recruiting tools startup needs

Recruiting Tools Every Startup Needs

Whether you’re a HR manager wearing several hats, the founder of a new startup, or a team member tasked with juggling multiple roles in a small business, recruiting a new hire is always a stretch. You’re bound to be short of time and a little unsure of what you’re doing, and you’re not alone if you feel tempted to curl up under your desk and hide from it all. But, there is a way to take the pressure off and perform well – and that’s by using recruitment tools.

Of course, recruitment tools are only ever part of the solution; there’s always a place for traditional methods of recruiting, such as telephone calls and face to face conversations. But when used as part of a blend, tools can help you to rival the bigger businesses with larger budgets and more generous resources.

Here’s a list of cheap (or even free) recruiting tools every startup needs. And more importantly, here’s a little bit of information on how to get the most from each of them while you’re using them on a shoestring…



LinkedIn is probably the first place you’ll head if you’re looking for a candidate, and with good reason: it’s easy to find potential hires using keywords or searching by past or current employers. You can build networks, and even advertise positions. You might ask a contact to set up an introduction for a candidate who’s caught your eye, or use LinkedIn’s InMail service to send direct emails. And for the most part, many useful features are free.

To see why some people do not answer your emails, have a look there

How to make it work for you

Expect to get the most from LinkedIn if you treat it as a networking site rather than just a sourcing site – you never know who you might come across if you make the effort to form relationships. Also, give InMail the effort it deserves (provided you think the ROI is worth it). InMail is the one and only opportunity you’re going to get to hook a candidate, so be sure you’ve before you hit send. Just bear in mind that LinkedIn isn’t the be-all and end-all its touted to be: everyone is using it, which means competition is fierce. Widen your net!

Check out:



Gender Decoder

Have you ever thought about the fact your job ads might appeal to men or women specifically? Probably not – after all, most of us aren’t aware of unconscious bias. But as any good recruiter knows, diversity in the workplace is essential.

One of the most effective ways to have a positive impact on diversity is to ensure your job adverts are written in a way that ensure men and women aren’t put off from applying. So stop and think about the most recent job ads you posted – did the language you use sound mostly feminine? Masculine? If you’re unsure, head to the Gender Decoder website – it will let you know whether your job ad is feminine-coded or masculine-coded.

The tool identifies the gender bias in your job ads by searching for specific words that reinforce a stereotype. For example, ads weighted with words such as ‘compassionate’, ‘understand’, ‘enthusiasm’ suggest a female bias, and words such as ‘competitors’, ‘individual’ and ‘confident’ suggest a masculine bias. There are lots of other things that affect the diversity of applicants for a role, but language is certainly something you should be paying attention to.

How to make it work for you

It’s OK to include words that are typically associated with one gender or the other, but be sure to balance them in your job adverts wherever possible. Aim for a gender-neutral job advert if you want to resonate with more candidates, and remember to run the job ad through the tool in its entirety for maximum accuracy.

Check it out:



Sourcing can sometimes feel as though it requires a sprinkling of magic, and arguably it does. But there are a few shortcuts you can take if you want to track down a candidate’s email address. One of these shortcuts is a tool called Hunter, an email finding and verifying tool that helps you to uncover a candidate’s email by analyzing the normal pattern for email addresses on a website. It will synchronize with your CRM, and as one reviewer says, it “beats InMail every day of the week and twice on Sunday”.

How to make it work for you

The pricing plan means that this tool is easily affordable for small businesses and startups, but hold fire on handing over your card details; you’ll get by on the free version until you want to start parsing lists or storing leads. Don’t forget to check that you’re respecting the End User License Agreement (EULA) of each site or social network, and be sure to comply with the privacy laws that apply to you too.

Check it out:


Hello Talent

We couldn’t write a list of recruitment tools every startup needs without including our own, could we? Our tool allows you to source, screen, share and manage candidates in one centralized place, so you can stop working out of spreadsheets. Pull together information from social media, CVs, emails and more, and create talent pools to keep tabs on everyone. And, did we mention that Hello Talent is GDPR-compliant too? It’s worth considering given that GDPR compliance will be absolutely essential after May 2018.

How to make it work for you

Keep an open mind and be creative: you’ll source the best candidates if you look where other people aren’t prepared to dig. Also, we suggest integrating Hello Talent with Slack so that everyone in your team stays up to date; you’ll save a ton of time and effort by being able to work so logically and collaboratively.

Sign up for free here: 



Crystal has been described as a tool that’s “somewhere between a horoscope and a Myers-Briggs profile”, but what you need to know is that it’s an eerily accurate tool for improving candidate engagement. That’s because it helps you to tailor your communication style to the person on the other end of the conversation.

Crystal is a Chrome extension that analyzes public data from different platforms across the web, and then creates a unique personality profile for every person with an online presence. It gives you suggestions for how best to communicate with a candidate, getting you speaking and writing in the style they prefer. This results in – you guessed it – better relationships, better conversations, and better results.

How to make it work for you

Use Crystal it conjunction with Gmail – it will give you real time suggestions on how to write your emails (including phrases and words you should and shouldn’t use) so that it resonates with the candidate you’re contacting.

Check it out:


Key takeaways

A day in the life of a recruiter is often a demanding one, and tools can certainly help you to do your job more productively and efficiently. Remember:

  • The free version of numerous tools will offer the perfect package for startups and small businesses – you don’t always have to pay to unlock the more advanced features right away.
  • Even the best tools need to be seen for what they are: they’re tools to aid your efforts more widely, but they won’t ever replace the other skills you need to be a good recruiter.
  • Confirm any tool you’re using is GDPR compliant, contacting the suppliers directly if you’re unsure.