Best Candidate Sourcing Tools - March 2019

A complete buying guide to talent sourcing software

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best B2B software so you don’t have to. We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software. More than 90% of the vendors featured on our site have no commercial relationship with us. Read more

In this guide you’ll find: Listing of top sourcing vendors, an ROI calculator, vendor organizer, pricing models, and more!

Top Candidate Sourcing Tools

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best Sourcing tools and services per our research and expert council as of March 2019


vSource has been around since 2009. Their specialty is finding the right people that meet your requirements


TopFunnel blah blah blah


Hiretual is more of a tool than ….


Fetcher is another company that ….

Lever was started with a product mindset, which put design first from its inception. It’s a modern ATS that also has a unique suite of tools such as Lever Nurture, which can make recruiters much more efficient when engaging candidates (similar to how sales automation tech has made Sales Development Reps 10x more efficient in recent years).

While Lever Nurture seems like an interesting module, we’ve yet to find a company using it effectively. Also, Lever is mostly adopted by fast growing tech companies. That’s not to say other more traditional companies wouldn’t benefit from their solution - but it’s worth noting that the product may be adopted for tech companies specific needs.

ClearCompany has flown under the radar for a long time despite their 99% customer retention rate (no other ATS seems to come close), and also offers a robust HCM suite that is fully integrated with the goal of offering insights across the full employee lifecycle. That’s a cool vision!

The majority of customers are smaller organizations in industries where the fight for talent isn’t as vicious as tech and professional services. They also lack in their employer branding offerings.

iCIMS was one of the original SaaS companies. They have a feature set that is great for SMB all the way up to the largest companies and are always in the conversation about best ATS. Despite age, they continue to innovate with the acquisition of TextRecruit in 2018 and a constantly evolving product roadmap.

Most of the iCIMS complaints are about an outdated user interface and design. It’s also worth noting that they will charge for each integration you have with another HRTech vendor, typically $250/mo/integration.

Why Sourcing Tools is An Important Category for HR

We live in a world where unemployment is around 4%.  Realistically, it’s much lower for the hard to find talent that you’re looking for: engineers, diversity candidates, experienced sales reps, etc.

Over the past decade, many companies have developed internal recruiting and sourcing functions to find the right talent.  As the market got tight, companies could either rely on expensive third party recruiters or start to do the work themselves.

However, even these internal teams can be stretched thin as the demands of a growing organization take their tolls on your recruiting team.

This is where sourcing tools come in.  This software category is all about building the top of your recruiting funnel with quality applicants. 

Some of these tools are trying to be better and/or cheaper than a LinkedIn Recruiter license.  Some are trying to be your outsourced sourcing team.  And some are doing both.

Regardless, these tools are all looking to increase your ability to build relationships with and hire the right people for your hardest to fill roles.

Talent Sourcing Tool ROI Calculator

If you’re looking to buy a tool or service to augment your sourcing capability, here are our thoughts on how to calculate the return on investment. Some key points in this calculator:

  • How to capture increases in recruiter productivity

  • Decreases in time to fill and how they effect the organization

  • How sourcing tools can decrease agency fees

We highly suggest your use the video to the right in order to best understand how to use this spreadsheet!

There are also some non-economic benefits.  For example, the vast majority of recruiters we talked to do not like sourcing.  The idea of sending cold emails, and then playing phone tag with the people who are interested is very unappealing. 

 Optimizing or outsourcing these tasks mean more time for your team to do the things they like, as well as think strategically.

Sourcing Tools vs Managed Services

There are two main ways that vendors in this space help with your top of funnel recruiting.  Some of these companies offer tools that your recruiters and sourcers can use to find and engage with potential hires.  These tools are very similar to LinkedIn Recruiter, but rely on emails vs inmails.

The other way these companies can help is by providing a managed service to drive more quality applicants into your pipeline.  You tell them the profile you’re looking for, and they do most of the work until the candidate is ready to interview.

While I think most of us would want to simply have calendar invites appear with the right candidates, there are some tradeoffs to the managed service approach.  The first is price.  The second is a potential loss of control in your process and how your employer brand is being portrayed.  However, we don’t believe this is a major concern as every vendor we talked to wants to work closely with their customers to ensure the right messages are being sent to the right people.

Here’s What HR Needs to Know About Sourcing Tools

Here are some of the points that we found (some) practitioners don’t understand when they first hear about sourcing tools:

  • No candidates haven’t opted into this outreach.  Just like sales people can email you out of the blue as long as they follow various regulations and have a legitimate business reason for reaching out,

  • This doesn’t have to be a complete replacement for LinkedIn Recruiter.  Although, it’s worth noting that the average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes per month on the site.

  • This software for companies of any size.  Companies that hire 1-100,000 per year use recruiters.  Similarly, sourcing tools can help companies of almost any size.

  • A well run sourcing mechanism is great for getting people into your funnel.  But, if you have a poor candidate experience, onboarding, or culture generally, you will constantly be trying to fill a leaky bucket.

Questions to ask Talent Sourcing Vendors on Demos

  • Where do you get your data?  Is this GDPR and CAN SPAM compliant?

  • Is this a tool or a managed service or both?  What is the pricing difference between the two?

  • What automation features do you offer?

  • How do candidates get into my ATS?

  • Does your solution offer CRM functionality?

Btw, are we missing something on this page? Let us know and we’ll research it for you! Better yet, join our expert council and lend your expertise!

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