Free Apps To Help You Work More Efficiently and Save Time

If you’ve ever wished for an extra hour in the day or, in a moment of utter frustration, though, “There has to be a better way,” then good news. For some things recruiting, there are.

In this collection of apps, and services, and tools you’ll find enough useful ‘stuff’ to get you some, if not an entire, 60 minutes to use making those cold calls you never seem to get to. Or updating your client presentations. Or freshening your Facebook page.

However you decide to use those extra minutes, you’ll find these tools will simplify your life and help you manage your professional contacts more efficiently. And the best part is that every one of these is free. Right. No charge, no hidden fees, no surprises.

Take Job Change Alerts as an example. Jason Buss of TalentHQ calls it a “dream come true.” You can decide that for yourself, once you take the 30 seconds to sign up. The site connects to your LinkedIn account to track the job changes, promotions, new contacts, and birthdays of all your contacts. Every morning you get an email digest of all the changes made by the contacts in your network.

If you have hundreds and hundreds of connections the digest can get a little busy, and you’ll get some chaff with the wheat, but the day you discover your contact at your best client just got promoted or left the company will make it all worthwhile.

One caveat: Job Change Alerts requires a business email address; no Yahoo or Gmail or other personal accounts.

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Now what if there was a tool that alerted you to job changes before they happened? Bullhorn’s year-old Radar (yes, free) isn’t clairvoyant. It operates on the notion that when people decide it may be time to start job hunting, among the things they do is to freshen their LinkedIn profile.

If you’re thinking lots of people do that regularly, you are right. Radar ignores that. It learns who among your contacts is a regular updater, and who isn’t. When it detects activity that suggests the possibility of job change, you’ll be notified.

Since Radar is part of Bullhorn Reach (free, too), you also get a bundle of other handy services, including posting jobs and editorial content quickly to your various social media sites. This is especially useful for solo recruiters who know the value of having a robust social media presence, but just can’t keep up with everything. Sign up for Reach and ever after all you have to do is tell it what you want to share.

Here are some other tools you’ll find helpful. And yes, these too, are free or freemium:

  • Nimble.com: Managing contacts that may be spread among multiple social sites, and address books can be a challenge, which is where the relatively new Nimble.com can help. It was designed specifically to manage contacts pulled from social media sources and integrate the various bits and bytes of digital data your contacts have strewn about. Comments, conversations, tweets, emails, you name it are pulled together in a single dashboard window. Each of your contacts gets a compiled profile that also points you to their current updates, as well as to their individual profiles on each social site complete  your shared connections.
  • Hachi: I don’t know about you, but I’ve got connections I don’t know I know. I’ve also got connections in Outlook, who aren’t part of my LinkedIn network. And friends on Facebook, who aren’t anywhere else. Doing a search across these networks is such a pain, I don’t do it. But what if I could do it easily, and search the way I do on LinkedIn? And when I get the results, I see how I’m connected to that person or to a connection of one of my connections, even multiple levels deep. That’s Hachi, a social intelligence app, that makes connections across multiple sites to show you the full breadth of your social media contacts, both personal and professional. The only catch in this is that the service is still in beta, so you need to get in line.
  • Connected: Since being acquired by LinkedIn, Connected has gone free, which is one incredible bargain when you consider what it does: It automatically connects everything. They can contact management without the work, and that’s no exaggeration. Your biggest job — all 60 seconds of it — is to tell connected what sources to link together – Outlook, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (naturally), Google, etc. No need to de-dupe the list; Connected does it for you. Then, Connected lets you see what each of your contacts is up to; all the information is handily compiled in one place. It offers much of what Nimble does, and you may find it easier to use, since, like a persistent personal assistant, it will remind you of contacts and activities you need to manage. With no prodding from you, the Connected Daily email will alert you to job changes, birthdays, or other reminders you set.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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