Charleston AI Recruiting Startup Lands $3M, Opens Atlanta Office

Engage Talent

ENGAGE Talent, an artificial intelligence-driven software tool that helps HR professionals recruit smarter, has raised $3 million from investors across the country including Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Midwestern-based Refinery Ventures and Grand Ventures. Amongst their plans for the funding is a new office in Atlanta to expand their marketing and sales efforts.

“We’re ready to increase our R&D in our design and AI thesis, areas we know customers are looking for today. On the other side, scale this to more people who hopefully can be more successful in recruiting because of our work,” says CEO Joseph Hanna.

ENGAGE, which was founded in 2015, uses AI to predict the likelihood that passive job candidates will change jobs based on things like their professional background and company events. Based on the founders’ three-plus decades of research on job turnover and candidate behavior, the science lets recruiters do market research, identify the talent to target, and build a bigger, more receptive pipeline of candidates.

“We don’t stop at identifying those candidates with high likelihood to change jobs,” said Hanna in an interview with Hype last year. “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.” Current customers include Dell, Hilton, Allstate and Transamerica, and they’ll also be using the funding to double down on R&D and product development.

ENGAGE is currently hiring for its Atlanta office, which will be based at WeWork Tower Place in Buckhead. The company employs 18 right now at its South Carolina headquarters.

Prior to this, ENGAGE had raised about $3 million from mostly South Carolina-based investors. Hanna says they connected well with the new investors, including the $150 million Rise of the Rest fund, because of the firms’ willingness to seek out startups in smaller, emerging ecosystems.

“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 Rise of the Rest managing partner JD Vance in a statement.

They also hope to take advantage of their new partners’ prior experiences in building successful companies.

“Each one of them has operating experience, they were entrepreneurs one day, or helped managed companies, and I’m looking forward to having all these experts around me,” says Hanna. “They can help with scaling the company, understand the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.”

“That’s more than anything that a startup can ask for,” he says.