Contractor Engagement Platform Sense Raises $13.5 Million Led By GV

By Amit Chowdhry ● May 10, 2019

Photo: Sense

Sense, a San Francisco, California-based contractor engagement platform used by staffing agencies and recruiters, announced it raised $13.5 million in Series B funding led by GV. Accel Partners also participated in this round. Including this funding round, Sense has raised a total of $23.5 million.

With this round of funding, Sense is going to accelerate investment in R&D and sales — which provides support for Sense’s growing customer base. Some of the top staffing companies in the U.S. that use Sense’s platform include Adecco, Apex Systems, and the Staffmark Group.

“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,” said Sense CEO and co-founder Anil Dharni. “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.”

These companies are working with Sense to increase redeployment and achieve real-time insight into a contractor’s engagement throughout the employment cycle. Ever since Sense launched in late 2017, Sense has engaged with more than 20 million candidates within the U.S.

“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,” added Adecco Group US Foundation president Joyce Russell. “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.”

There are contingent workers employed across sectors ranging from engineering and healthcare. And by 2020, contingent workers are expected to make up 43% of the U.S. workforce — which is increasing by nearly 10% in less than five years. The $461 billion global staffing industry has been the traditional employer of the contingent workforce and it makes interactions throughout the recruiting and employment cycle extremely important. This means communicating information at the right moment on the proper channel.

“In the war for talent, Sense’s solution addresses the most pressing need in the staffing industry – improving contractor engagement and redeployment rates,” added Apex Systems EVP Rob Lowry. “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.”

Currently, text messaging is the best form of communication tool at a recruiter’s disposal. And Sense Messaging allows recruiters to seamlessly and personally communicate with candidates by SMS and WhatsApp while accessing contextual information from Sense’s Applicant Tracking System and Sense Engage — which is the company’s consolidated communication and analytics platform.

“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,” explained GV general partner Tyson Clark. “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.”

Sense Messaging provides higher engagement between recruiters and candidates. And since 90% of people read text messages within three minutes, it also increases the efficiency of staffing teams by streamlining candidate communications through a single system instead of “piecemeal SaaS products.

Founded by Dharni, Alex Rosen, Pankaj Jindal, and Ram Gudavalli, Sense tested its Messaging product over three months and more than 50 customers adopted the solution to improve their agency’s business performance, recruiter efficiency, and the overall candidate experience.

As a result of quantifying these hyper-personalized relationships with their candidates, staffing firms have gained better insights into their performance, quality of placements, referrals, and repeat interactions at scale.