Skillz Up is a staffing agency that focuses on data and on human responsibility. They are ‘data proven the best match’, whereby they look mainly at who you are and what your profile as an employee looks like. Michiel, co-founder of Skillz Up, started the company in 2020; mainly to ‘redesign’ the labour market. His vision is to run an innovative staffing business.
People and data closer together in staffing
Hi Michiel. Who is Skillz-Up and what position do you have in the staffing market?
“There is still a lot of focus on ‘what’ in the labour market. The ‘what’ is not important for every person. What did you study, what did you do, what kind of knowledge do you have, what do you want, all those kinds of questions. Whereas at Skillz Up, we place much more emphasis on who you are as a person, what makes you happy, what gives you energy as an employee, what makes you tick. We have developed a Skillz scan in which we can do real research into what drives you personally and what gives you energy. Around this skillz assessment, we build a competence development. This also shows how your competences match in practice. Are you doing what gives you energy and is your job satisfaction high enough? This is actually all data, so we are slowly but surely building a personal data profile of the employee. You could also say that the ambition of Skillz Up is to become ‘the runkeeper of the Skillz’.”
"The question as asked is very simple. You answer with a smiley face, a thermometer or a GIF indicating your mood, for example."
It is constantly changing, after all, what gives you energy. How do you ensure that you move with the people?
“It’s about employees slowly but surely gaining insight into what makes them happy as a person. We are there to facilitate and build in these moments of reflection. We don’t do long employee questionnaires but actually help the employee to reflect. This sounds very nice, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be on the phone with them every day to ask them a question. Therefore, we started looking for products that are distinctive and can help us in our service.
What we have started doing now is called our employee satisfaction survey. Yet our employee satisfaction survey is fundamentally different. We ask employees once a week one question. They receive this in their mailbox. Filling in this ‘survey’ takes them 10 seconds and that’s it. We then build on this information. This way, you slowly but surely get a logical picture as an employee. How did I score in the past few months on x number of themes? We facilitate the employees from here with a real-time dashboard. That way we give them the insight and not us the insight as an employer.”
So you have weekly insight. How do you describe the power of this pattern?
“Nothing is linear in life. Do you notice something structurally wrong with your vitality or work environment? Then we have to do something with it after measuring this work satisfaction. It’s all about continuously talking to each other. The strength of askemo as a platform is, in my view, the short-cycle component. In the past, there might have been a period of two months between what you measured and what was discussed in the team. By asking the employees a short question each week, we can immediately find out if they are not feeling well within a certain topic. They can then do something about it themselves, for example by coming to us or to the client. The simple feedback question we ask is also easy to answer with, for example, a smiley face, thermometer or gif that indicates what your mood is. We use the data facilitated by askemo as Skillz Up by having the conversation with our employees and making connections.”
“Besides the short-cycle piece, I also think flexibility is important. To me, flexible means easy to adapt. In the meantime, if employees say “Yo, wouldn’t you formulate this question differently?” Then we immediately adapt the question together with askemo. I believe in the continuous improvement of this type of questionnaire. Processing the feedback received is also easy.”
"My higher goal is simply happy employees. Because happy employees do what they like, they radiate that from the sparkle in their eyes.
Askemo is one of the means. What is your higher goal?
“My higher goal is simply happy employees. Because happy employees do what they love, they radiate that through the sparkle in their eyes. I wish that for everyone at work. Happy people make for a happy team, a happy team makes for a happy organisation and a happy organisation ultimately makes for a happy society. In short, job satisfaction is very important for a successful organisation. I believe that I cannot create happiness at work, but I can facilitate it with a people-oriented approach. So that you are heard and seen. Looking further into the future, I believe that this is how we can make a difference and that clients and professionals will continue to choose us. We have competent, high-quality professionals who are also working on their personal development. You feel that and you notice it. They are self-confident. I think that is what we are looking for together.”