As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel like everything costs an arm, a leg, and a couple of fingers and toes, especially recruitment. While it does take a lot of money and hard work to make a business successful, there is also a wealth of free information and free tools available at your fingertips. Because of the Internet, it is so much easier for entrepreneurs to get a new venture off the ground. Recruiting is expensive, especially when you’re looking for a reliable core group of people to make your startup successful. The cost per hire can start at a few thousand dollars, and quickly rise depending on the position and the candidate pool. This is especially true when you’re hiring for positions that are in high demand.

Social media both makes the recruiting process easier and complicates it by spreading research out over several platforms. So how can you ease the cost for finding your core team, especially when your recruiting “team” might still consist of you and maybe one other person (if you’re lucky)? Check out these 5 free recruitment tools that are great for entrepreneurs and startups.

  1. Rapportive

It’s so much easier to connect with someone when you have all the information you need right in front of you. Rapportive is an email tool that goes far beyond providing you with an email address and photo or avatar for your contacts. Integrating Gmail with LinkedIn, Rapportive shows you all the social information about your contacts, including photo, email address, website, social handles, and more. It will also tell you what tier each contact is in your LinkedIn network, and even display shared connections!


Most people don’t make an effort to hide their email addresses…but they’re often difficult to find. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect candidate, only to have an issue getting in contact with them. is a Chrome extension that hunts down email addresses by analyzing the normal pattern for addresses on a given website. Once the extension is installed, you simply type in the name of the person you’re searching for. Hunter will then return an email address to you with a confidence percentage—letting you know how sure the extension is that you’ve got the right address. LinkedIn integration makes it super easy to find the address of almost anyone, all in one place. The basic plan is free, and allows you to make a certain number of inquiries per month.

  1. SocialTalent’s Boolean Generator

Boolean searches can be a helpful tool in recruiting—they allow you to create a more tailored search using words like and, or, and not. Building these searches isn’t always easy, which is where the Boolean Generator comes in. This tool allows you to create Boolean search strings to quickly find the candidates you’re looking for. Whether that means greater diversity, specific certifications, or even experience in certain fields like human relations or special education.

  1. Followerwonk

If you use Twitter to find your prospects, you’re going to love Followerwonk. Users can search the entire Twitter network to find the prospects that they’re most interested in. You could start with a narrow search, then broaden out for those hidden gems—it’s up to you!

  1. Calendly

If you feel like you spend too much time going back and forth with candidates to schedule a phone screen or interview, Calendly will be a breath of fresh air. It allows you to set times at your convenience. And anyone who has the link to your calendar can look through the available times and book a slot. Simple.

Facing the Challenges of Recruitment

There are a lot of people out there looking for jobs. But there are very few you’ll trust when building your startup’s team. There are challenges at every stage of the recruitment process. Using the tools available to you can make the hiring process easier and cheaper. Finding the best candidates is easy with these free tools. Wooing them? That’s up to you.

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He is currently writing a book about scaling up business and his experience implementing lean methodology.