SAN FRANCISCO — Sense, a contractor engagement platform used by staffing agencies and recruiters, has raised $13.5 million in Series B funding led by GV with participation from Accel, bringing the enterprise-ready company’s total funding to $23.5 million.
The company plans to use the funds to accelerate investment in R&D and sales, providing support for Sense’s rapidly growing customer base.
Several of the top staffing firms in the US including Adecco, Apex Systems, the Staffmark Group, a Recruit Global Staffing company, are working with Sense to increase redeployment and achieve real-time insight into a contractor’s engagement throughout the employment cycle. Since its launch in late 2017, Sense has engaged with over 20 million candidates within the United States.
Contingent workers are hiding in plain sight, employed across sectors from engineering and healthcare to light industrial. By 2020, contingent workers are expected to comprise 43 percent of the US workforce, increasing by nearly ten percent in less than five years. The $461 billion global staffing industry is the traditional employer of the contingent workforce, making their interactions throughout the recruiting and employment cycle increasingly consequential.
As the balance of the labor market shifts towards contingent workers, facilitating a positive hiring and work experience has become key for both businesses and recruiters. More than any other factor, communicating information at the right moment and on the proper channel has become a defining element of success. Text messaging is the best communication tool at a recruiter’s disposal. Sense Messaging allows recruiters to seamlessly and personally communicate with candidates by SMS and WhatsApp while accessing contextual information from Sense Engage, the company’s consolidated communication and analytics platform, and their Applicant Tracking System. Sense Messaging delivers higher engagement between recruiters and candidates—90 percent of people read texts within three minutes. It also increases the efficiency of staffing teams by streamlining candidate communications through a single system rather than piecemeal SaaS products. During Messaging’s three-month testing period, more than 50 Sense customers adopted the solution to improve their agency’s business performance, recruiter efficiency, and the overall candidate experience.
“This funding and our growth to date reflect the accelerating shift in the way that staffing companies approach candidate engagement, talent communication, and business performance. Human interaction is at the heart of Sense, and through data-driven planning and decision making, we are bringing that to staffing at scale,” explains Anil Dharni, CEO and co-founder of Sense. “Our customers can identify the opportunities that will keep their candidates motivated at work and be proactive in their engagement with talent more easily than ever before. These indicators translate to business value. Engaged candidates are easier to hire and perform better on the job.”
“Sense helps transform the Staffing Industry to move beyond a transactional mindset and move towards a goal of building true lasting relationships with their talent,” said Joyce Russell, President, Adecco Group US Foundation. “Sense significantly helped us strengthen our engagement with our workforce, ensure much higher response rate on surveys and achieve a faster turnaround when sharing information and communications.”
By establishing and quantifying these hyper-personalized relationships with their candidates, staffing firms have clearer insight into not only their performance but also the quality of their placements, referrals, and repeat interactions at scale. Redeploying candidates to multiple contracts is one of the least achieved but most valuable growth strategies for staffing agencies; today, only around five percent of talent is redeployed after the first contract. Sense Messaging increases redeployment rates by up to 20 percent.
“In the war for talent, Sense’s solution addresses the most pressing need in the staffing industry – improving contractor engagement and redeployment rates,” said Rob Lowry, Executive Vice President, Apex Systems. “We help thousands of people annually to find new jobs and improve their careers. By adding Sense to our ecosystem we have been able to give our candidates and contractors the highest level of service. Sense’s combination of a people-first approach and strong analytics has definitely given us an edge.”
“Sense stands out because of its exceptional founding team. Anil Dharni has a strong product background and a clear and focused vision for the future of the company,” said Tyson Clark, General Partner at GV. “One of the biggest shifts taking place today in the future of work is the rise of independent and flexible workers. Sense offers a powerful solution that allows recruiters, contractors, and HR departments to gain unique value from putting the right person in the right job.”