Today’s high-growth startups need the best tools and resources to effectively compete for top talent. The right tools can mean the difference between hiring top talent or settling for second best. We connected with SMB and startup experts who revealed the tools they’ve used or recommend to optimize the startup hiring process. We’ve also included staff picks useful for startups.
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To make it simple, we’ve divided the list of tools into 7 sections. This will make it easier to identify tools by the part of the hiring process they support.
The tools in this section are on social media platforms and help startup recruiters and hiring managers identify and engage with potential candidates. They add value to the hiring process because they offer another avenue to identify and engage with talent in a way you couldn’t on a job board.
Facebook groups are online communities of people who gather and engage with each other on a Facebook page around a common theme or interest. There are all kinds of Facebook groups, both public and private. Examples include groups formed around the love of art, nurses wanting to network, writers looking to network, technology professionals looking for projects, and more. It’s a great way to discover talent.
If I’m looking for someone with highly technical knowledge, let’s say a golf writer, I’ll join some of the golf communities and see if there is any interest there.
Mark Webster, Co-Founder, Authority Hacker
Startups can find and recruit people in Facebook Groups that reflect what they’re passionate about or the types of skills they have. SMBs can even start Facebook groups around certain interests or skills and potentially identify potential candidates within their own group. Best of all, most Facebook groups are free to join and it’s free to start one.
Facebook Groups offer so many options to recruiters. For example, cybersecurity is one of our core concerns here at MacKeeper, and I found so many experts and talented workers using nothing but Facebook Groups. I joined the most popular cybersecurity groups, connected with people, developed relationships, and found talented workers who ended up joining our ranks. It’s simple, but it works.
Mykola Tymkiv, COO, MacKeeper
2. LinkedIn Groups – Staff Pick
Similar to Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups are online communities that gather and engage with each other around professional topics. LinkedIn groups can be based on skills, industries, alumni groups, and more. Startups can join these groups to network and find candidates. They can also start LinkedIn groups to help identify potential candidates for roles. Groups on LinkedIn are free to start and most of them are free to join.
3. LinkedIn Recruiter – Staff Pick
LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals that offers tools that help hiring managers and recruiters identify and engage with potential candidates. Offered at an additional cost, LinkedIn Recruiter allows the ability to connect with people even if they’re not part of your network, greater access to view member profiles, and the ability to send bulk personalized messages.
An important part of the hiring process is doing background checks of candidates. This is an important step because startups and fast growing SMBs want to ensure they’re not making costly hiring mistakes. While background checks are important, it’s also important to ensure they’re done fairly and are in compliance with employment laws. Working with a company that specializes in this area can minimize any risks associated with doing background checks.
Emerge (Intelifi) offers a wide range of background checks including comprehensive criminal background checks, driving reports, health screenings, employment and education verification, and more. Background checks are done quickly so that employers can make hiring decisions quickly.
One of the best tools for background checking is Emerge. Its streamlined access to applicants’ basic information, employment history, credit reports, and other records gives a thorough run-through for employers to have an effective and quality hiring process. The software also has an entry-level user interface that can help and guide startups with a medium workforce or inexperience with other platforms of the same function.
Nunzio Ross, Owner and Head Director, Majesty Coffee
5. Checkr – Staff Pick
Checkr is a background check company that emphasizes fair chance hiring. They offer efficient background check solutions for a variety of company types including agencies, gig companies like Lyft and Uber, Retail, Technology and more. Checkr also offers a wide selection of screening types including criminal background checks, employment and educational verifications, drug and health, driver screenings, and more.
6. VerifiedFirst – Staff Pick
VerifiedFirst offers a range of background screening services including criminal background checks, drug tests, identity checks, I-9 and E-Verify, employment and educational verifications, and more. They work with companies in a variety of industries including staffing, retail, non-profits, healthcare, and more.
Job boards play a crucial role in the hiring process because, in most cases, they are the primary advertising channel for jobs. They include larger platforms like Indeed.com and Careerbuilder. There are also a number of smaller niche sites like AngelList that focus on jobs offered by startups or FlexJobs that focuses on remote roles.
AngelList has a job board called AngelList Talent that showcases roles that startups are hiring for. It’s free to post jobs and there are over 2M candidates on the site. AngelList is a well-known resource for startups and those who enjoy working in startup environments.
I mostly do technology hiring of software engineers, machine learning engineers, development operations & designers. The best website that I have found so far for hiring is angel.co. It’s a free website and I get more than 100 candidates on my job post within a week. I have hired all of my 15 developers from angel list and it’s a free service!
Jugal Anchalia, CEO + Co-founder, Breakout
FlexJobs is a pay-to-access job board that specializes in remote flexible positions. This is a great job board for startups to find candidates because they are focused on remote work. Developing a remote workforce allows startups to access talent beyond their local areas. Another great thing about FlexJobs is that candidates are motivated enough to find a remote position that they pay a subscription fee.
FlexJobs is a job board I would recommend to anyone open to hiring remote or temporary workers. Since candidates who use this platform must pay a fee to access the advertised jobs, I’ve found them more serious and qualified. When we needed a web developer for our company, I was able to hire the right candidate within four days, who is still working with us part-time to maintain our website.
Anjela Mangrum. President, Mangrum Career Solutions
Facebook also has a job board, which makes it easy and inexpensive to get positions in front of ideal candidates. Startups and SMBs can post jobs from their Business page and receive applications in their email inbox. Jobs will appear on the Facebook Jobs job board. There are also options for jobs to appear on the Business page. Jobs can also be advertised and boosted for additional exposure.
One tool that has helped me during our hiring process is Facebook Jobs. It is easy to use. Everyone is using social media these days, you gain many candidates looking for work.
Lisamarie Monaco, National Independent Life Insurance Agent, InsuranceForBurial.com
LinkedIn also has a job board that employers can post jobs to for free. If you’d like to promote jobs to have greater exposure with the right candidates, you’re able to advertise the job posting. A primary advantage LinkedIn’s Job Board has is the amount of candidate data. Startups and SMBs can target candidates with specific skills and experience and invite them to apply for roles.
Linkedin helps in finding relevant candidates because it provides you with the right features that you can use to control the applications received and apply different conditions.
Navish – Founder & CEO, CirTru – Circles of Trust
AI has been instrumental in HR tech by helping companies save time and make better hiring and HR decisions. It adds tremendous value to the hiring process and can give companies an edge in a competitive job market. Here are two unique tools that help SMBs become more efficient in sourcing and engagement.
11. Pandologic – Staff Pick
This is a programmatic recruitment advertising platform that helps employers eliminate waste with precision targeting. With Pandologic’s advertising platform, companies are able to source talent faster and more efficiently with predictive algorithms, machine learning and AI.
Wade and Wendy uses AI to source, reach out to, and engage with potential candidates at scale. It’s also a tool for candidates to document their career growth and suggest roles based on candidates’ skills and interests. Wade is the part of the solution that helps job seekers for free while Wendy helps companies find talent. When recruiters post a job description, Wendy takes the details to identify talent, engage with them, promote the job, recommend shortlists, schedule interviews and more.
The tool that I use the most during the recruitment and hiring process is Wade and Wendy. It’s something like a robot of recruiting based on artificial intelligence responsible for selecting the candidates that best fit the company. Wade and Wendy helps me reduce average recruitment time, since it is in charge of sorting out the candidates that best fit the profile of our company. It also helps our employees throughout their professional career. The tool also shows new job opportunities within the company and explains issues related to the company’s culture.
Bartek Boniecki, Head of People, Passport-Photo Online
This sourcing tool allows recruiters to find contact details of ideal candidates. With SignalHire recruiters can search across several platforms and even find potential candidates through keyword searches that go beyond profiles and look at keywords in comments and associated files. It also has a CRM to make outreach and relationship building easier.
I’ve found SignalHire to be a great resource for startup owners who feel lost about sourcing talent. It offers X-ray search across several platforms and really speeds up your candidate hunt by supporting all Boolean search filters, extensive searches based on location, and looking up candidates via keywords that matter to you.
Anjela Mangrum, President, Mangrum Career Solutions.
HRIS + Onboarding
HRIS and onboarding platforms are very important to the hiring process because they centralize data and streamline processes. For instance, it’s easier to use an intuitive system and interface to keep track of employee attendance, time off, and performance than in spreadsheets. This helps businesses stay competitive, become more productive and keep their employees organized and happy.
14. Personio – Staff Pick
This platform is a one-stop HR solution for automated processes, seamless integrations, and data-driven insights. The areas the Personio platform covers include recruiting activities, onboarding, attendance, people data and analytics, payroll, performance management, workflows, and more. This platform allows SMBs and startups to efficiently and affordably manage HR activities in one centralized location.
15. Bob – Staff Pick
Bob is a cloud-based HR and benefits platform for SMEs that covers the entire employee life cycle. It’s customizable to meet the needs of the organization and covers areas of HR that include managing attendance, performance, culture, and more. It automates repetitive tasks and allows startups and SMBs to create and manage custom workflows.
This is an HRIS built for SMBs that can no longer manage employee data and information in spreadsheets. BambooHR helps manage employee data including recruiting, onboarding, performance, attendance, and more. It’s easy for both HR and employees to use.
As a firm, we tend to be HRIS-agnostic, especially since a number of HRIS tools on the market are for large organizations and our sweet spot is the small and medium-sized businesses. A client we partnered with used Bamboo HR for their HRIS, and we found it to be incredibly user-friendly, easy to use, and functional. With a click of a button, we are able to initiate a variety of onboarding tasks, freeing up time to focus on other aspects of our work. Yes, there is back end setup – but it’s simple and easy to edit.
Eric Mochnacz, Senior Consultant, Red Clover
Skills + Assessments
Tools in the skills and assessments category are key to the hiring process because they help startups evaluate the level and type of skills candidates have in a way that’s not possible in an interview. Some also measure soft skills which can predict success. Here are a variety of assessment tools, most for candidates, but one for hiring managers that identifies interviewing style and possible biases.
17. Bryq – Staff Pick
Bryq is an assessment tool that helps employers blindly evaluate large volumes of candidates. This saves time, helps reduce time to hire, and helps organizations meet their diversity and inclusion goals. It’s used to assess cognitive abilities, personality traits and leadership potential to quickly identify the best candidates for open roles. Bryq also offers special startup pricing plans, making it more affordable for smaller companies.
18. Canditech – Staff Pick
This assessment tool can help startups and SMBs identify the best candidates faster and help diversify their teams with their bias-free job simulation tests. The job simulations Canditech offers not only give employers an idea of how candidates would perform in the role, they also provide important insights to candidates which can improve the candidate experience.
19. Shift Profile
Shift Profile offers a unique assessment tool for hiring managers that helps them improve their interviewing skills. The assessment identifies hiring managers’ interviewing style and pinpoints any biases they may have. This awareness can help companies reduce bias and consider candidates they may have overlooked in the past.
I was able to learn about my interview style through the Shift Profile quiz. Once I understood my biases, I better understood my strengths and weaknesses as an interviewer. Through the data and training provided, I was able to find qualified candidates for the roles I was seeking to fill.
Michael Gevurtz, CEO, Bluebird Companies
20. Predictive Index
Predictive Index offers a variety of assessments including behavioral, cognitive, and job assessments that gives hiring managers insight into how potential candidates could perform on the job. There are a number of areas evaluated including how motivated candidates are, their cognitive abilities, and how they make decisions.
I’ve found time and again that assessments offered by Predictive Index are incredibly accurate at predicting a candidate’s future behavior and fit on our team. As a result, I’ve been able to make better hires in marketing, sales, customer service and other positions. Without this tool, I likely would have made less ideal hires, which could have resulted in months or even years of less productive work and growth for our company.
Melissa Kelly, General Manager, Virtual Team Building
Wonderlic offers a comprehensive assessment that evaluates candidates in three main areas – cognitive ability, personality and motivation. Candidates receive a score in each area as well as an overall score. These scores help hiring managers compare candidates and make the best decisions for their organizations.
The Wonderlic cognitive test service is a great way to ensure that we’re hiring only A-players. It can sometimes be difficult to really understand how someone thinks through traditional interviews, so having a service that helps us get to the bottom of candidates’ thought process is essential.
Mark Webster, Co-Founder, Authority Hacker
Interviewing, Communication + Scheduling
This part of the hiring process is where interactions take place between candidates and hiring teams. These tools can save time and help make a positive impression on candidates. Both are important in competing for top talent.
22. Textio – Staff Pick
Textio is a writing assistant tool that helps to identify language patterns in your HR and recruitment writing that may be biased. With its augmented writing technology, it identifies words and phrases that don’t reflect the inclusiveness your company wishes to convey. It goes a step further and offers suggested words and phrases that would work better based on extensive data on what has worked in similar contexts.
23. Spark Hire
Spark Hire is a video interview solution. The platform offers one-way interviewing where candidates can record videos. They also offer live interactive interviews with panel and single hiring managers.
We’ve been working with Spark Hire as our video interviewing solution for three years before the pandemic. We save tons of time by having candidates complete one-way video interviews in lieu of a phone screen. Candidates are able to record their videos on their own time. The interface makes it easy to review initial interviews in a fraction of the time it takes to conduct a real-time phone screen. It also allows you to easily share the interviews with other decision-makers.
Eric Mochnacz, Senior Consultant, Red Clover
Calendly is a great calendar tool for scheduling interviews. There’s a free version that will work well for startups with basic scheduling needs. There are also very affordable paid versions that include convenient automation features such as email reminders and follow-ups, workflow automations, and customizations. It’s also very user-friendly for interviewers and candidates.
Calendly, specifically the paid version, makes scheduling interviews and meetings with candidates incredibly easy and helps me keep my calendars organized. It’s also super easy for me to throw my Calendly link in my signature so people can easily schedule time to chat with me.
Eric Mochnacz, Senior Consultant, Red Clover
25. Zoom – Staff Pick
Zoom is a fantastic video conferencing tool great for interviews. It’s well known and widely used so most candidates won’t have issues using it. There’s a free version offering features that work well for startups, from the ability to accommodate panel interviews to being able to record interviews. It’s worth it to upgrade to the free version if interviews are expected to exceed 45 minutes or if you plan to save lots of recordings.
The Wrap Up
There are hundreds of hiring tools available for startups and SMBs to optimize their hiring process. This list highlights both unique and fairly common tools that can give SMBs an edge in the job market. To choose the best tools for your startup, find the gaps or inefficiencies in your hiring process and select the ones that best meet your needs. Check out the tools listed here or review our extensive list of Comeet integration partners.
Not sure how to select the right hiring tools for your startup or SMB? You’re not alone! We build hiring processes powered by our Comeet ATS platform for recently funded startups and high-growth companies. We also help build teams with our Elastic Recruiting services. Find out more about Comeet Elastic Recruiting.