Over the past six months, we’ve launched SkillCat, a skilled trade training & jobs platform that now attracts 10,000 workers to our platform every month. We’re working with 20 of the largest HVAC companies to place them into great jobs.
What have we learned? Our AI can kill the resume.
HR, hear me out:
1. Most blue collar workers just don’t have resumes! Techs are in the field all day and lack computer access. When we ask for a resume, the best candidates disappear.
2. Resumes discriminate against new pools of applicants, like minorities, women, and workers from other industries. In the trades, less than 2% of techs are women. 30% of the techs on our platform are. If employers only cared about resumes, these women would never get an interview.
3. Resumes don’t work. They don’t predict who will do well at a job, especially for physical tasks. Attitude & skills matter way more.
The best way to see if someone can do a job is to actually see them do it. At SkillCat, we’ve built an AI simulator to predict success on the job.
How does it work?
We’ve built a simulation where workers have to virtually take apart piping - a standard mechanical task in any skilled trade job.
They’re given detailed diagrams, blueprints, manuals, directions, safety guidelines, and the ability to ask questions through the app. They’re also given tools and told how to use them virtually.
We measure everything they do during the simulation - every single click, tap, and scroll. Sure, we look at what tools they use and how they use them. But, more importantly, we study how they think about the challenge. Do they try every tool to see if anything works, or do they read the instructions and follow the diagram? Do they give up when they’re struggling, or do they ask questions and research to learn what they need to know?
Through this, we’re measuring not only their hard skills but also their soft skills - worker attention to detail, ability to learn, work ethic, and perseverance. These soft skills are more predictive than anything anyone can put on a resume.
AI does the scoring
Our scoring is done through AI.
We’re getting thousands of workers to go through our simulations. For these workers, we already know what their skill level is - by talking to their manager or by having them fill out a survey of their mechanical experience.
We use the data from these workers to train our AI model.
Let’s say Worker A, Tom, is the greatest tech in the world according to his manager. He is quick, has attention to detail, and is incredible with tools. He’s a 10/10 worker. When he goes through the simulation, we track every single thing he does. And then we store that data; a 10/10 worker is likely to do these actions in the simulation.
Let’s say Worker B, Randy, is a bad technician. He has never worked with tools before (has no mechanical aptitude) and is notoriously bad at focusing on the details or working hard. He’s a 1/10 worker. When he goes through the simulation, we track his actions and then store that data. A 1/10 worker is likely to do these actions in the simulation.
As we get thousands of people of different levels through the simulation, we’re training our AI model to recognize the best and the worst technicians.
Let’s say Worker C, Sarah, wants to apply for a job on our platform. She has no previous experience in HVAC but she’s amazing with tools and she loves learning. She doesn’t have a resume and, even if she did, it wouldn’t pass through any filters.
We can put Sarah through our simulation and assess her skills - our AI automatically predicts her levels. It turns out she’s a 10/10 - companies want to hire her and she ends up being an incredible tech despite having 1) no resume and 2) no experience.
Through AI, we are replacing the resume and empowering candidates like Sarah for incredible jobs in the skilled trades.
Help us destroy the resume!
We’ve started internal testing in the last few weeks, and the simulation has worked incredibly well. Pranav, a guy on our team who worked for years as an HVAC technician, knocked it out of the park. Our sales team (aka our CEO :) did terribly.
We’re now opening up the simulation to the world. It’s super fun, exciting, and a great way to show off your mechanical aptitude. Sign up here. Bring us one step closer to eliminating the resume once and for all :)