Bridging the Talent Gap — SkyHive’s Future-Proof Plan to Reskill Your Workforce
The global labor market is undergoing massive change. As employers and communities try to keep pace, they are met with a growing need to reskill workers for the future and develop a more equitable approach to recruiting and retaining talent.
In New York City, more than 346,000 residents are unemployed despite 243,000 open job postings, suggesting a skills mismatch, among other challenges, in the labor market. That’s why in 2020, the Partnership Fund invested in SkyHive, a company leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast future skillset demands, as part of our broader commitment to support workforce development in New York City.
SkyHive is helping leaders upskill their communities and workforces while empowering jobseekers to unlock opportunities and prepare for emerging roles. The company, led by CEO Sean Hinton, is meeting the demand for reskilling with the support of its clients and partners, including the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, World Economic Forum, Accenture, BC Tech Association, SHRM, Gartner and others.
In October 2021, SkyHive raised a $40 million Series B financing round to expand its efforts. We recently caught up with SkyHive to discuss the future of work, skill mobility and creating equitable pathways to new opportunities.
1. What does your company do?
SkyHive helps people, companies and communities prepare for the future of work. We access real-time labor market insight to enable workforce upskilling and talent mobility. Our products facilitate skill-based proximity analysis at scale, identify future talent needs, automate skills assessments, and help provide targeted learning recommendations.
2. How does this help your clients improve employment outcomes?
We help our clients identify skill and labor gaps and the most efficient ways to bridge them.
For example, let’s say there is a job declining in future relevancy. SkyHive looks at that job as a collection of individual skills while doing the same thing in parallel for new and emerging roles. This allows us to identify overlaps in skillsets and the future skills needed for a person to move seamlessly from the declining position to the emerging role. This can mean transitioning displaced Coal Miners into the new jobs of the green economy, to developing workers at risk of job loss due to automation into new roles in technology.
To do this, we built a Quantum Labor Analytics platform that provides customized insight on three core levels:
- Organizations identify fast and cost-effective ways to upskill their workforce, uncover latent skills in their current talent pools, and find new external talent sources. Employers also eliminate bias in their hiring process by evaluating candidates solely based on relevant skills.
- Employees understand the skills they have and need to fill emerging roles, including roles previously considered incompatible or out of scope. This allows workers to pursue a livelihood based on their passions and strengths.
- Communities discover a clearer path to filling high-demand roles, democratizing labor opportunities and keeping local people employed.
3. How do you see SkyHive contributing to post-pandemic economic recovery and growth?
SkyHive is an invaluable resource for employers and job seekers rebounding from the pandemic amidst global workforce transformation.
The pandemic and resulting shifts in the global labor market have made workforce mobility and upskilling an urgent challenge across all industries. As a result, SkyHive is experiencing global demand for our products to assist with closing opportunity gaps and building future-ready workforces. One of our efforts includes leading the Future Skills Pilot Program in collaboration with Accenture, Unilever, Walmart, and World Economic Forum.
The Future Skills Pilot Report gives an in-depth look at current challenges surrounding talent mobility and upskilling at scale to maintain organizational and individual resilience. SkyHive offered a science-driven approach to uncovering hidden skills and viable cross-functional moves for employees. The evidence helped advance the perspective of leaders responsible for helping their employees prepare for the future.
We are also grateful for the opportunity to support governments and healthcare workers with lifesaving data and insight on the labor economy at no cost, which we began in the early stages of the pandemic.
4. Why did you decide to open a New York City office?
SkyHive is expanding rapidly to welcome new clients and team members on our mission. We are thrilled to open a New York-based office and to support one of the world’s greatest cities — the longstanding U.S. capital for international business with limitless opportunities for growth.
New York has an exceptional ability to renew itself through remarkable resiliency in the wake of challenges. We hope to aid this recovery by helping New Yorkers get back to work and allowing employers to identify new and existing talent at scale.
5. SkyHive is a 2020 graduate of the FinTech Innovation Lab. How did participating in the Lab impact your business strategy?
The FinTech Innovation Lab was integral in SkyHive’s journey to reskill the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sectors. While only 25% of insurance leaders believe their workforce has the skills needed to navigate the new digital landscape, over half incorporate new technologies.
One of SkyHive’s most valuable takeaways was the opportunity to align our products better with the BFSI sector’s current needs using newfound insight on the effects of digital transformation. Participation in the FinTech Innovation Lab allowed SkyHive to gain a deep understanding of specific workforce transformation challenges and to become a leading reskilling technology for this sector globally.