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Interview with Skillue

Could you shortly tell us what Skillue is?

Skillue is an ICT start-up in the HR and Recruitment field. With a technology that uses pattern recognition to extracts skills from unstructured text, we help companies identify the skills and roles of their employees in order to enhance their performance and, at a time of big changes in the workforce, help them in the area of strategic workforce transformation. We help companies in their recruitment and management as well as with employee development. Through this big space we help companies find the right skills and the right talents for the right jobs.

What is Skillue’s background story?

We started Skillue in 2016 at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northern Switzerland (FHNW). We thought about the future of jobs in the fast-changing market and came up with the idea of a technology that could extract the hidden skillset of employees and job seekers. In fact, Skillue started as a bachelor thesis; while working on it, we became passionate about the project and felt that there was much potential for our idea in the HR recruitment space. So, after the bachelor was ready, we decided to keep going with our business plan. We then found partners for the technical side of the project and together we created a prototype. During the time of development, we also completed an Innosuisse project together with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

However, we realized that the marketplace is pretty difficult to push into because you compete against all the big players. We decided to change the business model and moved from the marketplace to a B2B model, and this is where we are at now.

Why is it important that Skillue exists?

We have a vision about the future of the labour market. The technological changes will disrupt so many industries that companies will have difficulties finding suitable job profiles five years from now, if they keep using their current recruitment methods. Many stakeholders don’t know what skills are needed for the future job market. Skillue is here to help with this change. We believe that instead of focusing on education and experience alone, employers should really focus on all of the skills that a candidate or employee has. Skillue differentiates between core skills and extended skills. We look at education and past experience of the candidate but also – and mainly – what this shows about what this person is capable of and what they can offer in the changing job market. We believe that Skillue should exist because of this: we drive this vision. And we try to educate ourselves and companies to drive this change. We have realized that more and more companies are aware of this issue and that they are moving towards a skill-based approach.

Who can profit from your services?

Basically, bigger organizational structures of 1000 employees and up; companies that have natural fluctuation are the ones that can really benefit from our product. For example, the public sector has different needs from the financial industry, and Skillue will be personalized to the needs and preferences of the structure.

On the one hand, Skillue helps a company to determine a specific skillset that is needed, where there is a gap within the organization and how they can close this gap. This can be done at all levels: in recruitment, in management, etc – Skillue is employed to prepare the company for the future and the direction it should take.

On the other hand, there is the traditional job platform. Skillue has 25% more skills than regular extractors, with a better precision. And we are only at the start of the technology – with a bit more time and more data, the record will continue to improve.

What are your biggest challenges?

We have a lot of challenges. The biggest challenge is driving the change of our skill-based approach. Within companies it’s quite difficult, because a lot of people agree that things are changing but are still reluctant to change the tools that have been working for them in the past. This has been difficult: to really implement the change within the company. And the bigger the company is, the more people we need to convince.

In the very beginning it was also a challenge to get enough data to run the research on our technology – especially resumes were hard to come by. Luckily, we succeeded in getting enough data to develop our technology.

How do you see the future of Skillue and what is your long-term goal?

We have different goals, but as a start-up you have to adjust. We have a winning idea, but the topic and vision are new. We see the future of Skillue to be providing models for strategic transformation within bigger organizations. We believe that Skillue can make a huge impact in organizing workforce transformation.

The future also lies in a B2B approach, and we are excited to get in contact with more businesses that want to try this exciting new technology and take a step into the future together with us!