Construction Recruiting Startup Gets $5.1 Million

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Contractor-specific recruitment platform dramatically improves percent of offers accepted, time-to-hire and cost-of-hires for top ENR contractors.

NEW YORK —- Skillit, the recruiting platform for skilled, full-time construction labor, today announced its $5.1M seed round led by Building Ventures with participation from MetaProp, HOLT Ventures, Great North Ventures, 1Sharpe Ventures and Takeoff Capital. The platform is already in the hands of select ENR contractors including industry leader Messer Construction.

It vets workers with proprietary, trade-specific assessments while collecting hundreds of data points to create the first rich, taxonomized view of skilled construction labor across the entire employee lifecycle. The result is a single platform for sourcing, skills assessment, hiring, training, evaluation and win-back that meaningfully improves workforce ROI for contractors facing record labor shortages.

“Deskless workers make up 80 percent of the global workforce. In construction they are the foundation of the built world and make the $1.6T in annual construction spending happen. Yet we know almost nothing about them because there have been very few purpose-built solutions that meet the needs of both skilled workers and hiring managers,” said Fraser Patterson, CEO and Founder, Skillit. “Before I became an entrepreneur, I was a carpenter and general contractor. I know from personal experience that contractors have very little if any data with which to understand, source, recruit and retain skilled construction workers. So the way in which the market perceives and subsequently treats them ends up being not only inefficient but often plain wrong. Trade talent doesn’t want gig work, and they don’t want to be constantly marketing themselves. They want opportunities to be a part of something larger and to grow their skills and their careers. At Skillit, we connect the supply of workers with massive contractor demand and we do it surgically so that builders can hire the right people at the right times.”

The Skillit team has direct experience not only in construction and skilled labor but also in the digitization of greenfield categories. The platform provides leading ENR contractors with vetted candidate profiles, custom matching, automated workflows and data-driven compensation and labor market insights. The hiring experience for both contractor and worker is smoother, quicker and more successful as a result.

Potential for the platform’s application in the unionized sector was discussed with leading union contractors earlier this month at The Association of Union Constructors’ (TAUC) annual State of the Union event. TAUC CEO Daniel Hogan remarked that “TAUC and its contractor members have positioned themselves at the forefront of innovation and technology and are encouraged to explore Skillit’s promising value proposition, especially as it relates to improved craftperson metrics.” TAUC represents 1,800 union contractors and has worked with Building Ventures to uncover select technology firms and innovative entrepreneurs that have the potential to revolutionize the construction and maintenance industry.

“Skillit is solving the single greatest challenge facing builders today: the hiring and retention of skilled craft workers. When we met Fraser, we were impressed not only by his passion for solving construction’s labor problem, but also by his conviction that technology and data can empower hiring managers and employees alike,” said Building Ventures Co-Founder and General Partner Jesse Devitte. “We have already witnessed genuine excitement for Skillit from many of our general contractor partners, and we’re excited about the future. With the seed round, Fraser and the Skillit team will open new regional markets, refine the product offering with real customer usage and feedback, and ultimately move the recruitment and retention of skilled labor into the 21st century.”

Skillit is based in New York City and is building out a world-class team across product development, engineering, customer success and sales:

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