Planning To Recruit? Here Are 5 Free Sourcing Tools To Optimize Hiring


By Emily Heaslip

The competition for finding top talent is fiercer than ever. Last year, open positions were at a 17-year high, while the unemployment rate was at a low 3.9%.

All over the country, recruiters are scrambling to find and attract the right people to fill their open roles.

While many teams automate their recruitment process, others add free sourcing tools to their portfolio to increase their pipeline of available candidates.

A sourcing tool can help you scan for candidates by allowing you to input search data of potential candidates through a plug-in on your browser.

There are a ton of great paid sourcing tools out there, and many of them offer free trials.

For Agile HR teams looking to turbo-boost their recruitment pipeline, these five free sourcing tools are a good place to start.

People Search

People Search from Workable is a Chrome extension that lets you find the name of a referral with very little information. The extension lets you search by location, company, skill set, or university, and scans detailed results from resumes, social media, and contact details to add potential matches to your pipeline.

The tool also gives you the power to reach out to candidates with a personalized email using details gathered through the sourcing tool.

You can set it and forget it by turning on automatic sourcing or you can create your own complex queries to find a specific fit. People Search is part of Workable’s larger suite of recruiting tools, but you can try the extension for free.


One of the most time-consuming aspects of recruiting is tracking down a candidate’s contact information and getting them to respond to your query. ContactOut is a tool that can help with that process.

This sourcing tool finds email addresses and contact details of hard-to-reach candidates. ContactOut claims to be able to find emails for 75% of the Western world.

Try it out and instantly find the personal email address and sometimes even the phone number of any candidate if they have it in their LinkedIn profile.

The extension searches other social media platforms and online pages using an AI engine to find and triple-verify the correct email address.

ContactOut claims that as a result, recruiters hire ten times faster. Get a free trial to find out if it’s the right tool for you.

The Gender Decoder

This year, consumers are demanding that companies make a commitment to hire with gender equality in mind.

A good way to do so is by ensuring your job ads are free from gender bias.

This sourcing tool, the Gender Decoder, looks at the language in your ad to make sure the wordings are appealing to both men and women.

The Gender Decoder will then tell you whether your job ad is feminine-coded (written with more of a leaning towards a female candidate), masculine-coded (written with more of a leaning towards a male candidate) or neutral (no leaning).

It’s a great way to make sure your pipeline is serving you the right mix of candidates and skill sets.


Aevy only makes you pay if you make a successful hire; it’s to their benefit to source great candidates for your open positions.

If you’re in the world of tech, this tool could be your silver bullet. Aevy finds all possible candidates based on their skill set.

Their tool evaluates engineers by analyzing billions of lines of open source codes. Plus, their algorithm looks at some of the so-called nontechnical skills to see if a candidate is the right culture fit.

Then, they make initial contact to see if the candidate is interested in your company. If there is interest, they present the candidate to your company for an initial meet.

It’s a great way to find candidates with the technical background you need – without needing a computer science degree in the process.


Pipl bills itself as the world’s largest people search engine. Use their free database to find more information with just an email address, phone number, or social media handle. You can narrow it down by location, or upgrade to one of their paid versions to go deeper.

If you’re seeking to build your talent pool, Pipl is a good way to start a database. Start with getting employee referrals, and build from there.

Research shows that candidates hired via employee referral have a 25% higher retention rate; so if you can get a name or an email from your current team members, Pipl can do the rest of the work for you.

BONUS: Social Media

Social media isn’t just a one-way channel for candidates to learn about your company. It’s also a great sourcing tool. There’s a free web tool you can use with Facebook that allows you to find people using the platform’s native search.

Twitter’s advanced search also helps you find people who are talking about a particular subject, helping you tap into niche communities that might otherwise take a long time to find.

There are also some google search commands that recruiters use to create custom searches. And then of course there is LinkedIn.

With a little savvy, free sourcing can be as simple as understanding how to use a social media platform to its full potential.

About Author: 

Emily Heaslip

The author is content writer at Melbourne based Vervoe, a startup that provides solutions for companies to “audition” candidates using technology and make that possible at speed, at scale and based on data. 

(Published as part of a partnership with