Indianapolis-based on-demand candidate screening platform Qualifi won the Exceptional Employer Award during TechPoint’s 24th annual Mira Awards gala honoring the best of tech in Indiana.

Qualifi CEO and Co-founder Darrian Mikell and VP of Engineering and Co-founder DeSean Prentice accept the Exceptional Employer Award.

Launching a startup is daunting task. Creating a successful company is even harder, and when it’s one of just 2.4 percent of Black-owned businesses in the U.S., it’s easy to imagine a workplace of stress, pressure and constant demand. 

At Qualifi, though, that’s not the case due to things like unlimited and required paid time off, dedicated “koality” days (paying tribute to Audi’O Koala, the company’s koala mascot) for employees to do whatever fills their cup, company paid continuing education, work-from-home resources, parental leave and financial literacy offerings.  

At Qualifi, teammate happiness is simply non-negotiable. Those offerings, along with the company philosophy and guiding force for growth, contributed to the Mira Awards judges naming Qualifi the 2023 Exceptional Employer. 

Qualifi is one of the nation’s few Black-owned tech companies, and team leaders see that as a clear advantage. Having varied backgrounds, cultures, and identities at the table fosters innovation and creative solutions.  

“Diversity is not a metric at Qualifi, it’s what makes work fun and dynamic and also helps create the best products and services,” the team says. 

Launched by brothers Darrian and Devyn Mikell in 2019, Qualifi solves a problem both men were facing in their formerly separate work worlds of SaaS and healthcare recruiting: difficulty in hiring. 

With Keenan Jaenicke and DeSean Prentice, the Mikells brainstormed the details of a product that could conduct phone interviews instantly. Qualifi emerged from those sessions, providing an audio-based platform that allows recruiters to send, share, and track self-guided phone interviews with candidates.

Qualifi helps recruiters send self-guided interviews, making dramatic differences in the hiring process. Using Qualify technology, users are interviewing 306% more applicants in a day, re-engaging with 50 percent of lost candidates, cutting down applicant screening time by 83 percent, reducing no-show interviews from 50 percent to 7 percent and decreasing the time it takes to review interviews by 44 percent. 

The company is on track to see 900 percent growth in revenue in the next three years and plans to grow from 19 to 50 employees, using their own technology, of course, to start that process.  

Phenomenal success aside, the company founders didn’t quantify success only with dollar signs. They wanted to work with leaders who were transparent, with teammates who trusted one another and in an organization that valued people as a whole, not a means of production. They saw diversity, not as a metric but as a superpower.  

Qualifi was quick to join TechPoint’s Mission41K effort to inclusively grow the Indiana tech workforce by 41,000 by 2030. 

The Qualifi workforce is 55 percent from underrepresented communities, including 75 percent of its founders. Women make up 40 percent of the team. 

See All Award Winners from the 2023 Mira Awards Gala.

TechPoint, the nonprofit, industry-led growth initiative for Indiana’s digital innovation economy, honored the state’s top successes and innovations during the 24th annual Mira Awards gala with presenting sponsors UKG, Salesforce and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

A total of 18 award winners and honorees were chosen from the 141 outstanding people, companies and products that were selected as nominees for their achievements during the 2022 calendar year.

Fifty-two independent, volunteer judges spent more than 850 total hours evaluating applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included an impressive roster of company founders, CEOs and presidents, CTOs, CIOs, engineers and other industry professionals.

TechPoint’s Mira Awards are named after the first of the brilliant variable stars to be discovered—the Mira Star. It is also the Latin root meaning “worthy of admiration, wonderful, marvelous.” The awards represent the best of tech in Indiana each year.