This AI Startup Can Predict When Job Candidates Are Ready to Move

Engage Talent

Recruiting can be a guessing game — when will a passive (currently-employed) candidate be ready to jump into a new opportunity and what will it take them to do so? It can quickly become a game of darts, throwing until something sticks.

South Carolina-based ENGAGE uses artificial intelligence to help recruiters have the competitive advantage and predict the likelihood that they will change jobs based on their professional background and company-related events.

“ENGAGE enables active recruiters to efficiently source from a live stream of over 100 million passive candidates,” says CEO Joseph Hanna, who has previously held executive positions at both Fortune 500 companies and startups. “ENGAGE continuously monitors your candidates and alerts you with predictive availability signals when a candidate is likely ready for a new opportunity.”

Here, Hanna shares more about how they’re employing science to power their AI platform, what the biggest mistakes he’s seen in recruiting, and how he’s applying these principles within his own startup.

Tell me a bit more about the AI technology behind your software and how companies benefit from its data insights.

We are on a journey to solve a relatively difficult data and artificial intelligence 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.

​Our science is based on three decades of validated academic and industry research of the events that lead to turnover. It relies on long-term studies of career progression and the market forces impacting engagement and attrition.

The first application of our science is to enable recruiters 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.

How else does ENGAGE apply its scientific findings?

We don’t stop at identifying those candidates with high likelihood to change jobs. Our AI models use millions of data points to identify attributes that would be attractive to the candidate in a new opportunity.  ENGAGE develops an engagement profile that recruiters use to approach candidates with targeted and tailored messaging.

With the right message at the right time, ENGAGE customers have significantly improved response rates, focused on candidates with higher likelihood to be interested, and improved their total time-to-hire.

Although we are a science and data company leveraging the most advanced machine learning and AI technologies, the results of our pioneering work are very human: it connects people who may not be secure in their jobs with potentially better opportunities.

From data points collected in the past, what are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen when companies fail at recruiting the right candidates?

With Time to Hire being the most important measure of success and Talent Shortage being the biggest hurdle for recruiters, both point to overall constriction within labor markets. This singular factor is making candidate identification a more difficult and time consuming aspect of a recruiter’s life. By having to cull through large pools of potential candidates to identify a smaller target a recruiter can miss out on candidates who are ready to engage.

Relying on sourced resume data alone provides no indication of a candidate’s level of engagement in seeking a new role or insight into the pain points a candidate is facing within their current role. ENGAGE provides key data and insights on candidates that allows the recruiter to review a more targeted pool and the ability to craft messages that resonate personally.

Tell me more about your new product, ENGAGE ME!

ENGAGE ME! is a groundbreaking recruitment marketing engine that empowers recruiters to more effectively reach passive candidates. Fueled by artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, ENGAGE ME! uses specifications set by the recruiter to source qualified passive candidates who are most likely to be interested in changing jobs.

What’s your current funding situation? 

We raised about $3 million to inception lead by the Charleston Angels Partners group and the state of SC.  As a fast growing startup with great traction and specialized IP, we are getting a lot of inbound attention and are always considering our options for capital raising to continue our growth and product development.

As CEO, how do you apply ENGAGE’s findings back into your own workforce?

We utilize the ENGAGE platform internally to keep our finger on the pulse of the industries around us, and be aware how news and events impact our team, our colleagues and our clients.  This allows us to expand and focus our efforts based on the data we uncover within the ENGAGE platform.  It is important that our team utilizes the complete functionality of ENGAGE in the same way we promote our clients to, which allows them to become experts in multiple industries utilizing the market insights, timely news and social sentiment in conjunction with the predicative analytics.

Surround yourself with a strong management team, Board of Directors and industry advisory leaders. Hire smart people to do smart things, not to just take direction.

What are the pros and challenges of growing your company in the Southeast? 

There has been an interesting phenomena around Charleston where it has become a concentrated area of HR Tech talent and startups. For example, we were able to benefits from talent that was developed in companies like BenefitFocus and PeopleMatter. Our customers are all national, so our location becomes less important as long as we can get the talent we need to build the product and grow.