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The recruiting field is a highly competitive one, amplified by widespread talent shortages across many industries and skill sets. It’s a big challenge to cut through the noise and capture the attention of in-demand candidates being inundated with calls and emails every day. Luckily, there are a number of effective recruiting tools that can help you beat the competition, connect with candidates, and give your own career a boost in the process.

Applicant Tracking Systems

Every recruiter’s best friend, an ATS is home base for anyone in the profession. While the concept of an ATS is nothing new, its sheer number of options and innovations has been rapidly increasing. Outside of better resume screening and mobile options that actually work as advertised, the advancement of artificial intelligence means the envelope is constantly being pushed to increase productivity for recruiters.

However, an ATS can only be as effective as the recruiter using it. Studies show that 90% of professionals want to hear from a recruiter, but only 36% are actively searching for new opportunities. So how can an ATS help a recruiter capitalize on such a great amount of initial interest? The answer lies in those candidates in the system who have gone quiet and become ignored, in addition to potential “boomerang talent,” or the workers who leave an organization only to return at a later date. When a recruiter is able to use an ATS to keep track of and attempt to further conversations with these often-neglected segments, it effectively increases the size of their potential talent pool.

Social Media Platforms

Any tool that can cut through clutter and take a recruiter straight to the eyes and ears of a candidate is valuable, and that’s why social media platforms are one of the most important recruiting tools today. 66% of job seekers are more interested in culture than any other aspect of the company they’re considering joining, and the power of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to showcase a work environment is unrivaled. Culture is a huge reason why posting a job on social media increases applications by 30-50%.

Of course, LinkedIn is the pinnacle of social media recruiting and the premiere social network for professionals. While it shouldn’t be the only platform to use, Linkedin Recruiter can help leverage the site to produce more applicants than Facebook and Twitter combined. But that’s only if it’s approached correctly. Proper social media recruiting should focus on positioning yourself as knowledgeable in the industry of the candidates you’re going after, and attract them naturally by fostering conversations and building relationships. It can be tempting to aggressively pitch a candidate the moment they are located, but it’s more fruitful in the long-run to provide them with value and organically allow that trust to build.

Job Boards

One of the first and biggest ways the internet revolutionized recruiting was in fostering several massive job boards. With all the innovations that have come since, major players such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster have proven they are here to stay. Candidates expect your roles to be there, and updates over the years have made managing resume databases, posting new jobs, and integrating these sites with an ATS easier than ever. Additionally, job boards assist in Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, you won’t appear in Google search results for “Developer jobs in Chicago” if your posting only appears on one page in one crevasse of the internet.

With candidates recognizing the demand for their specialized skill sets, it’s no wonder that niche job boards are becoming prevalent. Tailored to specific industries, segments, or regions, these portals can be a huge boost when attempting to locate talent for harder-to-fill roles that get lost in the sea of opportunities on a major player like Indeed. Overall, job boards can be helpful, but they ultimately only spark an initial conversation and cannot secure talent on their own.


No conversation regarding software for recruiters is complete without a mention of chatbots. A far cry from your AOL Instant Messenger bots from the late 90’s, technological advancements have produced “smart” chatbots that can screen and interview candidates. But candidates are smart, and heavy reliance on chatbots can make them feel neglected. The proliferation of chatbots in recruiting is inevitable, especially in larger-volume organizations, but using them appropriately and not placing excessive reliance on them is the key to harnessing their benefits and not their downfalls.

Referrals are King

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest software tool or tech trend that promises to revolutionize a recruiter’s workload. While many can deliver what they promise, it’s important to always remember the power of current prospects and talent. Employee referrals have a 40% applicant conversion rate, stay longer with an organization, and provide a shorter recruiting process for 67% of recruiters. When referral strategy is invested in like any other tool, it can become one of the most effective ways of securing quality candidates.

Top Recruiting Tools in Today’s Staffing Landscape

At its heart, recruiting is about building trustworthy relationships and granting someone confidence that you can push their career forward with the opportunities you’re providing. After all, this industry would not exist without candidates. Regardless of which combination of tools works for you, achieving a healthy recruiter-candidate relationship is what makes the difference between a mutually-beneficial partnership and an “unsubscribe” request from an annoyed professional.