During the many stages of recruitment, what is one hiring tool that is most useful and how do you use it? Here is what 16 thought - leaders had to say: 

1. Applicant Tracking System 

The number 1 tool for any recruiting team (even a one-person team) is an Applicant tracking system. It streamlines the process and makes it representable and trackable. Without one, recruiters would be simply sifting through candidates and settling for the ones they find while the best candidates may still be out there, available but unreached. 

Brittany Weaver, Recruiting Specialist at Amazon says, "Taking it to the basics, an applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the number 1 priority as a TA Professional. Having an ATS whether at a small or large company provides the ability for candidates to apply and for recruiters to house information from contact information to historical interview activity feedback and more. It allows for organization and I'm not sure how productive I would be without one" 

In the true sense, applicant tracking systems enable you to visualize and set up the recruiting process - starting with job requisitions up until new-hire onboarding. You can sign up here to try an applicant tracking system for free, for 21 days. 


2. Use of Reference Checks 

Reference checks are a part of the hiring process where the employer contacts the candidates' previous employers, direct supervisors, and schools to check the veracity of their work and education. In addition to that, they can also get information on the individual, their personality, temperament, and more. 

The Director of People and Culture at OnPay Payroll Services, Jessica Arias describes reference checks as "One tool that's most effective - but underrated in the digital age - is the use of reference checks. 

Speaking with a job candidate's references, such as former co-workers or managers, is so much more effective than researching social media profiles. It can be easy for people to clean up their online presence - being able to speak with a former colleague (or if they are open to a video conference call, even better!) provides so much genuine insight. 

While it may sound old school, it's an essential part of the recruitment process." 

3. Interview Scheduling Software

Even when a really small company is hiring for multiple roles, the shortlist contains about 20 candidates per position. The need to schedule an interview with them is imminent. With the help of interview scheduling software, the scheduling is taken care of, without a hitch. 

Interview scheduling software integrates with office calendars and helps you easily check when interviewers are available, saving you the back-and-forths of checking for availability. They empower you to schedule multiple rounds of the interview at one go and the fantastic part is they automatically notify all concerned people (interviewers, candidates, hiring managers) when an interview is scheduled, rescheduled, or canceled. 

"In recruitment, time is essential due to many reasons. Thus, enjoying the benefits of modern technology is pretty lovely. I found out that scheduling software is one of my most frequently used tools in the hiring process. 

For example, a freemium SaaS Calendly has been a savior of mine many times. Essentially, a booking app allows me to schedule meetings with potential hires without having to "find the time.”

It's handy if you'd like to improve the recruiting process for the potential hire. If your proposed time doesn't fit their schedule, they are free to choose a different time without worrying about seeming unprofessional or unenthusiastic about the job." says Agnieszka Goulin, Head of People at Spacelift. 

4. Invest in Personalized Human Connection 

With all the tools out there, for recruitment, connecting with the candidates personally, is a surefire way to identify the success of the candidate. At the end of the day, the company is not just a mass of individual people, but a team of people working together to accomplish one goal. So, it's quite important that the new hire must fit in with the existing team, and a way to find this out is by assessing whether they can connect with a representative of the team, the recruiter. 

Personal connections not only help understand the candidate better but they also help make a real connection which can go a long way if and when you decide to hire the candidate.

Anitha Kotti, Sr. Leadership Global Talent Acquisition at NVIDIA emphasizes the importance of personal connections, "When we think about recruiting tools, the first thing that comes to our mind is digital tools. But one of the most effective tools in all stages of recruitment is one of the simplest, yet one of the more underrated and challenging ones to execute. Human connection is the most important tool in recruiting right from when the job is created all the way to hiring and onboarding the right candidate. 

In recruiting both the hiring manager and candidate are customers. Mastering the art of making the customers feel special leads to quality hiring. Relationship building comes hand in hand with networking, listening, and keeping warm which helps in developing a strong pipeline/extensive Rolodex, and building trusted partnerships with all parties involved - business, stakeholders, and customers.

Nevertheless, it takes a personalized human touch to hire a candidate for an organization. Relationship building & Personalized Human connection is the magic formula for successful recruiting!" 

5. LinkedIn Recruiter 

With 830 million members in over 200 countries across the world, LinkedIn is the largest professional network. Your candidates are already there, you have their latest updated profiles (especially if they are actively seeking a job). Reaching out to them is straightforward over a DM, you can also connect through mutual connections. LinkedIn Recruiter is a must-have tool for every recruiter. With its advanced search, AI-based recommendations, effective candidate outreach, and sourcing tools, it proves to be a much-needed tool for sourcing candidates. 

You can also post jobs for free on LinkedIn if you use it alongside Applicant Tracking Software like Freshhteam.

"I, personally, use LinkedIn Recruiter daily to help source potential candidates. LinkedIn Recruiter is a resource that I recommend for all recruiters. It is very user-friendly and allows for the creation of your pipeline. It is a great resource that if used well can present robust results." says, Chasity Douyon, Recruiting Specialist 

6. Project Management CRM 

It’s not news that a hiring process involves multiple people and tasks. Recruiters start by trying to manage this on sticky notes, to-dos, emails, and spreadsheets but within weeks into the process, they will lose track and control of what’s happening in the process, and will only be able to achieve the bare minimum of what they can otherwise achieve with an intelligent project management tool. Ideally, an Applicant Tracking Software would cover this too. 

"As a small business, we utilize a project management tool to get visibility on all stages of a hiring process. From first to final interview, our Kanban puts candidates into columns with task assignments to members of our team with notes and specific due dates to keep the hiring process flowing. 

Project management tools that double up as a recruitment CRM ensure that the candidate experience is positive and that the ultimate hiring objective is met. Create a new project in your PM tool, set up Kanban stages, and start to put promising candidates into the process. Not only will the hiring process be smoother internally, but the external experience will benefit as well." says, Brett Farmiloe, CEO and Founder of Terkel 

7. One-way Video Interviewing 

Time is of the essence in this fast-paced world that is ever-evolving. 

Inventing smart and creative ways to do everyday tasks is essential. In recruiting, using one-way video interviewing is just such a tool. You can pass a list of screening questions to them and the candidates have to record themselves answering it and submit the video to the employer. It's a helpful pre-screening tool to help recruiters make a more informed decision to shortlist candidates. 

"In the preliminary stage of the interview process, you can use a one-way recorded video to screen candidates. This is where a candidate will record answers to a handful (3-5) of quick initial questions. 

The question set should be fairly straightforward, not requiring long or complex answers. This method is especially useful if the role requires someone to be client-facing and/or on video calls with clients. 

Some people get nervous being on camera - a tip to use here is to record the questions in a casual and imperfect way (if you use filler words or mess up on a few words, leave that in). 

Using a one-way video interview allows you to get a better sense of the candidate vs a resume review. It also lets the candidate complete this portion of the interview at a time that is convenient for them. If the recruiter or hiring manager records the questions, it gives the candidate a sense of them as well." says, Emily Sander, Founder of Next Level Coaching, LLC 

8. Personality Tests 

An organization is a group of people with different personalities working together to accomplish one goal. Understanding the teams and individuals will help the recruiter understand the personality needed for the job. 

A candidate could tick all the boxes, but if he/she doesn't have the right personality, he or won't be a good fit for the company. That is exactly why personality tests are so important in screening for the right candidate.

Paw Vej, Recruitment Manager and Team Leader at Financer.com Ltd shares "We use personality tests to figure out if and where a person might fit into our team. Certain personalities work well together, others don't. We ask candidates to complete a personality test at the same time they submit a piece of paid test work." 

9. Background Check Services 

Background checks need to be performed on the shortlisted candidates before a candidate can be finalized. With the number of vacancies that can be open at a given point in time and the number of shortlisted candidates, it can turn cumbersome to rely on a third party to do it for you. 

Modern background check software is straightforward to use and integrates with your ATS, easily blending into your recruitment ecosystem. 

"A background check tool is an integral part of our hiring process, and it’s easier than ever thanks to virtual check services. We need to know that the candidates we hire are credible, honest, and trustworthy with sensitive client and business data. 

The services available offer a variety of options, allowing you to customize what you search from basic information like name and birth date to employment history, driving history, credit checks, and more. We get quick and accurate information that helps speed along our hiring process without compromising the quality of our hires." says Stephen Light, CEO, and Co-owner of Nolah Mattress 

10. Text Messaging 

Time is money and people work accordingly, in a race against it to meet work deadlines and personal errands. Calls and emails can feel overwhelming in this day and age whereas texting requires minimal time and effort to read and respond to. In recruiting, it has shown a higher response rate than email and calls in certain industries. So, using text recruiting software or a texting tool that works with an ATS can give you the quickest results. 

Josh Rock, Talent Acquisition Manager at Nuss Truck & Equipment, suggests texting messaging is a great addition to the recruiting arsenal too, “In this day and age, people don't read emails or respond to voice messages. SMS has been a fantastic ATS addition that allows us to capitalize on immediate response potential, tracking, follow-up, and drip campaigns to passive candidates. Response time drops significantly, reduces the need to send invites, etc. Those that feel it's intrusive have yet to see the positive impact on both their business and the candidate experience.”

11. Build a Recruitment Pipeline with Local Colleges 

A talent pipeline is a pool of qualified candidates that your company can dip into, in the future. One must be proactive to form this. One of the best ways to do this is by reaching students who are freshly graduating. You can start by visiting colleges and educating students about your company, attending career fairs, and inviting them to short-term internships, and you could also follow the college campus news just to identify other opportunities.

Mark Pierce, CEO of Cloud Peak Law Group suggests, "Make connections with local colleges, universities, and trade schools. Now would be the best time to leverage connections there to develop an in-depth recruiting and talent pipeline. This makes it easier to find talent as soon as they get out of school and into the world of work, giving your company an edge in snapping up talent. This arrangement might also reduce the costs of onboarding, as the school may help with those." 

12. Skill Assessment Tools 

Skills assessment tools are a great addition to your hiring tool kit. It’s one of the best ways to ensure your hiring decisions are foolproof. A candidate can claim to have superpowers but you will not know until you have tested it. So, you must test the skills the candidate claims to have before you hire them, or even better before you interview them. Pre-assessment test tools like HackerEarth, HackerRank, Codility, and ClassMarker enable you to do this seamlessly, even for roles with high volumes of applicants. They cut short your screening time, eliminate biases in candidate selection, and improve the quality of candidates you eventually interview and hire.

"Because we require employees to have technical skills and experience in specific methodologies, skill assessment tools are critical in our recruitment process. We utilize a skill assessment to determine how competent a candidate is and to confirm whether the qualifications and proficiencies they claimed to have in their resume are accurate.

Moreover, when comparable candidates apply, a skill assessment can help differentiate them. We gain valuable insights and pinpoint nuances between candidates with similar qualifications, experience, and capabilities by testing their skills. This reduces the number of candidates on the list and shortens the time to hire." says David Bitton, Co-founder & CMO, of Doorloop.

13. Cloud-based Word Processing for Assignments 

Cloud-based Word Processors allow you to collaborate on documents and track edits made by the collaborators along with the corresponding time stamp. Asking a candidate to use a cloud-based word processor like Google Docs will help the employer understand the methodology of the candidate, in real-time. 

"Many of our positions require performance assessments, and using a cloud-based word processing tool can be handy. This software enables us to easily provide editing suggestions and gauge how candidates respond to criticism. Plus, we have the option to look into revision history and get a feel for how and how quickly applicants work. 

Since many folks are already familiar with these tools and use these programs in their everyday lives, there is a minimal explanation needed to use the software during the interview process."  says, Carly Hill, Operations Manager at Virtual Holiday Party 

14. Create a "Join Us" Page 

Adding a "Join Us" tab on your website is a wonderful way to let visitors engage with you. It’s a chance to respond to the content they view on your website. It's a free opportunity for recruitment, but also a chance to build a talent pool for the future. 

As Steve Mascarin, the CEO of Taunton Village Dental says, "The most fruitful and best tool that we've used is our web page. Creating a "Join Us" page allows us to introduce our office and our mission to potential employees, lay out expectations, and also post jobs needed to be filled immediately. 

We don't have to pay any more in advertising or for a job listing to do this and we get applicants directly, so there isn't a fee like there is through other recruitment or job listing companies.

Another added benefit to using our page for recruitment is that we pull from local talent. These are people who are already here and plan to stay here, so that means we are looking at long-term, loyal employees." 

15. Use Programmatic Job Advertising 

Programmatic job advertising is recruiting software that, with the right program, does a clean sweep of the entire internet and places its job adverts strategically to the relevant candidates. It's an effective way to get across to all available candidates within a field. Gone are the days when you could just mindlessly advertise. Relevance and intentionality will be essential to stay in the game going forward. 

"It's not only important to collect a huge talent pool. What's more important, especially in our case as creators of specialty leather products, is skill and quality. That being said, we need to target the right people. Using programmatic job advertising allows you to reach the right people, even the passive ones so that you only recruit top talents but from a wider selection (the entire internet). It uses algorithms and user browsing behavior and shows them the job ad at the most likely time that they're going to engage it. 

Not only does it save recruiters' time, but it also saves money and effort that companies would spend with the grueling recruitment process when the person you recruit is not best suited for the job." 

Luke Lee, CEO, and Founder 



Putting together a powerful arsenal of hiring tools is crucial to kickoff a successful hiring process and culture. Pick tools that are easy to use (for you and your hiring team), scalable (meaning, tools that enable or empower you to thrive), and cost-effective.