KnowMeQ is an Ontario-based future of work B2B skills assessment platform. Our science-validated assessments measure a wide group of skills, from literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, digital skills and social and emotional learning.
We are a Business to Business SaaS company. Our assessments are used for employee recruitment and onboarding and to make informed promotion and retention decisions.
The world of work today (and into the horizon) is experiencing unprecedented tensions on a number of fronts: a shortage of supply of skilled workers (more job vacancies than there are candidates to fill them) across nearly every sector, increasing demand to automate operations (requiring more skilled workers), and an aging workforce.
In addition, upwards of 50 per cent of workers from OECD countries lack the functional literacy and numeracy skills to meet the demands of their jobs, and the longer workers are out of formal education, the more these ‘core’ literacy skills decline. Without these core skills, worker potential is limited, and for companies, lower skills result in higher error rates, a decline in worker mobility, and a stifling of company growth.
KnowMeQ provides measures of these core measures, plus measures on areas which are deemed as skill areas which help individuals sustain employment (i.e. conscientiousness and resiliency).
Providing workers with a composite level of skill helps them and their companies to determine paths for targeted upskilling and roles which are good fits for them in the organization beyond their current role.
About our name… There are a few “Q’s” we are familiar with, IQ and EQ (Emotional Intelligence). We believe that the best “Q” that anyone can know is to know themselves… “Know MeQ”.. Our logo emphasizes this also – it is a circle with three lines at 30-degree angles above it. The circle represents the individual today, and the lines represent where they could go. Eastern philosophy espouses that determining where you go tomorrow requires having an honest view of where you are today. A world of opportunity can come into focus after identifying real starting points based on scientifically validated assessments.
Tell us about yourself?
I have worked in the world of adult education and employment for close to 20 years as a teacher, researcher, and college administrator, and in the last five years, as a founder of an eLearning company, followed by KnowMeQ.
The concept of KnowMeQ started while I was participating in a design jam hosted by a federal employment and skills group in Ottawa in 2018. The focus of the jam was to consider solutions which would address the ‘future of work’, Industrial Revolution 4.0, and automation (a lot of big concepts – not particularly easy to solve on their own!).
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Be firm. Treat time as the most valuable resource, challenge yourself, and have someone who is committed to pushing the business forward.
What problem does your business solve?
Future of Work (and today’s work world): lack of skilled workers, companies need to grow and put people into roles with more advanced skills requirements. How do they know who can do the jobs of tomorrow? They need to identify skill levels among their workers reliably.
KnowMeQ is for businesses to make informed hiring, lateral, and vertical promotion decisions.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
From my professional experience working in adult literacy and employment services, I recognized that there are some simple truths that enable highly effective and skilled workforces; any team is only as fast as its slowest wheel. This is true from a macroeconomic perspective. Also, for Ontario (and Canada) to advance, the biggest gains can only be made when there are incremental improvements from among the lower-skilled workers. Improving those levels increases efficiencies, nets great economic ROI, improves employee retention, and plays significant functions in strengthening society.
All of these things matter greatly to me, and I would expect, to many people. I saw purpose in building KnowMeQ – seeing it as an enabler of individuals and empowering companies.
What is your magic sauce?
We bring a variety of assessments together into a single experience which currently are isolated from one another (literacy programs measure literacy, job searchers complete personality assessments – but everyone knows there’s more to the person than those single data points are measuring). KnowMeQ pulls information that is reflective and accurate and provides data that can be built upon. None of our measures are static. Workers can always improve their scores in different areas, whereas some other assessments box out people. Our measures are data points that provide good reflection to help workers gauge where they are today and contrast where they want to go and the skills required for success there.
Additionally, KnowMeQ provides a new measure – an Adaptability Quotient index which measures an individual’s ability to be successful in roles of tomorrow. Adaptability is regarded as the number one skill for success in the world of work today and in future.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
KnowMeQ will branch out to support academic streams, expand into foreign markets, and support trainers, companies, and the government.
We will also be building out a Business to Consumer product to work with individuals who are career-hopping and searching; to make really informed decisions about where they should go with their careers.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenges we have faced have been refining the business, funding its growth, and staying on our path. As a startup, we experienced challenges related to funding and scaling – funding can stagger or accelerate staffing growth.
As a growing company, we have traction, and our best days are ahead of us, developing new products, evolving our focus, and providing greater benefits to the workers and our company clients.
How can people get involved?
We’re happy to be included among the Canadian companies featured here and look forward to an opportunity to meet anyone who would like to learn more about KnowMeQ. Take a visit to www.knowmeq.com, check our brief video out, and drop me an email if you’d like to connect [email protected].