If you are sourcing on a budget – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – you are likely scouring the internet searching for sourcing tools and strategies that can help you find employees for free. Look no further. MightyRecruiter asked seven top recruiters which free tools they turn to when they are looking for the perfect candidate.
Favorite Chrome extension to find employees for free:
“When I’m searching for candidates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Github, I use the MightySourcer Chrome extension for reliable candidate data,” said Rose Dougherty, senior recruiter for BOLD. “MightySourcer helps me find email addresses and phone numbers, as well as information about a candidate’s education and work experience.”
Dougherty also uses the extension to invite candidates she’s found online to apply for open roles at BOLD, which she says has made her job easier in a tight job market.
According to David Nicola, senior technical talent researcher for ViaSat, ContactOut is one of the best Chrome extensions in his toolbox for tracking down candidate email addresses. When he wants to find employees for free, he also uses Lusha for gathering contact information.
“It’s great for phone numbers. It’s not as good for finding email addresses, but it provides more phone numbers for candidates than anything I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Another free tool that I’ve been using a lot over the last month or so is snov.io. That is both a platform and a Chrome extension for sourcing. It’s got an email finder and verifier and a lot of cool little free tools.”
Nicola also recommends Prophet for scraping social sites for contact information. He likes that it analyzes and verifies contact information, making it a reliable resource. Plus, if an email isn’t immediately available, Prophet will predict the most likely email combination for a person based on name, company, and other social data, and then verifies the generated email for you to make sure it is correct and deliverable.
Favorite resume database to find employees for free:
“I like using Indeed to find employees for free,” Nicola said. “It’s the biggest resume repository in the world, and even on the free side you can see enough information about candidates that with just a little bit of additional digging you can find out the contact information you need.”
“MightyRecruiter and Indeed both have large databases,” said Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, who is an expert in hiring for small businesses. “I like to use more than one source because candidates may use only one platform. Using more than one gives me access to more candidates and I’m able to quickly build a pipeline for current and future roles.”
Favorite professional social network to find employees for free:
This likely won’t come as a surprise but recruiters love LinkedIn. According to Orlando Haynes, a staffing specialist at Amazon, LinkedIn is the most useful free resource out there,
“It has a massive reach capability based on your network. Typically, you can reach a more professional candidate pool,” Haynes said. “You can match their profile to their resume to catch any gaps that may cause a red flag. The reverse is also true. LinkedIn allows you to highlight more skills then one would normally place on their resume. 94% of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as their primary search tool.”
Build relationships with local colleges
Ilyce Glink, founder and CEO of Best Money Moves, uses the connections she’s built with local colleges to recruit not only interns but permanent staff members.
“Over the years I have worked closely with [local colleges and universities] to find employees for free. I look for students who are smart and capable but who may have been overlooked by other employers in their job search,” she said. “I have found that working with their journalism departments to hire writers or their marketing departments when we are looking for marketing people has been really successful. This approach has been a great way to grow my own team and train people to do things the way you want them to be done.”
She believes that this approach would be an untapped resource for recruiters who need to find employees for free. She said that the vast majority of hires have come through job posts listed with university departments.
“You do have to put some thought into which departments you approach, but we have made many successful hires this way,” she said.
By way of example, Glink said that her son, who is a sophomore at Northwestern, went to the university’s job fair recently to find a summer internship. He saw long lines at the booths of all of the major companies but found that barely any small companies showed up for the job fair.
“It’s such a miss because there are lots of kids like him who are smart and have great grades and are capable,” she said. “The big companies like Google, Microsoft, and Twitter are only going to look at so many kids for these roles. That leaves a lot of other really talented kids out there who would consider a job or internship at a smaller company.”
Build a custom search to find employees for free
“Creating a custom search is absolutely the way to go,” said Nicola of his go-to tool when he wants to find employees for free. “There is no third-party vendor involvement. You can be as specific as you want. There are several ways to do it, but I’d start by going to Google’s Custom Search page.
You plug in the names of the sites you’d like it to search and give the search a name. Let’s say you are looking for full-stack developers in San Francisco, for example. You are going to name it and hit create. Then from there you can get the codes added to your website or save the custom search engine URL so I can share it with my team if I want.”
Nicola said that when he creates custom searches, he adds keywords to modify his search and adds refinements, such as location, education, or experience level.
“You can get very specific and search for, say, Stamford graduates who live in San Francisco who have emails and telephone numbers available,” he said. “I think it’s really the way to go.”
Find conversation starters to find employees for free
“Successful sourcing takes more than just finding people,” said Katrina Collier, social media recruiting expert and founder of The Searchologist.
“Finding people is easy; there are countless tools available to build search strings and uncover email addresses and telephone numbers, but what excellent sourcers do is gain attention by finding conversation starters. A tweet, a blog post, an interest, something personal that shows they’ve done their research. My favorite tools for doing that are AmazingHiring and Discover.ly; they connect the dots across different social media and save sourcers time!”
Favorite free tool for email outreach and tracking:
“I use my Outlook calendar for tracking all my calls, interviews, and follow-ups. I also calendar my emails there,” she said.
“I like to send emails so that they hit in the early morning – 7 a.m. or so – or sometimes I’ll schedule them to send in the late evening – around 8 p.m.”
In addition to scheduling emails, HubSpot offers a completely free CRM to help recruiters track their leads (candidates).
Favorite free scheduling tool:
“I’ve used a few, but I really like Calendly,” Nicola said. “It works pretty well for me, and there is more stuff on the free side than any other tool I’ve used. Plus, it integrates with Outlook, Gmail, and other email platforms which makes it easy.”
Barnes-Hogg also recommends Calendly.
“It facilitates scheduling candidate interviews and saves time because you can add a short questionnaire that asks candidates standard ‘housekeeping’ questions like salary requirement, commute, and so forth, right in the calendar appointment,” she said. “You can also set blocks of time for screening interviews, send links to candidates to have them schedule themselves to eliminate back and forth to find availability.
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