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How an integrated platform and white-glove service elevated ettain group’s communication strategy

70+
Achieved industry leading net promoter score
30K
Automated touch points across email & SMS
46%
Response rate to texts, response in under 10 minutes

The engagement advantage 

If there’s one habit ettain group has adopted in their more than 23 years in business, it’s to never remain stagnant. Though the firm has been in business since the mid-’90s, their team has continued to adapt to a changing talent landscape, which most recently has meant adopting new technologies and growing their business through acquisitions.

As part of their approach to tech, ettain first implemented Sense Engage several years ago to get a head start on upcoming email automation trends. When they came on board, initial workflows focused on the contractor journey from offer accepted to start date, implementing a variety of touch points to seamlessly onboard talent. “Sense really helped alleviate a lot of our manual processes, making sure those tasks were getting done properly, accurately and in a timely manner,” notes Dan Isaacs, Senior Business System Analyst at ettain group.

One of the challenges the firm wanted to address from the beginning was enrolling more contractors in their benefits programs. Given that there’s a limited enrollment period following a contractor’s hire date, Isaacs wanted to help streamline the process for contractors as well as ettain group’s contractor advocate team, as they were spending a great deal of time on follow up. “Being able to automate information about what benefits we offer, when contractors have to enroll, and give them a reminder before their expiration date—that was huge.”

The ettain group has since implemented automated touch points throughout the talent lifecycle, from ensuring a seamless onboarding experience, to periodic on-assignment surveys, to communication about redeployment and referrals. Isaacs is particularly delighted by the positive response to the new hire welcome email from ettain group CEO Trent Beekman. “It’s amazing how many contractors have thanked us for the welcome email. It’s a first impression of sorts and it’s made a big impact.”

Connecting the dots

In addition to staying at the forefront of tech, ettain group has grown their business through strategic mergers and acquisitions. In 2019 alone, the firm completed the acquisition of two industry leading organizations, expanding their reach in new markets across the U.S. With these changes, their leadership team continues to evaluate the tools, technologies, and processes of the combined organization, in efforts to streamline operations and maximize quality and efficiency. The evaluation process has included not only the number of tools and platforms they’re using on a day-to-day basis, but also how those tools interact and work within established workflows.

A natural platform to consider during the evaluation was automated text messaging. Ettain group has used a texting solution since 2017, based on significantly heightened responses compared to email and phone. In fact, more than 90% of people read text messages within 3 minutes and respond within 90 seconds. Being well aware of this data, Isaacs has prioritized SMS messaging as part of his team’s ongoing communication strategy. During ettain group’s continued evaluation process, Isaacs and the team looked for further opportunities to streamline and simplify, and decided to look to Sense Messaging to assess the potential value in combining engagement communications in one place.

Having experienced the personalized, hands-on service that Sense provides, the decision to move over entirely was an easy one. “We knew we were in a good spot—not only with how efficient and how great the product was, but the support that we would have moving forward,” says Isaacs.

The decision wasn’t just based on the fact that Sense was able to match its competitors’ features—it was the additional functionality and integration abilities that sealed the deal for Isaacs. Being able to pair texts with existing triggered emails, for example, would help reinforce messaging and alleviate manual follow-up for recruiters. Even the little things—like being able to give texts a human touch by using emojis and videos—was a unique selling point of the platform. Additionally, all communication records would now be automatically logged in Erecruit via a direct integration, and recruiters would be using just one tool to engage with talent.

In the first half of 2019, ettain deployed more than 30,000 automated touch points across email and SMS that garnered impressive response rates. With Sense Messaging, recruiters saw an average 46% response rate to texts in under ten minutes. Add to that a talent NPS of 72, and the impact on contractor satisfaction is evident.

“The Sense product is moving in parallel with how technology is moving,” says Isaacs. “Being able to offer recruiters a tool where they can text all of their active contractors to check in, or send a job opportunity to potential candidates—it’s impactful.”

Looking to the future

The ettain group has taken great care to ensure that not only are they communicating with talent consistently, they are also providing valuable, relevant content. The Sense team works closely with Isaacs and his team in developing a roadmap, listening closely, and building functionality based on their needs.

“The fact that Alex (Rosen, Sense Co-Founder) takes his time to hear our feedback and wants to hear about our issues—that just speaks volumes that the company is so invested in hearing about client issues, concerns, questions, successes, everything.”

Next up, the ettain group team plans to continue expanding its automation efforts into new areas of the contractor lifecycle, particularly as it relates to candidate engagement. Their database of nearly 1.5 million candidates includes thousands of people who might not have been touched in months, so there’s a ton of opportunity there. Isaacs also plans to roll out Sense solutions to their sales team with the goal of engaging current and prospective clients in the same way.

Of course, the ettain group team still makes those important phone calls and builds strong relationships the old-fashioned way—but they’re no longer beholden to unanswered voicemails and the inbox abyss. With a comprehensive, all-in-one solution for automated communication, they’re having more success engaging contractors.

“We feel very confident that Sense is staying on the cutting edge of technology and helping staffing companies,” notes Isaacs. “We have a very firm belief that whatever comes out next—whatever new communication strategies or tools—that Sense will be on top of it.”

And ultimately for Isaacs, it’s not only about the numbers. “We just want our contractors to have a good experience, and we feel that they’re getting that right now.” 


Sense works with staffing firms like the ettain group identify areas for improvement and create impactful action plans. To see how Sense can help you, talk to our representative today.


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