Prospecting for candidates can chew up valuable time and hinder productivity if your processes become outdated or inefficient.

According to a recent survey by Alexander Mann Solutions and Social Talent, the typical recruiting funnel converts potential candidates to hires at the dismal rate of 0.4 %.

At that pace, the average recruiter would need to find 282 people to make a single hire. Ouch.

Fortunately, help is at hand. These powerful prospecting tools can remove the roadblocks that delay and encumber the sourcing and selection process for contract and full-time candidates. In fact, today’s tools are so good, the only thing your team needs to add is a human touch.

[Note: Although the tools are categorized, they provide varying levels of functionality and features.]

Social Recruiting Optimizers

With time-to-fill for full-time positions reaching an all-time high of 29.3 working days, optimizing social recruiting activities has become a priority for staffing executives.

Multi-Platform Management

Are your tweets falling on deaf ears? Does your team spend hours posting content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+? Save time by using a management tool to consolidate activity across multiple platforms. Receive messages in a single inbox, monitor user comments and sentiment and create dashboards to track the effectiveness of social recruiting programs. Instead of guessing, understand user habits and schedule tweets and posts when your best prospects are most likely to be online.

Options: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social

Dedicated Management

If your team’s recruiting activity is focused on just one or two social media sites, dedicated service tools may be the best way to access audience insights, analytics, expanded profiles and more. Best of all, most of the tools are free.

For instance, at Artech Information Systems, technical recruiters save time by using LinkedIn Pro to search profiles, build pipelines and set alerts right in the platform, according to CEO and co-founder Ranjini Poddar.

And at Paramount Staffing, marketing gurus combine Google Analytics with Facebook Insights to extract demographic data on the firm’s 20,000 Facebook fans. The analysis helps Matt Schubert, owner and head of recruiting, plot advantageous stops for the firm’s new mobile recruiting center.

Options: Twitter Analytics, Tweetdeck, Tweriod, LinkedIn Recruiter Pro and Lite, Facebook Graph Search, Facebook Competitive Analysis Report


Retargeting may be fairly new in recruiting circles, but the established ecommerce strategy is a great way to boost advertising return on investment, according to Andy Headworth, CEO and founder of Sirona Consulting.

Studies show that the practice increases conversion rates (that’s the ability to turn visitors into candidates) by 10% to 30%. You simply add a line of tracking code or pixel to your website and recruiting ads and your visitors will receive tailored job opportunities and compelling content as they search the web.

Options: Followerwonk, Facebook Exchange, Tailored Audiences, ReTargeter, Google Adwords, Adroll

Sourcing and Selection Tools

Only 28% of the candidates who are initially identified in a typical search are contacted and nearly 72% of search results produce candidates that aren’t suited for the position, according to the Mann survey. These tools can help recruiters find the right candidates sooner.

Talent Aggregators

Talent aggregators construct a holistic picture of a candidate by scraping, analyzing and consolidating information from disparate profiles strewn across multiple social networking sites and job boards. For instance, a profile may highlight a tech pro’s technical skills, education, code samples, work history and hobbies, making it easier to present targeted job opportunities that match the person’s location, career goals and passions.

Options: Recruitment Edge, OpenWeb, TalentBin, Entelo, HiringSolved

Boolean Search

Unless your recruiters are adept at writing complex Boolean search strings, they may never find that purple squirrel or game-changer who is hiding in plain sight on the web. Luckily, there are browser extenders or add-ons that will build one for you.

Options: Recruit’em, TalentSonar, Social Talent Boolean Builder, Twiangulate (creates a string search for followers on Twitter)

Profile and Pipeline Builders

Are your team’s pipelines running on empty? Profile and pipeline builders can assist in several ways.

Some use keyword searches to find look-alike candidates on the net. Others enable you to add new prospects to your talent pool with a single click. Still others let you view lists of employees when you land on a company’s website, or they reveal the communities and social networks where your best prospects hang out online.

Options: Hello Talent,, pipl, Capture!


It’s “game on” for recruiters looking to compete for millennials and top performers. These tools combine simulations and game play with behavioral science and data analytics to attract candidates and evaluate their aptitude for specific roles and positions.

Headworth recommends several tools including pymetrics, which uses research from MIT and Harvard to create unbiased, scientific games and algorithms to evaluate talent. “After candidates play a game for about 10 minutes, you’ll get a 13-page report outlining their cognitive and emotional strengths,” he said.

Options: Knack, Artic Shores, pymetrics

Outreach Tools

Email response rates increased by 50% when recruiters at Yahoo! started doing their homework and sending personalized messages to prospects, according to Sandy Gould, senior VP of talent acquisition. Based on the Mann survey, most recruiters take the path of least resistance. Eightyone percent send inmail to initiate a relationship and only 14% take the time to find a candidate’s e-mail address and send a customized message.


Sending out mass, generic emails and uninformative, cliché-laden job descriptions is guaranteed to turn off in-demand prospects who receive dozens of inquiries every day. Enter the intuitive word processor that compares your text to a database of successful phrases and scores the effectiveness of your email or job posting as you type.

Options: Textio


There’s no need to hire a private detective to ferret out the contact information for passive candidates. The team at Eliassen Group uses Prophet, a free Chrome extension that not only hunts down email addresses, but actually pings the server to verify the accuracy of an address, said Executive VP Mike McBrierty. Some tools track opens and link clicks to gauge the effectiveness of an email campaign.

Options: Email Hunter, Rapportive, That’s Them, Yesware

Engagement Predictors

In the past, recruiters needed psychic powers to predict when a passive candidate was ready to change jobs. Now, outreach can be more effective, thanks to intuitive marketing platforms that use algorithms and analytics to track engagement and predict when the prospects in your network may be receptive to new opportunities. Many tools also provide insight into a candidate’s preferred work environment, interests and communication style.

Options: SmashFly, Gild, Beamery,, Joberate