-sourcing platform called Yoke, an active directory of candidates pulled from 53 different sources: “We’re the only company in our space with this game-changing capability.”

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As a mother-of-three and the main breadwinner, starting my own business was a risky move. But I didn’t want to look back and think, ‘What if?’”

Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill
Founder, Join Talent


What early influences shaped your career?

I grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. My dad was in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) so we moved a lot. I was the first member of my family to go to university and the first to drop out. I juggled three jobs to support myself and learnt more from those jobs than the degree, so I left after a year.

How did you get Join Talent off the ground?

I burned a lot of shoe leather running around Shoreditch trying to drum up business. I’d been director of resourcing at a national building society and was at the peak of my profession – but that meant nothing. It was frustrating, humbling and rewarding in equal measure. It wasn’t until 2020 that the business moved from ‘I’ to ‘we’.

Where are the growth opportunities?

Join Talent has been a remote business from day one. I wanted to give people the kind of flexibility I wish I’d had in my career. Our employees are spread across five continents and non-UK business accounts for nearly 60pc of turnover. We set up a registered entity in the US earlier this year and we’re focussing on the UAE next. Dubai’s government has set out a ‘metaverse strategy’ to create 40,000 new virtual jobs; we’re perfectly placed to help.