Listen Here

| |

Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Fraser Patterson, CEO and Founder of Skillit, a construction staffing platform that has raised over $13 Million in funding. 

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Origin Story of Skillit: Frustrated by the challenges of hiring and retaining skilled workers, Fraser leveraged his unique background in construction and academia to launch Skillit, aiming to solve the skilled labor crisis through a tech-enabled platform.
  • The Aha Moment: Realizing the potential of using knowledge as a leading indicator of skill, Skillit was born out of the necessity to digitize and streamline the hiring process in the construction industry, offering digital craft assessments to accurately assess a worker’s skill set.
  • Innovative Features: Skillit stands out by providing data-rich, 360-degree worker profiles, far surpassing the capabilities of traditional job boards and enabling employers to find, filter, and connect with skilled workers with unprecedented ease.
  • Digital Skill Assessments: Skillit’s approach to digital skill assessments for physical trades by using knowledge-based questions to accurately gauge a worker’s expertise is a game-changer in the construction hiring process.
  • Business Model and Growth: Offering a subscription and usage-based model, Skillit caters to the needs of employers with varying hiring requirements. The platform has seen significant growth, with customer growth of 540% year-over-year and skilled worker growth of 1000% in the same period.
  • Vision for the Future: Fraser envisions Skillit not only as a solution to the current skilled labor shortage but also as a platform that could potentially transform skilled labor into one of the greatest assets on earth by training and upskilling talent to meet the world’s housing, infrastructure, and clean energy goals.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Identify Industry Pain Points Through Personal Experience:

Fraser's transition from a general contractor to an entrepreneur was fueled by his direct encounters with the skilled labor crisis. Founders should deeply understand the pain points within their industry, preferably through personal experience, to innovate solutions that address real needs.

Leverage Technology to Solve Traditional Problems:

Skillit's use of digital craft assessments exemplifies how technology can be used to tackle age-old issues like staffing in the construction industry. Founders in any sector can look for ways to apply technological solutions to streamline operations, improve accuracy, and enhance user experience.

Create Comprehensive Digital Profiles for Better Matching:

The success of Skillit's rich, 360-degree worker profiles highlights the importance of detailed digital representations in facilitating better matches between job seekers and employers. This approach can be adapted by founders to improve efficiency and satisfaction in various marketplaces or service platforms.

Focus on a Niche to Drive Initial Growth:

By concentrating on the construction industry and addressing its unique challenges, Skillit was able to carve out a significant market position. Startups can benefit from focusing on a specific niche where they can solve problems more effectively than broad, generalist platforms.

Build for Engagement and Retention:

Fraser emphasizes the importance of creating products that customers love, noting that engagement and retention are critical growth engines. Startups should prioritize user satisfaction and product-market fit to foster long-term success and efficient scaling.

Recommended Founder
Interviews

Mike Adams

Co-Founder & CEO of Grain

Mike Adams, Co-Founder & CEO of Grain: $22 Million Raised to Power the Future of Meetings

Daniel Birkholm

Founder & CEO of TalentHub

Daniel Birkholm, TalentHub: $6 Million Raised to Transform How Organizations Measure and Improve Their Hiring Experience

Prem Kumar

CEO | Co-founder of Humanly

Prem Kumar, CEO of Humanly.io: $5.5 Million Raised to Build the Conversational Hiring Category

Kevin Busque

CEO and Founder of Guideline

Kevin Busque, CEO and Founder of Guideline: $339 Million Raised to Help More Small Businesses Offer Retirement Plans

Agapitos Diakogiannis

Co-founder & CEO of Seafair

Agapitos Diakogiannis, CEO of Seafair: $6.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Maritime Recruitment

Jason Radisson

CEO and Founder of Movo

Jason Radisson, CEO and Founder of Movo: Over $9 Million Raised to Build the Future of HR Automation

Chandler Malone

Founder of Bootup

Chandler Malone, Founder of Bootup: $2 Million Raised to Solve the Tech Talent Crisis

Matt Watson

CEO and Founder of Origin

Matt Watson, CEO and Founder of Origin: Over $70 Million Raised to Make Financial Wellness the Next Big Employee Perk

Sam Naficy

CEO of Prodoscore

Sam Naficy, CEO of Prodoscore: $4 Million Raised to Build the Future of Employee Productivity Measurement

Barbra Gago

CEO and Founder of Pando

Barbra Gago, CEO and Founder of Pando: $7 Million Raised to Build the Future of Career Advancement

Sammy Singh

CEO and Co-Founder of WurkNow

Sammy Singh, CEO and Co-Founder of WurkNow: $15 Million Raised to Power the Future of Staffing

Rob Whalen

CEO of PTO Exchange

Rob Whalen, CEO of PTO Exchange: $5M Raised to Empower Companies to Rethink Paid Time Off

Ben Zweig

CEO of Revelio Labs

Ben Zweig, CEO of Revelio Labs: $19 Million Raised to Build the Future of Workforce Intelligence

Laura McGee

Founder and CEO of Diversio

Laura McGee, CEO of Diversio: $6 Million Raised to Help Organizations Measure and Improve DEI

Hanna Asmussen

CEO and Co-Founder of Localyze

Hanna Asmussen, CEO and Co-Founder of Localyze: Over $48 Million Raised to Build the Leading Global Mobility Platform for Companies and Employees

Tom Griffiths

CEO and Co-founder of Hone

Tom Griffiths, CEO of Hone: $50 Million Raised to Build the Future of Corporate Training

Jason Lavender

CEO of Electives

Jason Lavender, CEO of Electives: $10M Raised to Redefine Corporate Training

Ville Herva

CEO of BOLT.works

Ville Herva, CEO of BOLT.works: $7 Million Raised to Build the Future of Staffing

Nicholas Rudder

Co-Founder & CEO of Sphere

Nicholas Rudder, Co-Founder & CEO of Sphere: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Corporate Learning

Peter Briffett

CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream: $370 Million Raised to Provide Financial Wellbeing for Every Frontline Employee

Anthony Mironov

CEO and Co-Founder of Wingspan

Anthony Mironov, CEO and Co-Founder of Wingspan: $30 Million Raised to Power the Contractor Experience of the Future

Joseph Fung

CEO of Uvaro

Joseph Fung, CEO of Uvaro: $15 Million Raised to Build the Career Success Platform Category

Hanns Aderhold

Founder and CEO of Cobrainer

Hanns Aderhold, Founder and CEO of Cobrainer: $21 Million Raised to Build the Future of Skills Data Platforms

Sebastian Schüller

Co-founder of HiPeople

Sebastian Schüller, Co-founder of HiPeople: $7 Million Raised to Develop Data-Driven Augmentation for Hiring Teams

Andy Berman

CEO and Founder of Vowel

Andy Berman, CEO and Founder of Vowel: $13 Million Raised to Power the Future of Meetings

Amit Bhatia

CEO & Co-Founder of Data People

Amit Bhatia, Co-Founder and CEO of Data People: $21 Million Raised to Build the Future of Recruiting Intelligence

Raghu Gollamudi

CEO and Co-Founder of Included

Raghu Gollamudi, CEO and Co-Founder of Included: $5.4 Million Raised to Build the Future of HR Analytics

Will Sealy

CEO and Co-Founder of Summer

Will Sealy, CEO and Co-Founder of Summer: Over $18 Million Raised to Help Organizations Provide Student Loan Benefits

Kelsey Bishop

Founder and CEO of Candor

Kelsey Bishop, Founder and CEO of Candor: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Professional Relationship-Building

Andres Blank

Co-founder & CEO of Fetcher

Andres Blank, CEO of Fetcher: $40 Million+ Raised to Build the Future of Recruiting Automation

Josh Merrill

CEO of Confirm

Josh Merrill, CEO of Confirm: Over $11 Million Raised to End the Performance Review Nightmare

Kian Katanforoosh

CEO & Founder of Workera

Kian Katanforoosh, CEO of Workera: $21 Million Raised to Build the Skills Intelligence Category

Warren Lebovics

Co-Founder of Pequity

Warren Lebovics, Co-Founder of Pequity: $19 Million Raised to Build the Future of Employee Compensation

Marcelo Lebre

President of Remote

Marcelo Lebre, Co-founder & COO of Remote: Nearly $500 Million Raised to Power the Distributed Workforce of the Future

Ian White

Founder of ChartHop

Ian White, Founder, CEO and CTO of ChartHop: $74 Million Raised to Build the Future of PeopleOps

Jared Pope

CEO and Co-Founder of Work Shield

Jared Pope, CEO and Co-Founder of Work Shield: $12 Million Raised to Eliminate Workplace Misconduct

Stephen Johnston

CEO and Founder of GoodJob

Stephen Johnston, CEO and Founder of GoodJob: $9 Million Raised to Power the Future of Human Capital Management

Virgile Raingeard

CEO of Figures

Virgile Raingeard, CEO of Figures: €8.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Compensation Intelligence

Nishika de Rosairo

CEO and Founder of HumanQ

Nishika de Rosairo, CEO and Founder of HumanQ: $3.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Human Development

Jaclyn Chen

CEO of Benepass

Jaclyn Chen, CEO of Benepass: $14 Million Raised to Build the Future of Employee Benefits Management

Tony Jamous

CEO of Oyster

Tony Jamous, CEO of Oyster: $220+ Million Raised to Build the Global Employment Platform (GEP) Category

Matt Pierce

CEO of Immediate

Matt Pierce, CEO of Immediate: $15 Million Raised to Eliminate the Costly Price of Financial Stress in the Workforce

Sid Upadhyay

Co-founder & CEO of WizeHire

Sid Upadhyay, Co-founder & CEO at WizeHire: Over $30 Million Raised to Help SMBs Hire Great Talent

Daniel Liebeskind

CEO and Co-Founder of Topia

Daniel Liebeskind, CEO and Co-Founder of Topia: $6 Million Raised to Help Organizations Build Their Own Metaverse

Achuthanand Ravi

Founder & CEO of Kula

Achuthanand Ravi, CEO of Kula: $14 Million Raised to Build the Future of Recruiting

Ben Sesser

CEO & Founder of BrightHire

Ben Sesser, CEO & Founder of BrightHire: $36 Million Raised to Build the Interview Intelligence Category

Brett Martin

President and Co-Founder of Kumospace

Brett Martin, President and Co-Founder of Kumospace: $25 Million Raised to Power the Future of Virtual Offices

Wes Winham Winler

Founder/CEO of Woven

Wes Winham Winler, CEO of Woven: $11 Million Raised to Transform How Companies Recruit and Hire Developers