For most companies, the competencies of their individual employees are tucked away in a black box. “As a result, they are missing out on important information that they still need to make their business completely future-proof,” says Ghent start-up TechWolf.
The Ghent-based TechWolf, founded in 2018, announces a capital round of 10 million euros. The round is led by the British foundation Stride VC. The American Arcadian Ventures, the Belgian Fortino Capital and the Flemish do-it-yourself and venture company PMV are also participating, as are existing investors. TechWolf already raised 1 million euros in 2020 to further expand the HR software platform. The participants from the start include HR entrepreneur Conny Vandendriessche and some of the first investors in Showpad.
The Ghent-based TechWolf, founded in 2018, announces a capital round of 10 million euros. The round is led by the British foundation Stride VC. The American Arcadian Ventures, the Belgian Fortino Capital and the Flemish do-it-yourself and venture company PMV are also participating, as are existing investors. TechWolf already raised 1 million euros in 2020 to further expand the HR software platform. Participants from the start include HR entrepreneur Conny Vandendriessche and some of the first investors in Showpad.TechWolf wants to hire 25 people this year and double its workforce to fifty. The number of new customers is picking up speed, and new employees are needed to keep up with growth. TechWolf does not have a foot in the door with the fewest customers. Orange, Telenet, KBC, SD Worx and HSBC all use the platform from the Ghent start-up. The new round was also to accelerate expansion into foreign markets. “We are already negotiating at headquarters level with some international companies. It will only accelerate our growth,” said CEO Andreas De Neve, who co-founded the company with Jeroen Vanhautte and Mikaël Wornoo. TechWolf developed an HR platform based on artificial intelligence, providing an overview of all the competencies of the various employees in a company. Andreas De Neve: “It provides an opportunity to create an internal labor market. If companies have a good overview of their employees’ competencies, they can also use them in a much more targeted way. This is necessary because the scarcity of the labor market and the struggle in terms of talent, it is no longer so obvious to meet all needs with external candidates. ” In practice, most companies seem to have only very limited or no insight into the competencies of employees. If an HR department is already trying to map this out, it usually happens with a manual survey where the employees themselves have to make a list of their competencies. “Of course it goes completely wrong. A large group does not fill it in to begin with. Everyone who does it is also very bad at it. For example, most men will overestimate their own competencies, while many women underestimate their own competencies. Of course, it does not provide reliable data. ” The TechWolf platform will therefore work with completely different data. “Employers ignore the data that is already in their systems. Employees generate a wealth of data for eight hours every day that usually does nothing about it.” TechWolf’s technology focuses exclusively on employees’ digital footprints. With all digital platforms that companies use, it is very possible to map which meetings the employees participated in and what they were about, which projects they have participated in or which training courses they have followed or which tasks have been assigned to the employees in project management tools. These are just a few of the data points that TechWolf works with. “Based on this, we can make a dynamic inventory for each employee of all his / her competencies, an inventory of which the employee is the final owner.” TechWolf is convinced that the importance of that data will only increase. “The jobs that are easy to automate are fully automated. The jobs that remain are only becoming more complex. And the job title we relied on in recent decades to assess competencies no longer says that much. See “just on our own start-up. We employ fifteen software engineers, but they are fifteen different people, each with their own specialty. A company that wants to be successful must therefore describe its employees much more on the basis of specific competencies than with a general job title.” having different skills is one thing, it is something else to do something with them. The data have only a supporting role. It is up to the company itself to link specific curricula or actively use them for internal labor mobility. “There are many vacancies that companies cannot fill. At the same time, many companies are faced with jobs that will no longer exist in the foreseeable future, for example due to automation. Employees with such a job naturally have skills that can “There is a need for other places. or where training takes place, a good match can still occur. In this way, a solution can often be found for a large number of vacancies that would not otherwise be filled,” says De Neve. A detailed competence overview is not only useful for finding a solution for the individual employee. “Companies also use our platform for strategic decisions.” For example, a bank can compare the digital skills of its employees with the rest of the financial sector and, if necessary, change gears in that area. Or an energy company could analyze the job profiles it needs in two years and then see to what extent the current HR strategy needs to be adapted accordingly. “Companies should see their workforce as a valuable asset. Treat them that way. ” says De Neve. “Many companies still see their people as a cost item. They do not like it if, based on our analyzes, they feel that they need to invest further in education in the coming years. Such a cost item is also typically invisible to shareholders, so companies are need to realize that those with good talent management create a healthier company that does not get stuck in unfulfilled vacancies, ”concludes De Neve.