May 24, 2017 10:51 AM

Updated: The Recruiter's Toolbox - Essential Recruitment Tools and Systems

Updated for 2020

The life of a recruiter is rarely an easy one. From reviewing hundreds of resumes to arranging interview times that suit dozens of candidates and their prospective employers, their working life is a never-ending to-do list.

Thankfully, there are several areas in which technology can be a great help to the modern day recruiter and in fact, if used correctly could even give them a significant advantage over their competitors. But of course, with such a vast array of applications and various technological aids at their disposal, there’s one small question; which ones to use?

Applicant tracking systems (ATS)

An ATS is a tool that will allow a recruiter to track the progress of candidates through the entire hiring process from first contact to signing on the dotted line. Many old-schoolers scoff at the idea of using a dedicated formal ATS preferring to use a good old spreadsheet instead. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, it does take considerably more time, and you lose the added functionality of a good ATS.

ATS platforms are of such a high-quality of late, that it is very difficult to recommend one over another. This is particularly true for recruiters that are looking for certain functionalities and features that not all platforms offer. So with that in mind here are several platforms that cover the most essential requirements.


Bullhorn is one of the biggest and most used ATS platforms and counts quite a few large and well-known recruitment agencies and companies as their customers. This ATS streamlines the entire applicant tracking process and counts speed as one of its biggest advantages over the competition.  

Check out Bullhorn


A flexible and scalable ATS, Greenhouse’s intuitive interface and sleek design make this an incredibly easy and enjoyable platform to use. With great customer service and huge clients such as Airbnb and Evernote, this is one worth taking a look at.

Check out Greenhouse


Lever’s popularity stems from its added features that you won’t find on too many of its counterparts’ platforms. These features include two-way email sync, @-mentions, and one-click sourcing.

Check out Lever


Avature is one of the industry’s true big hitters, and its flexibility makes it an attractive option for recruiters hiring for positions from the bottom right up to the top. From building brand-centric career sites to managing pipeline metrics, you can do pretty much anything with this platform.

Check out Avature


This particular ATS platform prides itself on its incredible customer service and how it provides users with the ability to attract the right talent through tailored careers sites. It’s incredibly easy to master allowing everyone on the team to work collaboratively through the cloud. 

Check out Recruitee


This award-winning ATS touts itself as the recruitment software designed with both the recruiter and candidate experience in mind. It’s a big claim to live up to but with their responsiveness to customer suggestions, we can see why this particular platform is a big hit. 

Check out BrightMove 


Another candidate-focused platform that assists with social recruiting along with providing a variety of employee onboarding functions. Users of Jobvite will find a comprehensive list of tools required for tracking your applicant’s progress from their first look right through to the first day on the job. 

Check out Jobvite

Breezy HR

This relative newcomer to the recruitment scene is quickly making a name for itself as one of the most comprehensive ATS platforms offering an end to end solution to the majority of your recruitment needs. This particular platform is feted for its seamless UI and functionality.

Check out Breezy HR


Workable bills itself as the complete recruitment toolkit and with 40+ integrations and countless features, it seems to live up to the claim. There are over 700+ SEO optimized job descriptions available through the platform which you can then push to 200+ jobs boards. Workable pretty much nails the whole automation thing. 

Check out Workable


The standout benefit of using Zoho is the price. You’ll be hard pressed to find any tool that offers a free version that has a raft of features that ensure that even those on a super tight budget can still have a functioning ATS. Even the paid versions are still quite affordable making this the ideal solution for small companies or new start ups. 

Check out Zoho

Jazz HR

Jazz HR is another ATS tool at the affordable end of the scale. Despite its relatively low price, this is a robust tool that will track applicants through the entire hiring process from job posts to onboarding. Jazz also includes compliance and reporting tools along with social tools to help you with your employer branding. 

Check out Jazz HR 


Phenom provides recruiters with a comprehensive set of tools to handle every step of the recruitment process. With a heavy focus on candidate experience, this particular ATS allows you to create a highly-personalized recruitment process while keeping track of applicants every step of the way.

Check out Phenom

Contact Finders

There’s nothing worse than finding a suitable candidate only to discover that there are no contact details on their social media profile. And if they aren’t too active on their profile (does anyone really check their Facebook messages every day?), then the lead could turn cold. This is where a good contact finder is worth its weight in gold.

However, we’ll just point out that for some of these tools, you may end only be able to find a candidate’s current work email.


There are quite literally hundreds of contact finders all claiming to be the best, but ContactOut is the only one to make the bold claim that they can find twice as many emails as the competition. They offer 100 free credits per day and are easily one of the most popular contact finders out there.

Check out ContactOut


We like Hunter for its simple browser plugin that allows you to check email addresses for any domain that you visit. They also verify the emails, and you get 150 free requests a month before you need to start paying. 

Check out Hunter


Anything that promises results after just one click is worth a look, but that’s just one of the reasons we like PreContactTool. When viewing a candidate’s profile on LinkedIn, one click of the Chrome extension for this tool will start a search for any relevant contact information on the profile before scouring the web for further points of contact and verification. 

Check out PreContactTool 


Lusha is a contact finding tool that has been growing in popularity over the last year. Like PreContactTool, it has a Chrome extension that allows you to scan LinkedIn profiles to find any relevant contact details. Lusha also supports Salesforce and features an email verifier. 

Check out Lusha

Candidate Relationship Management (CRM)

As you are well aware, candidate relationship management involves recording and managing a company’s impressions and interactions with potential candidates and those that get the job. Organizing, automating, and synchronizing the sourcing, attraction, communication, and management of talent is no mean feat and with such a high demand for a quality tool that can integrate easily into a recruiter’s existing processes, there are many high-quality CRMs on the market.

But before we recommend these CRMs, it’s worth noting that the majority of ATS platforms offer CRM functionalities. The likes of Bullhorn, Lever, and Greenhouse mentioned above offer the full spectrum of ATS and CRM capabilities.


Vincere’s developers market the tool as a CRM and ATS combined, and on the CRM front, it’s a stellar performer. It allows you to create microsite job boards (with your own branding), search for candidates, and of course manage all interactions with them.

Check out Vincere


If a dedicated CRM is more to your liking then SugarCRM, like OpenCATS is an open source tool that allows the budget-conscious recruiter to manage their candidates with a minimum of fuss.

Check out SugarCRM


Talemetry aims to simplify the entire candidate relationship management process through the streamlining of communication. This includes award-winning SMS messaging capabilities and a variety of functions that provide recruiters with a way to personalize content for each individual candidate. 

Check out Talemetry


While Skype paved the way for video conferencing, it never really had the functions required for recording and managing interviews in a recruitment campaign. Surprisingly, what you would assume is the simplest tool of all is the one that has the most hang-ups (was that a pun?)  

While Skype has improved somewhat, there are a few alternatives on the market that do a much better job.   


If you have any technophobes on the team, then this is the interviewing tool of choice for you. There are no downloads with all interviews carried out in a browser in a virtual interview room. You can even set up solo interviews which allows multiple candidates to answer and record preset questions making this tool perfect for the screening process. 

Check out Odro


With this tool, you don’t just get video interviewing capability, but you also get a variety of video tools that will not only enhance the interview process for you but also for your candidates. Features include one-way interviews, evaluations, scheduling, and there’s even a mobile app, which any recruiter will agree is a major advantage.

Check out sparkHire

Interview Stream 

Interview Stream is a simple yet highly effective interviewing tool that offers a full range of on demand functions. Like Odro, Interview Stream also allows you to set up solo screening interviews using questions from their impressive library. 

Check out Interview Stream 

Recruitment Marketing

Marketing job openings to the general public and potential candidates is no longer a matter of posting a few ads on a couple of jobs boards. The market is so competitive these days that a savvy recruiter will use a recruitment marketing platform to do everything from identifying candidates at recruitment events to posting jobs on multiple boards.


SmashFly is one of the best recruitment marketing tools out there as it seeks to market the employer brand just as much as it does the job openings. This allows the platform to attract the right candidates that fit not only the job but the company’s work culture. It’s a great way to generate passive leads, and it integrates seamlessly with your current ATS system.

Check out SmashFly


We could have easily included Beamery in our CRM section, but we feel that the tool’s recruitment marketing functions are just as impressive. The engage component of this tool allows you to nurture passive candidates and build an impressive pipeline of candidates using some clever marketing functions. 

Check out Beamery


In addition to being a popular ATS platform, Phenom also boasts some nifty features that will help with your recruitment marketing efforts. For example, everyone knows Phenom are the top dogs when it comes to creating dynamic career sites. These incredible sites serve different content to candidates based on their behavior and even their LinkedIn profile or resume. Definitely one to take a look at. 

Check out Phenom


Scheduling calls, interviews, and meetings can sometimes take up more time than the activities themselves, and so the need for a solid scheduling tool is essential not only in the recruiter’s toolbox but any professional’s.


Google and Outlook 365’s calendars are fine and integrate very well with most other applications, but Calendly wins our vote for the sheer simplicity of its interface. You cannot go wrong with this app, and it’s ridiculously easy to use. And while the free version is totally fine to work with, the paid version allows integration with your CRM.

Check out Calendly


If you’re after something that offers a little more functionality, then ScheduleOnce is a good option. This tool allows those with more complex scheduling arrangements to still have the ability to automate this time-consuming task. Ideal for collaborative scheduling and pooled booking, it’s pricier than the competition, but could be just what you need. 

Check out ScheduleOnce

TimeTrade Scheduler

The software that started it all, TimeTrade is the grandaddy of scheduling tools and as such, boasts an impressive set of features to help you manage your interviews like a pro. The tool even offers reporting and analytics so you can make intelligent use of historical data to better manage your time. 

Check out TimeTrade Scheduler


Time is a recruiter’s most precious commodity and one that they simply cannot waste. Screening candidates for possible red flags or even just plain old suitability is essential and, as you can imagine, having a tool to do so is a boon to the busy recruiter.


This tool is specifically designed to help a recruiter judge a candidate’s suitability to a job. There are inbuilt job-fit assessments and of course an all-important online reference checking capability.

Check out Outmatch

Social Intelligence

There are many that do it, but we don’t really feel that stalking a candidate’s personal social media profile is a very nice thing to do. However, it does make sense to find out if this person has engaged in any unlawful or inappropriate behaviour. Social Intelligence uses their algorithms and a team of analysts to find if any such details exist.

Check out Social Intelligence


Sterling provides a complete suite of background checks that helps an employer ensure that their candidates are on the level. It’s not quite the same as the other tools recommended here as it focuses more on the background of a candidate as opposed to their suitability to the role. 

Check out Sterling

Bonus: free vsource tools

Over the last number of years we have been building up our library of resources for both recruiters and sourcers. Now, all of these resources can be found for FREE in one place. You can access and download all of them from our new Resources library here.

Now, you may wonder why there’s no section on talent sourcing tools and it’s a good question. Surely no recruiter’s toolbox would be complete without a tool that can help them source the best and most suitable talent, could it?

That’s absolutely right, but while there are many processes that we can fully automate, talent sourcing isn’t one of them. 

Here at vsource we feel that this is an area where a combination of the latest technology and human perspective is the best approach. It’s why we use intelligent software to locate prospective talent and leads before our sourcing consultants then analyze your newly created pool for the best candidates.

Want to know a little more about how our blend of smart technology and human intuition can help build your talent pipeline? Get in touch today.

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