The Future of Recruiting Tools

What tools are you currently using to find candidates?

-Resume databases – probably 90% of recruiters (internal and external).

-LinkedIn – probably 75% of recruiters with professional type openings.

-Facebook – probably 15% of recruiters (this will change quickly – agency recruiting folks are already heavily involved in Facebook search).

-Google Boolean searching – 5% or so – we in the ‘business’ like to act like everyone is doing this, but very few are actually doing it. Hardly anyone would be if it weren’t for Glenn Cathy!

What else is there? Employee referral programs, employment branding, etc. Same old stuff the last 5 years.

What will you be using in the next 5 years?

You’ll be using implicit search engines specifically designed to search for skills of individuals you are looking for and provide back to you information on those individuals and how to best reach them. What the hell is ‘implicit search’? Here’s a good comparison definition:

  • An explicit search (think resume database and LinkedIn Profile searching) is one where you are clearly searching for something specific and you are taking that action. It is often one done for a specific occasion or time. Today, I may search for “movie times Inception Sunnyvale” to find when the film is playing in my area…
  • An implicit search is more vague, keying off related activity or your own interests and alerting you to things you might want to know.

What are these tools?

There are three that I have used Dice’s Open Web, Talentbin and HiringSolved. All three are built under the same basic premise – many people we want to hire don’t have a LinkedIn profile or resume on the web, but we know they are out there. Heck, everyone is out there on the web! If your grandma is on the web, so is that Oil and

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Gas Engineer you’re searching for in Houston. As well, as the surgical RN in Minneapolis and Software Developer in Atlanta. You just don’t know how to find them!

Here’s how they do it. Talentbin’s founder, Peter Kazanjy, calls it ‘social exhaust’. All of us, including all those candidates we want, leave small bits of stuff around the web as we search, visit our favorite sites, etc. This ‘exhaust’ allows implicit search crawlers to build a social profile of you based on where you work and play on the web. This is how Dice, Talentbin and HiringSolved are all able to provide profiles of individuals on the web of individuals you won’t be able to find anywhere else. They aren’t giving you a profile from one site, but an amalgamation of many sites.

You don’t need to understand the technology to use these tools. You use them like you would use Goolge when searching for a new hat. Type in what you’re looking for and tool does all the heavy lifting. As more and more sites collect more and more of our personal and social data, these tools will just become more robust. The really cool thing I found was that these sites were able to find pretty much anyone on LinkedIn (LI being one of the sites all 3 of these tools pull from). There goes the need for a LinkedIn Recruiter membership, as these tools are much less in cost. Dice’s Open Web pulls from 50+ sites and is growing, Talentbin and HiringSolved pull from fewer sites, currently, than Dice, but all three are very effective depending on the type of recruiting and areas of focus you have.

Besides LinkedIn, these sites also pull data from all the big IT developer sites, Facebook, Twitter, etc. In the future they already see how they could be developing special engines just for your specialty of recruiting. Recruit Nurses? Nurses live on the web socially. They will be able to find them. Recruit retail managers? Bingo, same thing. We constantly joke about how “everyone” is on Facebook or on the web. Well, that’s because for the most part they are. The problem with current recruiting tools is that they don’t go out and find everyone – they only find those that are ‘opting’ in. I don’t know about you, but I want to talk to the folks who aren’t opting in!

FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. Good article, the dynamics of head hunting have really changed over the past 10 years. This article underlines exactly why you must clean up your online profile when looking for a new role.

    Contractors and freelancers should take note, your online profile is increasingly shaping your career and will effect future contracts.

    Shared on twitter 🙂

  2. Adam Godson says:

    Good article, Tim – I totally agree. It’s an “inside out” of the old approach. Instead of trying collect all the world’s data and index it (in an ATS or CRM), these tools look to connect to data where it’s generated by the user. As with most sourcing tools, it’s heavy in tech recruiting right now because it’s necessary and easiest. I’m interested to see which vendor (I’ll add Swoop Talent, Remarkable Hire, Entelo, Gild, and 3Sourcing to your list) will be able to (or want to) to the corner to other industries.

  3. Hi Tim,

    We’re using all of the tools/methods that you’ve mentioned in your article I will say though that when I was looking at it I didn’t find Google Boolean search to be of much use in our scenario but it is something I’ll look at in the future. Great article!

  4. Megan Burkett says:

    Thank you for sharing this Tim. I think of this often and with a very futuristic perspective. Instead of tools I think overtime we will see industry professionals who are active on professional communities become recruitment partners or consultants…. We will see how this pans out but I would love to connect and discuss in more details. Keep the good stuff coming in the meantime!

  5. RolePoint says:

    Great post! Another tool that’s seen as the future of recruitment is mobile. Research indicates that more than half of job seekers use their mobile devices to look for work at least once a week. When you use mobile to enhance your current strategies — such as a mobile employee referral program or mobile career site — you’ll be able to reach a wider range of job seekers and bring your recruitment strategies to the 21st century.

    If you’re interested in learning more about mobile and the recruitment process, we’re hosting a webinar on Feb. 6 on the topic. Learn more here:

  6. Kelly says: is a great recruiting tool.They provide social and professional information. This information includes phone numbers, email addresses, generated email addresses, links to resumes, social and professional profiles, blogs, documents and more. allows you to quickly and easily identify and build comprehensive lists of Passive Candidates, Sales and Marketing leads, easily exporting that information into your data management system from a single location.

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