A quick Google search on the current US labor shortage will show you that economists and journalists alike are struggling to figure out which statistics best explain the moment.
But for the Atlanta-based team building SkillPointe, one specific Google search metric tells an important story of just how big the skills gap really is.
“[Our team] looked at the total volume of searches for careers and training in various fields…and there was a lot of interest,” SkillPointe’s Art Oleszczuk Hypepotamus. While upwards of 24 million searches are recorded each month, Oleszczuk said the team behind SkillPointe saw that “94% of the time, people didn’t click [on any link]…so there was just no right solution for them.”
SkillPointe has developed a tech-enabled solution to tackle the skills gap in trade-focused careers. “There are very few resources out there,” Oleszczuk explained, if someone is trying to figure out if a certified nursing assistant or a dental hygienist path might be the best career move. “LinkedIn and Indeed aren’t the homes for that [information],” Oleszczuk told Hypepotamus. “We realized we needed to build that.”
The platform initially launched with 70 different career fields that would be worth the training and investment. Those are focused on verticals like healthcare, construction, IT, and manufacturing. From there, SkillPointe built out a specific job search engine for skills-based professionals, which to date have often been filed through word-of-mouth referrals.
The search engine also curates for over 60,000 community colleges and trade schools training programs that are out there. “we created essentially the world’s only search engine focused only on these accelerated training pathways,” added Oleszczuk.
On the backend, the SkillPointe team compiled career data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and more than seven government agencies. The goal was the pull together information about long-term growth projections, salary growth opportunities, current volume openings, and training requirements.
SkillPointe brings together industry professionals who previously worked at NASCAR, Cox, and other large corporations who saw first-hand the skills gap problem in the American workforce. Oleszczuk describes the team as “small and scrappy,” but the founding team pulls together a wealth of industry experience. Todd Wilson (previously CFO at NASCAR), James Franchi (former COO at Autotrader), CMO Oleszczuk (previously at Equifax and Cox Auto). “We have good brand-building experience, good marketing experience, good product development knowledge, and we’re applying this now to kind of higher education and the employment vertical,” Oleszczuk added.
Google search stats might have led the team down this entrepreneurial path at the beginning, but the team has been creating its own impressive numbers over the last year.
The platform has attracted 750,000 users since launching in February 2021. “We’re nowhere near the size of an Indeed, but [as a] niche solution, we are seeing tremendous growth. And as a good leading indicator of future growth, our organic search visibility has skyrocketed in the last couple of months,” added Oleszczuk.