The first step of any recruitment process is building up a candidate pool. Without a pool, no amount of filtering will bring you qualified candidates, and no amount of hiring will fill your roles. It’s no shock, then, to find that there are hundreds if not thousands of tools, platforms, apps, and services that help build and manage a candidate pool.
With so many possible tools at your disposal, it becomes a unique decision to pick the right one for your organization. There’s never one “best” tool; you need to balance the needs of your organization with your budget, your resources, and your training. The best we can do is provide you with information and recommendations.
How Sourcing Tools Work
Sourcing tools work in two different ways, generally. The first is the set of tools similar to the ever-familiar LinkedIn Recruiter; a tool that finds potential candidates, both active and passive, and gives you enough information that you can reach out and contact them. This can be through a platform-specific communications channel, or it can be through a social media message, or just through email, which is by far the most common.
The second form of tool is the curated platform. Some of the tools below are essentially just networks of job seekers who register their own profiles, and you pay the privilege of accessing the network and the candidates.
Some other tools on the list are much smaller, because they’re accessories to your normal web browsing and talent search processes. Think Google Chrome extensions that let you scrape data on the fly to record and track down any potential candidates you encounter during the course of other work.
There are a few things to keep in mind about these various forms of recruiting tools. For one thing, many of them target passive candidates. Without the proper outreach, many of those candidates are going to ignore your messages, or simply won’t be interested. Such is the way of passive recruitment.
Businesses of all sizes can make use of sourcing tools, though the specific tools will change. Some tools and platforms work best for large businesses, while others only work for smaller companies. It’s important to choose a tool that fits your needs.
It’s also worth mentioning that, with the exception of candidate networks, candidates have not opted in to your emails. They aren’t signing up for your mailing list and giving you permission to contact them. Therefore, you need to be careful, respectful, and valuable for your outreach. Otherwise, your messages can even be branded as spam and discarded automatically.
Many of the tools below are designed for filling your candidate pool, but not much else. It’s up to you to use the pool you generate to populate other contact management apps to follow through with the rest of your hiring funnel.
You’re also not limited to a single tool or platform. While there will always be overlap between them, you can use as many tools as you want and can get to work together nicely.
With so many possible tools and platforms out there, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Enter this list: a curated selection of excellent tools, services, platforms, and apps that can help you fill your candidate pool in a way that makes sense for your business.
Avature – This is a large set of tools for finding candidates, managing contact information and relationships, tracking applications, and recruiting through various platforms, including campus recruiting and employee referrals. They also have tools for retail recruiting, agency management, and onboarding. They have a lot of available options for large businesses in particular.
Beamery – Beamery’s offerings are split into three categories: attract, with career sites, conversion management, and events; engage, with talent CRM and marketing; and retain, with internal mobility and satisfaction surveys. They also have compliance and connection products as part of their overall “talent operating system.” They use a unique “talent DNA” system of categorizing and filtering candidates that is extremely robust.
Contactout – This is a small tool that allows you to scrape contact information for an individual via a Chrome extension, utilizing LinkedIn and hundreds of other data sources. Information is available publicly and is in compliance with regulations, stored securely in their database, and matched with nothing but a name and the context of a page when you’re searching. Find a person on a website you want to recruit? Use this tool to find their contact information if it’s not readily available already.
Entelo – This is a platform with tools that include a candidate management app, a candidate search engine, an analytics suite, and candidate tracking. Perhaps most importantly, they have a strong focus on a diversity of hires, allowing you to ensure a diverse and represented team while still recruiting the best talent for any open position. They work with many international companies, including Target, Cisco, and Sony.
Fetcher – This tool is an automation engine that helps you streamline the top-of-funnel tasks that would otherwise eat up dozens of hours every time you need to refresh your candidate pool. They do this by building a pipeline of data from live talent profiles, email creation using automation and templates, and candidate nurturing through re-messaging and tiered engagement strategies.
Gem – Gem has two tools. The first is a sourcing platform that serves to aggregate data from all of your other tools, including GSuite apps, Calendar programs, LinkedIn, and raw data spreadsheets, and allows you to automate following up with those candidates in your pool. The second is a candidate relationship management platform with predictive analytics to manage your talent pool and filter out the top candidates for any position.
Greenhouse – This company provides several tools for various recruiting processes. These include a recruiting tool, an inclusivity tool, an onboarding tool, an events app, and a CRM platform, along with tiered service for businesses of all sizes, large and small. Smaller companies can use the Core service, while larger businesses that need high security, single sign-on, or scale workflows can use higher tiers.
HireArt – This is a hiring platform with a curated selection of candidates, whose profiles are analyzed for more than just education and experience. They upload and analyze work samples, take cognitive ability tests, and participate in structured interviews to help generate an AI-based predictive recommendation for candidates most likely to not just pass the interview stage, but thrive after they’re hired.
Hiretual – This company provides a platform with sourcing, screening, and engagement options. They also help manage contacts and delivery options, rediscovery of candidates that have fallen out of the pool, and analytics for the whole system to see where it’s working and where it’s falling short. The platform can be customized to suit your business’s needs, as well.
Hunter.io – This is a contact information search engine. You can plug in a domain name for a company and get a readout of the people involved, along with their roles and their contact information. They also have an email verifier that can help you check if an email you located elsewhere is a valid email for a given contact. The whole thing is very cheap as well, with pricing tiers dependant on the number of contacts requested monthly.
Pipl – This offering is a SaaS product providing a people search engine. They have a database of detailed personal profiles for potential candidates, including personal information, professional information, social links, demographics, contact information, and related information as it relates to recruiting. They also offer an API version of their data access for automated access from other tools or for custom software, if your company develops in-house.
Recruitifi – Recruitifi is a platform of platforms. They serve as a central hub for aggregating and managing data from other agency vendors. You can work with many other vendors through this one central profile complete with a career page to vet and onboard candidates from any source. You can use it to manage roles and assign specific roles to specific agencies as necessary to get the best candidates for any given position.
Seekout – A combination of candidate management platform and candidate pool itself, Seekout has over 400 million candidates sourced from public pools, as well as search capabilities to find and filter over 600 million more. AI-driven search finds the best potential passive and active candidates for a given role, with customizable filters and Boolean query support. They also have an advanced feature for developers specifically to search GitHub for specialized, professional roles.
Sourcing.io – This is a candidate pool search engine with a specialization in software engineers. Searches can be filtered based on a variety of different data points, from professional skills to their location and past work history. Extremely useful if you’re recruiting in that specific role, but if you’re not actively looking for software engineers, you won’t get much out of it.
Talentbin – Another candidate search engine with a massive database, powered by Monster funding the technology used to search and index people for a wide variety of roles. This search specializes in finding passive candidates with robust natural searching. Tools that link to the platform allow you to export and manage the data you find and collaborate with a hiring team.
TopFunnel – This candidate search and relationship management platform specializes not in finding candidates, but in engaging with them and communicating with them in a modern way. Rather than focusing on having the largest possible candidate pool, it strives to provide the best engagement and interview rates in the industry.
Visage – Visage is a unique take on recruiting; rather than relying on obtuse tools and institutional knowledge to search for ideal candidates, this platform crowdsources your candidate recommendations. You post a job, and their network of sources recommends potential candidates, filtered by AI, delivered to you. You can then choose and interview the most promising candidates.
vSource – Another sourcing platform with search capabilities, this one offers two different kinds of focused searches; to fill a role and to focus on diversity. They primarily work with small and mid-sized businesses but have enterprise-level packages available as well.
Wade and Wendy – Wade is a personal AI-based career guide for individuals seeking jobs, which learns over time and recommends more specific positions to individuals. The flip side is Wendy, the recruiter of the duo, which ingests and analyzes job postings to work with Wade’s system to recommend candidates from their network for specific roles. Very innovative, to say the least.
WayUp – A specialized candidate search and pool, WayUp specializes in college students and recent graduates, for when you’re looking for fresh young talent and new ideas.
WhiteTruffle – Another specialized platform, WhiteTruffle maintains a broad pool of tech-based candidates. Candidates can apply for “all jobs” on the platform, filtered and matched to their skills and desires. You post your open jobs and have a candidate pool already there waiting for you.
Vetting Your Choices
When it comes time to actually pick one or more of these tools, it’s generally a good idea to contact the vendor and ask about a demo. You can also ask them specific questions to get a feel for how they operate, what risks you might be taking with their tool, and any other repercussions.
Here are some example questions you can consider:
- Is the tool compliant with CAN-SPAM regulations on email messaging?
- Is the tool compliant with Europe’s GDPR regulations?
- Is the tool a self-service tool, a managed platform, or a hybrid of the two? Are there options?
- Does the tool include automation features?
- Does the tool have integrations with other tools or platforms you’re already using?
- How does the tool export or pass along data on candidates?
- What are the average response times for the candidates found through the tool?
- Will applicants need to interact with the tool, or is it all HR-facing?
- Does the tool manage multiple kinds of open positions at once, and can it prioritize important roles over less important openings?
- Does the tool interface with or help with interview scheduling?
- What analytics does the tool provide your team?
- What analytics does the tool provide the tool provider?
You can, of course, add any questions and concerns you want to your interview of a potential vendor. Vendor representatives will be more than happy to discuss different aspects of their platform to try to make a sale, so take advantage of this to get the information you need before signing any sort of contract. That’s the best way to make sure you’re satisfied with your choice.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.