The Recruiting Tools That Small Businesses Love

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The best recruiting tools for small businesses save time, resources, and – in the long run – money. The costs of making the wrong hire are steep, and even when you get the hiring process, finding, interviewing, and negotiating with a candidate is resource-intensive.

A recruiter spends, on average, 38 hours posting an open position, reviewing and screening applicants, prepping for an interview, and extending an offer. That’s a lot of time spent on admin that could be saved by integrating free and low-cost recruiting tools. 

Here are some of the most popular recruiting tools used by small businesses, as well as some key considerations to know before investing in any of these platforms. 

Why do small businesses need recruiting tools?

For small business owners working with limited resources, recruiting tools can automate or speed up many of the manual and labor-intensive hiring steps. These tools offer a better candidate experience, as well as more efficiency in your operations. 

How can a recruiting tool save time? Here’s roughly how a recruiter’s time is spent throughout the hiring process, according to research from GetHired.

  • Post the position on job boards: 1.5 hours
  • Review applications: up to 23.5 hours
  • Pre-screen or phone interviews: up to 4 hours
  • Prepping for and scheduling interviews: 1.5 hours 
  • Final interviews, calling rejected applicants, preparing and negotiating an offer: 7.5 hours

At each of these stages, a recruiting tool can dramatically decrease the amount of time a recruiter spends on hiring – without sacrificing candidate experience

Candidates hate it when they apply for a job and hear nothing back. Recruiting tools give you a way to automate messages at every stage of the process. Tell candidates that you’ve received their application, follow up after a skill assessment is submitted, and give candidates a way to self-schedule interviews with recruiting tools and platforms. Great communication is achievable without putting added work on the plate of your recruiter. 

[Read more: 6 Expert Steps To A Great Candidate Experience]

When deployed correctly, recruitment tools help small businesses receive more (and more qualified) applications, reduce first-year turnover, reduce the time-to-fill, increase job offer acceptance rates, and can even increase the number of diverse candidates who apply to your company. 

What to consider when selecting recruiting tools

Not every recruiting tool is considered equal, and the right tool for your business depends largely on your goals and hiring needs. Start by thinking and discussing internally with your hiring teams about which key metrics you wish to address in adding a recruiting tool to your tech arsenal. 

Here are some other features and factors that you should consider when selecting a recruiting tool. 

  • How much does it cost? The cost of a recruiting software tool depends on how many people are using the tool, the size of your organization, and your specific hiring needs. Prices range from free to $1,000 per user. 
  • What can it do? Recruiting software ranges from job board posting tools to applicant tracking systems to skill assessments and online video interviewing. Figure out what challenges your tool will help you overcome to know what type of tool you’re looking for. 
  • Is it scalable? Find a tool that will grow with your business. 
  • Does it work with your existing tech? As you’re vetting various options, make sure that it fits into your existing system. Can a new recruiting tool integrate with your existing social media channels, email host, career site, and any existing recruiting software you may already be using? Is it cloud-based so that you can access it from anywhere?
  • What reporting and analytics can you uncover? Any tool you choose should provide analytics you can use to assess if your hiring is improving. 

Your goal in vetting different recruitment tools should be to find one that optimizes the most time-consuming aspects of your hiring process while still providing a great candidate experience – at an affordable costs. Don’t rule out artificial intelligence tools, either. Many small business owners are using AI for candidate sourcing, freeing up a recruiter to handle in-person interviewing and contract negotiation. 

[Read more: Is AI Recruitment For Small Business Possible?]  

How much does a recruiting tool cost?

There’s a pretty broad range of recruiting tools, and as such, prices vary. Most tools follow one of these three cost structures.

  1. Pay per user: the platform charges either a monthly or a one-time fee based on the number of people using the software. These tools are typically priced at $50 – $100 per user per month or $250 – $1,000 one-time fee per user. 
  2. Pay per hire: you are charged only when you successfully hire someone. These tools typically charge $200 – $500 per hire. 
  3. Pay per employee: charges based on the total size of your workforce. This model typically targets big enterprises and may not work for a small business. Prices range from $4 – $8 per employee per month but may decrease as the number of employees increases. 

In addition to these membership/subscription models, many tools charge extra fees to get started – one-time installation fees, extra charges for add-ons, and even annual licensing fees. Watch out for those! 

Top 14 recruiting tools

Recruiting tools offer efficiency at each stage of the hiring process. Here are some low-cost, powerful recruiting tools that can help your small business identify the right candidates, assess their skills, and extend an offer. 

Job boards

You’re probably familiar with job boards already, but these are a great way to hone in on potential candidates who are better suited to your organization. Job boards use a combination of questionnaires and search engine functionality to help you weed out unqualified candidates. “Some of these boards even have paid components to help you get in front of more specific or qualified candidates,” suggests the US Chamber of Commerce. Here are a few options: 

  • SEEK: Australia’s top careers site. 
  • WeWorkRemotely: great if you’re offering WFH/remote work options.
  • Glassdoor: it’s easy to get lost in the crowd on big job boards, but Glassdoor offers lots of resources and tips to help your listing stand out. 
  • Neuvoo: this jobs board allows you to post jobs for free. 

Social media

It’s estimated that 79% of people use social media in their job hunt. In addition to posting your job on your social media channels, each channel has built-in recruitment tools to help your business attract candidates. With a small budget, you can start bringing in leads outside your network quickly. 

  • LinkedIn: a good go-to for listing open positions and getting lots of leads. To get more targeted, you can put a budget behind your listing – be aware that can get expensive.
  • Jobs on Facebook: companies in the US and Canada can post job openings and accept applications through this popular platform. 
  • Twitter: if you’re hoping to attract a diverse candidate pool, turn to Twitter. Use the right hashtags and a location tag to let people know you’re hiring.  

Applicant tracking systems

An applicant tracking system (ATS) accepts, stores, and filters incoming applications. There are many add-ons and integrations that come with the most popular ATS’s, from video interviewing to AI. An ATS can save a lot of time in the screening phase of your hiring process, which makes the investment worthwhile. Here are a few great ATS products for small businesses. 

  • Greenhouse: Greenhouse takes care of both job postings and applicant tracking, and as a result can provide deeper insight into where your company can optimize hiring in the future. 
  • Recruitee: lots of big enterprises use Recruitee, but they have affordable plans for businesses of all sizes. Recruitee offers plans that grow with your business, with features like candidate-friendly application templates, video interviewing, and access to more than 1200 career boards. 
  • BambooHR: built for small businesses, BambooHR offers powerful reporting capabilities that include equal employment opportunity and benefits reports, among other useful statistics. 

Skill assessments

A skill assessment provides an unbiased, validated evaluation of a candidate’s ability to perform the duties listed in the job description. Typically, a skills test asks a variety of questions in different formats to see how candidates perform on-the-job tasks. These tests can be automated – meaning AI can set the test, score it, rank candidates, and help recruiters move the best candidates on to the next round. 

[Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Skill Testing

  • Vervoe: Vervoe’s AI-powered skill assessment platform helps small business hiring teams laser in on the top candidates for the job – as defined by their capabilities, not what’s on their CV. Choose from a library of assessments to test candidates on technical and non-technical skills like coding and sales, as well as soft skills such as attention to detail and teamwork. The platform automatically ranks lots of candidates based on how well they perform the on-the-job simulation.

Learn more about Vervoe for small businesses and try our platform for free

Background checks

Background check tools take on the sensitive and time-consuming step of verifying a candidate is who they say they are. Here are a few affordable options for small business owners. 

  • ApplicantPro: this option allows you to screen candidates without having to find a background check vendor separately. “It’s an affordable recruitment software option that helps you avoid expensive hiring mistakes—especially important in key positions like management, drivers, healthcare workers, and roles that work with children or seniors,” writes one reviewer.
  • Referoo: this tool is the leading Australian-owned online reference checking tool. And, it comes with a free trial. 
  • Veremark: Veremark is scalable, automated, and handles global background checks – great if your team is working remotely around the world. 

Did we miss any great recruiting tools that you use in your small business? Let us know on LinkedIn.

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