by Donna Wells

Donna Wells is the CEO of, a leading web platform for companies to easily share knowledge and train employees. It makes training easier, faster and more cost-effective than ever before.

Back in the day, I ran big organizations with fat budgets and spent a lot of money on recruiters — sometimes with good results. Now, in my fifth startup, I want and have to do recruiting personally.

Since time is the only resource more scarce than dollars, I’m always on the hunt for slick new tools and apps that can address the labor-intensive process of finding and hiring great people. With the advent of social media and cloud apps, there are some great new solutions out there. From automated applicant responses to upgraded versions of old recruitment standbys, there’s a new guard of socially focused recruiting tools designed for your every hiring need. Here are a five to take note of.

1. The Resumator

What it is: Applicant tracker, social recruiter, email replacer

How it works: This tool helps hiring managers keep real-time tabs on where their job listings are posted and who’s looking at them. Upload a job description to the site and it automatically posts it to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. After that, The Resumator tracks candidate resumes, and applies its own algorithm to rank applicants on a five-star scale. Better yet, it takes care of a part of the hiring process that often gets shortchanged — sending automated email replies when resumes are received and when a candidate must be declined. It also has a Twitter-like “What Makes You Unique” feature, where applicants describe what sets them apart in 150 characters or less. It’s a great way to quickly get a sense of the candidate’s personality.

Cost: $49 to $399 per month, based on volume

2. Jobvite

What it is: End-to-end social web recruiting and tracking tool

How it works: Jobvite is an SaaS platform that delivers a seamless and social recruiting process before, during and after the interview. It leverages the very best source for great hires — your own employees — by allowing them to see your company’s open jobs and send targeted invitations to their friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Once their friends or contacts get into the pipeline, the referring employee can track the interview process. The tool also matches prospective candidates with job listings based on matches found in their social profiles, providing a way to find qualified “passive” candidates that, frankly, are more likely to be the folks you’ll want to hire.

Cost: $500 to $10,000 per month, based on company size

3. LinkedIn Talent Pro

What it is: Extra access to the world’s largest professional network

How it works: If your and your employees’ networks come up empty on a key hire, it might be worth paying for access to qualified candidates that are outside those existing connections. Before you hire a recruiter, consider spending some money on LinkedIn Talent Pro. A Talent Pro account provides access to virtually everyone on LinkedIn and includes helpful extras like premium talent filters and expanded profiles. Subscribers can receive up to 15 notifications per day when Talent Pro finds a match among candidates that meet your stated criteria for the role. Because LinkedIn users consider their profile to be their “work self,” candidate searches based on job-related keywords can yield nicely targeted results.

Cost: $399 per month for an annual plan, or $499 on a month-by-month basis

4. BranchOut

What it is: A Facebook app that allows users to easily network within their social graph

How it works: Most businesses ask for references from candidates they’re considering for hire, but BranchOut users can get broader insights, since the app collects feedback from the candidate’s own network on questions like, “Would Jeff make it to work in a snowstorm?” or “Would you want Nina as a boss?” BranchOut also makes it easy to connect with people in your extended social graph, and tap into their personal experience with potential candidates. Although still somewhat limited by the fact that only a small percentage of Facebook’s 500 million users include their job history in their profile, BranchOut can help reveal helpful contacts in your network and lead you to your next great hire — or wave you off from a bad one.

Cost: Free for users and recruiters, but charges $99 to post premium job listings

5. InternMatch

What it is: for companies looking for student interns

How it works: InternMatch is a recruiting service solely focused on part-time or unpaid internships. It’s a super-early stage company that debuted at a 500Startups demo day I attended last month, so be aware that they are only covering California, Washington and Oregon at this point. The service benefits from its tight focus, and also provides a lot of free advice and templates that can help any organization be more successful in recruiting and managing a college intern effectively. In my experience, the right intern can yield a really high ROI, but more often they become a very expensive “go-fer.” InternMatch raises the odds that you get the former.

Cost: $99 per listing, with a money-back guarantee if you don’t hire a new intern within 90 days

These tools make it easier to efficiently tap all of our increasingly digital networks and communication tools to find great hires. They should help you broaden your search, more efficiently harness your and your current employee’s social networks, and stay organized in the process. Whether you’re hiring for a startup or looking for summer interns who can do more than make coffee, these tools can help without costing an arm and a leg.