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Ted S. Warren / AP

OnboardIQ, a three-year-old startup that provides an applicant tracking system for hourly workers, has raised $9.1 million in Series A funding. The company's product lets employers accept job applications, communicate with candidates, and even automates tasks like sending out paperwork and scheduling interviews.

Why it matters: As new business models and technology are changing the labor needs in a growing number of industries from retail to logistics, employers need new tools to hire hourly workers more efficiently.

Key trend: From processing more than 3.4 million job applications (yielding 400,000 hires), OnboardIQ has noticed that about one in five candidates ends up applying to work at another company. According to co-founder and COO Jeremy Cai, this is consistent with workers' two primary priorities — having flexibility and more work hours — both of which they achieve by working for multiple services.

Beyond on-demand: During its first 18 months, OnboardIQ focused on on-demand services like home cleaning, deliveries, and valets. However, as a growing number of these startups began to shut down, it realized that it should look beyond the category and has since expanded to work with employers in retail, logistics, and fulfillment. Its customers include Safeway, GrubHub, and Deliveroo. The main difference the company noticed in making the shift is that while on-demand services usually look to hire a lot of people do to the same job, retailers, for example, are looking to hire across a variety to different jobs.

Funding: Origin Ventures led this round (with partner Brent Hill joining the board), with SoftTech VC, Crosslink Capital, and Y Combinator also participating.

Go deeper

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.