The quest for great candidates for your job always begins at the same point: candidate sourcing. One of the qualities of great recruiters is that they have a knack for finding the most talented, competent people in the unlikeliest of places. While some of this can be attributed to good luck, the majority of sourcing success comes down to hard work and using the right tools for the job.
For budding recruiters, here is a list of sourcing tools that you can use to find excellent job candidates, from web scrapers to browser extensions and all the way to full-fledged recruiting CRMs.
Platforms you can source from
In order to get the ball rolling and hire some great people, first you need the platforms to source them from. Besides the obvious (LinkedIn), there are some hidden gems that savvy recruiters can use to find excellent passive and active job candidates.
Facebook – Fact: there are over 2 billion active Facebook users. Another fact: only 1 in 5 recruiters use Facebook to source for candidates, mostly because of their lack of marketing skills.
Twitter – If you follow the right industries, people and hashtags, you can unearth a plethora of great candidates from one of the more unlikely places to source talent.
GitHub – What’s the best place to find a developer? Probably one that has around 31 million of them. GitHub is one of the largest web repositories of code where developers share their work, manage projects and get stuff done. It’s also a great resource for candidate sourcing.
Meetup.com – This event website lets you join groups and organize meetings, but it’s also a great place to unearth great talent. By searching in Meetup’s publicly available groups and profiles, you can find some excellent candidates.
SlideShare – Okay, you may think this is a long shot, but consider this – you can research presentations on technical topics like embedding iframe content into HTML5 coded pages on SlideShare. From there, you can easily click on the presentation creator’s profile and give them a nudge – perhaps they’re looking for new challenges?
Slack – Besides being a great workplace communication tool, Slack has hundreds of communities where you can post job ads and source active and passive candidates. For a detailed list of these communities, check our post here.
Medium – If someone’s great at what they do (and they happen to write about it on Medium), this is an excellent platform to reach out to experts, influencers or just great writers. For example, you can look for some great technical talent at the freeCodeCamp Blog.
Keybase.io – This free security app for phones and computers lets users communicate and share files. With over 322,000 users and 48,000 teams, your next ideal developer, sysadmin or devops could be waiting for you just here.
LinkedIn – The number one choice for candidate sourcing, where you can easily reach out to candidates as well. Using one of many LinkedIn’s filters, you have an entire world of candidates at your fingertips. You’ll probably have to pay to get good stuff, though.
Email Finding Tools
You’ve used the platforms mentioned above and made a list of some excellent candidates to reach out to, now you just need a way how. While you could reach out directly (perfectly reasonable on LinkedIn, for example), it’s not a common way to approach sourcing on networks such as Facebook or Twitter, while in some cases you may not have a chance to talk to the candidate directly at all. To get a hold of them, use one of these tools to find candidates’ emails and send them a neat, personalized message straight to their inbox.
Contact Out – The first of many tools that lets you find people’s email and phone number on LinkedIn, with an interface that’s extremely easy to use.
Hunter.io – Used by sales teams across industries, Hunter.io scrapes LinkedIn profiles to find corporate email addresses. Note: candidates may not be registered on LinkedIn with their personal email.
Snov.io – More geared towards sales, Snovio lets you find corporate email addresses for cold outreach, but it’s not out of place for candidate sourcing either.
Voila Norbert – His name is Norbert and apparently, he can find anyone’s email address. First 50 search results are free.
Anymail Finder – Guaranteeing you 100% verified emails, this service is used by more than 30,000 companies to find emails for cold outreach.
Silk Prospector – Boasting over 70 million prospects and 95% accuracy, this is a classic sales leads tool for scraping corporate emails.
Leedfeeder Contacts – More of a sales tool than a sourcing one, LeadFeeder grabs info from website visitors as they land on your site, including their email address. If the majority of your applicants come from job boards or social, you can skip this one.
Name2Email – This free Chrome extension lets you enter someone’s name and corporate domain in Gmail and it will auto-generate the most common email address patterns for you to try out. Not the most high-tech solution, but it can work.
Email Generator – If you don’t want to pay for any of the tools in this group, you can simply try finding the emails by guesswork. Enter a candidate’s name and company domain and let this tool come up with up to 50 email combinations to try out. Budget option – sure. Efficient? Not exactly, but we’ll let you give it a spin.
Lead Gibbon – Fun facts: a gibbon is a type of an ape; LeadGibbon’s main tagline is that it’s better than Hunter.io. With a free 7-day trial, you can see if they stand behind that claim.
Lead Finder – Promising you unlimited leads for free, this service lets you type a person’s name and company and it finds their email. I tried it out and it worked for all of my entries – your mileage may vary.
FindThatLead – As the name suggests, the service is best used for finding sales leads, but it works genuinely well for candidate emails as well.
Improver.io – For something different, Improver is a specialized sourcing tool for recruiters that lets you find personal (not corporate) candidate emails and phone numbers, match them to your vacancies and browse their profiles on LinkedIn.
Clearbit Connect – If you want to contact a lot of potential candidates quickly – this is your solution, with less than 5 seconds per single scraped email.
While these tools claim they get the right email almost all of the time, not all of them validate the scraped emails so you know they’re actually correct – so you don’t end up barking up the wrong tree. Here are some tools that can be used to validate scraped emails:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator – Arguably the most powerful tool in a recruiter’s arsenal, it allows ample insight into candidates’ LinkedIn profiles, as well as the ability to verify their email addresses (as long as the scraped and the LinkedIn one are identical).
Text Magic – Simply put in a candidate’s email into this tool and you’ll get a range of technical parameters around it, as well as a grade: valid or invalid.
Verifalia – Easy to use and provides immediate results, letting you know whether an email is valid and safe to send to. Best of all, completely free.
Email Hippo – Much like the previously mentioned tools, Email Hippo lets you enter an email and find out if it’s legitimate, only without all the fancy wording that comes with Text Magic.
Email Checker – The aptly titled Email Checker does what it claims to do, but not that efficiently – it’s the only tool from this list that didn’t verify all of the emails I personally tested.
You wouldn’t be an efficient recruiter if you weren’t tracking your candidate outreach efforts, would you? Now that you’ve gone through the hard work and sourced the right candidates and found their emails, it would be a shame to leave contacting them up to chance. These are the tools you can use to track and measure important metrics when it comes to candidate outreach, such as open rates, bounce rates, click-through rates and many others.
Yesware – Better suited for sales teams, Yesware makes it easy to track relevant email metrics, while providing integrations with great tools such as Salesforce, Office365 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Docsify – This tool lets you track emails, links and attachments with all relevant metrics, with the bulk of features available completely free.
Email Tracker – Believe it or not, this tool is not related to Email Checker, but it lets you track your emails from a Chrome extension with ease.
Mixmax – One of the most powerful email tracking tools there is, Mixmax is almost a full-fledged email marketing provider. Its wide range of options include templates, nurture sequences and workflow automation, which will be more than enough for the average recruiter.
Autoklose – This email automation tool offers a host of great tools to manage your email campaigns, but may be too much for the purposes of sourcing.
CRMs For Recruiters
Although CRM originally stands for customer-relationship management, there are a range of CRM tools for sourcing and hiring the right people in a pool with thousands of applicants. Here are some of them.
SmashFly CRM – If you already have a great list of sourced candidates, you need a solution to manage them all. SmashFly enables great features such as automated candidate segmenting, talent discovery within your database, data enrichment and much more.
Loxo – This complex ATS and CRM solution offers powerful capabilities, such as sourcing automation and auto data discovery for finding candidates’ personal information.
DataCruit – Perhaps not necessarily a sourcing tool, DataCruit lets you manage your job openings, candidates, contracts and offers from a single hub.
Improving your Job Ads
As we’ve written before, your job ad is one of the cornerstone elements of a good hiring campaign. Do it right, and you’ll have a stream of great applicants rolling in. Get it wrong and candidates will bounce from the page as soon as they reach the end of the first paragraph. The fact is, only great job ads stand out and attract high-quality applicants. These tools will help you get to that point more quickly.
Grammarly – This is an essential tool in every writer’s tool kit, enabling you to check on the grammar, spelling, collocations and much more in your jobs. If you write a lot, the premium version is well worth paying for.
Hemingway App – Just because your job ad is free of spelling and grammar errors, this doesn’t mean that it’s actually pleasant to read. The free Hemingway app checks your copy’s readability score and gives it a reading level grade so you know candidates find it easy and pleasant to read.
Ongig – This tool boosts your quality candidates through both text and media. Ongig’s Text Analyzer analyzes your job ads for gender / unconscious bias, readability, job title and overall length. Ongig also has a content management system that lets you enhance the employer branding of your job pages by adding pictures, video and other recruiting widgets such as Google Maps, Glassdoor Ratings and Reviews, Recommended Jobs, Comments / Chat, LinkedIn Connectability, Walkscore and more.
Textio – This augmented writing tool deeply analyzes the copy in your job ads and ensures it’s not biased again gender, age, nationality or any other population group, showing how effective your job ad will be on your target group.
Gender Decoder – Like a simplified version of Textio, Gender Decoder allows you to paste your job ad copy, letting you know whether it’s masculine, feminine or neutral and highlighting the most prominent “gendered” words.
Glossary Tech – One of the best resources for tech recruiters, this online glossary lets you search for tech terms so you can finally find out what Angular2 really is. It also comes with a handy Chrome extension and a CV scanner within the site – and all of this is completely free to use.
Productivity and workflow improvement
One of the biggest problems in modern recruitment is that there are hordes of candidates and only a position or two that need filling. Instead of reading through CVs one by one, smart recruiters automate much of their work so that they can spend time on those candidates that deserve it. Besides using Toggl Hire for pre-employment testing, try these out as well.
Google Sheets – Even if you have an overpriced, fancy ATS with all the bells and whistles, nothing beats a clean list of candidates in Google Sheets. If you know a formula or two as well, you can do some proper magic with this bad boy.
Zapier / IFTTT – Ever since Zapier and If This Than That became a thing, recruiters around the world rejoiced knowing that everything could be automated. Want new applicant emails to go to a special Google Sheet and then be sent to a new MailChimp mailing list or turned into individual Trello cards? Yep, it can be done.
Pocket – This great Chrome extension lets you save links for later viewing. Whether it’s candidate profiles, job ads or portfolios, you can save them in Pocket, which will sync them across all your devices.
Better Proposals – This piece of proposal software is excellent for sales, but it’s also a tool that you can use for hiring. Once you find your ideal candidate, you can send them a job offer through this app which they can sign on the spot – and the signature is legally binding.
Although it takes some talent (and quite a lot of willpower and perseverance), successful recruiters have a range of useful tools at their disposal to make their sourcing easier. We hope you found this list useful and it makes your sourcing efforts more efficient and successful!