Top Ten Essential Reference Tools

The Internet can be both a blessing and a curse! When you need to find something fast, the Internet and its various search portals can be painfully frustrating, returning long lists of sites both good and bad that may or may not give you the information you need. But you know what you’re looking for is out there, somewhere; you just need to know the best sites to find it. You don’t have time to click through each site in your search results to find only little in the way of content. You want only the best, most relevant websites! Does this sound familiar? Recruiting resources are much the same. There are hundreds of sites that give you competitor information, college major listings, associations, industry helps, location helps, event listings, et cetera. But which are the best? How can you skip the irrelevant stuff? For recruiting purposes, here are a few of the sites that I have found essential in helping me get to what I’m looking for, fast. Hopefully these will cut down on some of the time you spend searching for information on the Internet too:

  1. Technical Term Dictionary. Hands down my favorite is It’s the easiest to navigate and gives the most complete definition, enabling you to pull other good keywords that would be similar to your technical term. This site is a regular hangout for most technical recruiters.
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  3. Competitor Directory. Hoovers is still the best in this arena. Simply enter in an organization and the “capsule” not only gives you a snapshot of the organization, it lists its competitors, officers, earnings, and number of employees. If you can’t find the organization you’re looking for, type in a large competitor organization and pull their competitors.
  4. Association Search Engine. Associations are great places to find passive candidates! Flip searching association sites can also help you to find homepages of candidates related to your position. Some associations are so niche, if your candidate is a member, you most likely want to talk with them. The best site to assist you in finding the association most related to your position is the American Society of Association Executives; their search interface is located at Here you can search under categories, keywords, cities, and states.
  5. College Search Engine. Looking for candidates who have graduated with their degree in entomology? A great source for candidates is University Alumni pages but first you need to find the Universities who offer this kind of degree. The best source for finding universities by degree or within a geographical area is on the US News website.
  6. Graduate School Search Engine. Has the hiring manager told you they want someone who has their MBA from a “top” graduate program? Who are the best business graduate schools in the U.S.? Need to find someone with some post-graduate work in Environmental Studies? You can find this information at Click on the type of program you would like to search and the search engine will allow you to search by locations or specialties among other things.
  7. Location Specific Searching. There is nothing more frustrating than having to do location specific searching on a general search engine. The site that can best assist you with a list of area codes, zip codes, or just general geographical information can be found at Here you can also print up an area code list so that you’re not missing any valuable candidates yet narrowing your search sufficiently.
  8. Event or Conference Search Engine. Similar to associations, event or conference sites are great places to find passive candidates on the net. Attending these events and networking is also a great way to recruit passive candidates. TSCentral seems to be the best site to assist you in finding specific events related to various industries. You can search at Here you can search by type of event, industry, keyword, location and dates.
  9. Industry Information Directory. The best way to find comprehensive information covering a particular industry new to you can be found at,3517,277,00.html. These Industry “Snap Shots” give you a “Who’s Who” in the industry, an industry perspective or “Lowdown”, glossaries and dictionaries, related sites and associations, everything you need to know to become in expert fast within an industry. You can spend days simply researching and sourcing the various links Hoovers gives you pertaining to each industry.
  10. General Recruiting Questions. I get asked strange and unusual recruiting questions on a daily basis, and if I don’t know the answer, I do know a place that probably does. Although you subscribe to the ERExchange, did you know they keep a searchable archive of both their articles and forums, which over the last few years has pretty much touched on everything recruiting-related? You can search the Forum archives at
  11. News Headlines. So much news and so little time! If you only want the headlines for a particular industry sent to your desktop on a daily basis, go to Here you can personalize exactly what you would like to see and this news aggregator will pull from a wide variety of sources and send you the link, as well as a brief blurb to generate your interest in a “digest” format.

Many of these sites may not be new to you because they are so good at what they do. Hopefully, you have found a few new ones that you can bookmark and use in your recruiting efforts. Since I’m always on the quest for the best in these areas, if you have a better site or source, by all means email me. Neither Recruiters-Aid nor myself have any vested interest in these organizations and sites; they are listed because I use them in my sourcing efforts daily. Good luck! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Audra Slinkey is a leading Internet Recruiting Consultant who has designed the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System) to ensure Internet recruiting success. Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results—or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest FREE recruiting resource sites online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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