Our story

We founded Skillful.ly to create a better way of hiring that opens the door to incredible opportunities for a broader range of driven job seekers.


As three seasoned graduate students at University of California at Berkeley with significant corporate experience, we bonded over shared dismay that the best job opportunities are afforded to a narrow group of favored candidates - graduates from the most selective universities, with polished resumes and heavily networked to industry insiders. It seemed to us that these attributes alone seemed to serve as stand-ins for talent and ambition.


Recruiting such candidates, however, is fiercely competitive, costly and inefficient. Worse, we know this approach results in a sameness in the candidate pool, something that leading companies are struggling to overcome. Giant recruiting platforms only compound the problem because their algorithms rely on resume data and keywords to filter and suggest candidates, tightening the focus and yielding a relatively uniform, small group of candidates.

Smart companies recognize that this access gap hurts their corporate competitiveness, as team diversity is a proven performance booster. Accordingly, they are seeking new approaches to get better results.


We realized that if we could adjust the aperture of the corporate hiring lens to focus on candidates with demonstrated in-demand job skills, science-backed cognitive strengths and undeniable hustle as the qualifying criteria, we could offer real value to both recruiters and the job-seeking candidates.


We set out to build a two-sided service that works better for everyone, insisting that our service be distinguished by:

  • High-value, ease of use reporting for corporate recruiters, free from bias and enriched with scientifically-backed, high conviction insights
  • Partnership with leading academic, nonprofit and affinity organizations for candidate sourcing, so that companies can work through Skillful.ly to efficiently extend their reach
  • Innovation in role-relevant skill acquisition and mentoring, in alignment with recruiters’ highest priorities
  • Ethical standards that never compromise candidate data privacy and respect cultural background and career preferences.

Intend to

Reshape how employers find their next generation of skilled employees, making the hiring process more effective, efficient and equitable in the process. Recognizing the potential positive impact this shift could have on the future of the global workforce, we incorporated Skillful.ly as a Public Benefit Corporation to ensure it will exist as an accessible public good for years to come.

Today, we are thrilled for a wider audience to discover what it means to hire Skillful.ly, using a platform informed by science, enabled by technology, committed to equity and ready for scale. We are building a movement of employers committed to change, of job seekers pursuing opportunity that befits their skills and potential, and investors who share our vision for the future of hiring.

If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing and how you can get involved, please reach out to us.
Kelly, Brett and Johnson
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