ENGAGE Talent Secures $3 Million in Funding

Innovative companies are now competing with rivals based on their ability to recruit the best talent. Here’s why investors see gold ahead in the hunt for talent.
ENGAGE Talent Secures $3 Million Funding

February 16, 2018 – ENGAGE Talent, an AI software company that helps companies identify and effectively engage with passive candidates, has raised $3 million in new funding.

Participating investors include Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Refinery Ventures and Grand Ventures.

“While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, we’re eager to use this new funding to accelerate our progress in enhancing and refining our AI recruiting technology,” said Joseph Hanna, founder and CEO of ENGAGE.

The company intends to use the new funds to further develop its predictive recruiting technologies and to expand its science/R&D and success teams.

“ENGAGE is a great example of the type of company we are looking to invest in –it’s in an emerging ecosystem and using innovative technology to solve a pressing, real-world problem,” said JD Vance, managing partner of Rise of the Rest. “Its technology has tremendous potential for helping employers recruit and hire more successfully.”

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“We’re excited by ENGAGE’s ability to use deep data-driven insights to reveal highly in-demand candidates that would otherwise be undiscoverable,” said Tim Schigel, partner at Refinery Ventures. “Their technology enables companies to acquire talent more effectively and quickly,” he said. “This is critical as we enter the Fourth Industrial Wave, during which innovative companies are expected to compete based on their ability to recruit the best talent.”

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Using New Tools to Find Talent

Surveys show that talent concerns are already top-of-mind for many executives. According to the Conference Board’s ‘C-Suite Challenge 2018’ survey, attracting and retaining talent is the foremost concern for CEOs, as well as the rest of the C-suite, including CHROs and CFOs. According to another recent study by Aberdeen Group, 87 percent of companies have difficulty establishing a talent pipeline.

ENGAGE Identifies Top Employee Tenure Trends 
An already tight labor market has likely only continued to tighten over the past 18 months, an analysis of ENGAGE Talent tenure data shows. The study covered 50 million US workers and professionals, concluded that the current median job tenure is 3.67 years.

“We decided to invest in ENGAGE because we believe in the value of their technology and the quality and expertise of their people,” said Tim Streit, partner at Grand Ventures. “They have a tremendous commitment to using data science and artificial intelligence to help companies be smarter and more effective with their recruiting and workforce planning.”

Among ENGAGE customers: Dell, Hilton, Allstate, Transamerica, Yoh, and Hudson RPO.

Related: Here’s Why Artificial Intelligence Raises Hopes, and Fears, Among HR Leaders

ENGAGE has announced a number of innovations over the last year, most recently ENGAGE ME!, a groundbreaking recruiting marketing engine. ENGAGE ME! not only automatically identifies the best candidates to target based on a recruiter’s specifications, but also the most effective ways to nurture them.

“ENGAGE ME! makes passive candidate recruiting smarter, faster and more effective,” said Mr. Hanna. “Recruiters today spend a tremendous amount of time in sourcing candidates. They no longer have to. ENGAGE ME! automatically identifies the best candidates to target and the best way to nurture them to join your organization.”

In this reality, he added, “passive candidates – proven talent employed by other organizations – are your best source for qualified people.” Because more and more employers recognize this, he said, “having a competitive advantage in recruiting passive candidates is invaluable.”

Harnessing AI

ENGAGE solves a relatively difficult AI challenge: predicting people’s job security and likelihood to change jobs based on their professional background, career progression, and events impacting their companies and industries.

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Recruiters use ENGAGE to conduct market research, identify talent pools to target, and build a pipeline of passive candidates who are more likely to engage in a job change discussion. The company aggregates data about six million companies and 100 million professionals from 30,000 sources. The platform processes over five million data points on daily basis and uses validated AI models to assess companies talent risk and people’s likelihood to change jobs.

Related: Recruiters Face a Double Threat from Automation, But There’s Good News

ENGAGE recently added Georgetown University professor Brooks Holtom, one of the foremost thought leaders on employee retention and turnover issues, as a key science advisor. And as it gains in stature, ENGAGE Talent – and the AI talent sector generally – is ripe for financial investors as well as these advisors to jump on board. One of the participants in this first capitalization round for ENGAGE, Rise of the Rest, is a nationwide effort powered by Revolution to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution team have logged more than 8,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 33 cities. In 2017, Mr. Case and venture capitalist J.D. Vance announced the $150 million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.

“ENGAGE Talent’s approach to leveraging science and data to predict turnover issues is unique and exciting,” Mr. Holtom said. “Particularly noteworthy is how deeply rooted their solution is in academic and industry research. The data that they aggregate and the artificial intelligence algorithms they’ve built are firsts in the market. I look forward to applying my experience and research in turnover theories to help fine-tune the science driving their solution.”

ENGAGE Talent’s other key science and domain advisors include Duke University professor Sasa Pekec, Coalfire CHRO Leslie Jones, leading HR tech analyst John Sumser and strategic sourcing expert Dean Da Costa.

Related: How Automation Will Alter the Jobs Landscape

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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