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RiseSmart raises $3M for outplacement service

Provider of outplacement and recruitment process outsourcing solutions gets repeat funding

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
December 15, 2010 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/14da

RiseSmartWord on the street (read: Twitter stream) is that Yahoo's most recently laid off 600 employees received pretty generous severance packages. Still, perhaps the scariest part of losing your job is not knowing where to go next. Wouldn't it be nice if every company had substantial and trusted outplacement services in place?

RiseSmart, provider of outplacement and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solutions, announced Tuesday the completion of a $3 million equity financing round raised from existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, Storm Ventures and angel investors.

The startup last secured funding in October 2009 in the form of a $4.6 million add-on to a $3 million Series A secured a year earler. Norwest was the primary contributor in the original round, while Storm led the later add-on. Since its launch in 2007, RiseSmart has raised $11.85 million in total.

Interestingly enough, RiseSmart isn’t doing the same thing it did when it launched. I’m told the company began as a business-to-consumer (B2C) jobs and career management site, akin to TheLadders.com. When the most recent recession struck, however, the startup evolved into a business-to-business (B2B) provider of job matching software--the same software that had earlier served as the core technology of the RiseSmart website. Many companies struggled with employee outplacement in the wake of widespread layoffs, so RiseSmart followed the demand.

Today, RiseSmart offers two distinct and related solutions: Transition Concierge, an outplacement service to help exiting employees find new positions, and Recruit Concierge, a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solution for finding new talent.

confusionTransition Concierge, according to RiseSmart, focuses on a human touch at all stages of the transition from one job to the next. Customers are assigned a team of job search specialists to hand select relevant positions and a team of “Certified Resume Writers” to write up the whole job application package--resume, cover letter, thank you letter and brief bios. Additionally, customers receive personal attention from a transition specialist, career and interview coaching, social media guidance and more.

The company’s other offering, Recruit Concierge, is touted to be similarly comprehensive, flexible and scalable, including options for both permanent and contract hiring. RiseSmart claims its RPO solutions reduce time-to-hire by 30 to 40 percent and cost-of-hire by 20 percent on average.

Pricing for each service is determined on a case-by-case basis.

“RiseSmart provides talent management solutions at the two most critical talent transition points: joining and leaving an organization,” explained Sanjay Sathe, RiseSmart founder and CEO. “We leverage a common technology platform to ensure next-generation efficiency and superior results for our clients’ recruitment and outplacement programs. Through our methodology, we have consistently reduced time-to-hire for our recruitment clients and time-to-placement for our outplacement clients.”

Though Sathe’s startup does not have permission to publicly disclose names, Venkat Mohan, a general partner for Norwest Venture Partners, boasts the company’s “growing roster of Fortune 500 enterprise clients" in healthcare, technology, financial services and retail.

The new funding will be used to help RiseSmart expand into new markets and further develop its solutions.

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