Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of , a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on and .
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With so many qualified job seekers available for so few positions in the U.S. workforce, many recruiters may be wondering how they can ensure they’re choosing the most qualified candidates.
Fortunately, a slew of new services are available to make the role of a recruiter easier. New software is allowing job candidates to earn professional recommendations, prove their skills and more.
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These tools are not only powerful ways for job seekers to stand out from the crowd, but they can also help HR managers and recruiters to more adequately sift through the growing pool of qualified candidates and find the best fit for their companies. Check out a few of these tools below.
Summary: Recmnd.Me allows job candidates to be rated by their peers and supervisors. Users fill out a short profile with information about their career, skills, location and other professional keywords. Users can then request recommendations or recommend as many colleagues as they want.
Best Feature: Other recommendation sites like focus on a narrative approach -- that is, you invite someone to recommend you, and they write a short paragraph saying whatever they please. This is not the case with Recmnd.Me, which requires ratings to be on a scale of 1 to 10, based on a few key attributes. The site pools all of the scores, so users can see how they stack up against other professionals or students. Users also never see any of the specific ratings their colleagues give them, and this anonymity may allow for more honesty.
What to Consider: Because users are rated based on a scale, those who are looking for written recommendations may not find this site to be the best fit.
Ideal User: Employers in any field will find Recmnd.Me useful.
Cost: The site allows users to register free of charge.
Summary: Smarterer is a service that strives to prove your skillset. Users answer multiple-choice questions to prove their knowledge of a variety of digital, social and technical skills. The site crowdsources its quiz questions and uses a scoring algorithm that learns from user interactions to improve question and user rankings. In a recent growth milestone, the site recently hit .
Best Feature: The site offers recruiters a way to assess just how knowledgeable candidates are about skills they specify in their resumes. Recruiters can choose from hundreds of topics to create a group of skills to test, then link to the “Skillset” in a job post, where candidates can prove what they know.
What to Consider: The site employs multiple-choice, timed quizzes for users to showcase their skills, but this format could be anxiety-inducing for some job applicants. Some people simply aren’t good at this type of standardized testing, so many applicants may find that the quizzes benefit those who are good test takers rather than those who actually have the skills necessary for the position.
Ideal User: Recruiters looking for employees with specific skillsets.
Cost: The site is free for recruiters and job candidates.
Summary: Zao was created on the principle that professional and personal networks can yield referrals just as well as employees can. The site allows recruiters to create a job description, set a reward and forward the position to their entire network. From there, Zao helps those who receive the job description to automatically search through the people they know to identify top candidates.
Best Feature: The site lets you see how you’re connected to candidates, which makes it easy to get a reference for them before even deciding to offer an interview. It also boasts a built-in applicant tracking system that helps you to conveniently rate and sort through candidates. The site also affords some privacy, as you can choose to forward jobs only to specific people and limit the number of candidates they can recommend. Zao also allows recruiters to limit the degrees of separation between themselves and a candidate, for instance, blocking anyone who's more than two degrees of separation from them.
What to Consider: One of the main features of the site is the rewards system -- employers have the option to set a cash reward that will be paid to the referrer following a successful hire. While you can opt out of this, Zao recommends $1,000 to $5,000 for sufficient motivation.
Ideal User: Employers with a wide professional and personal network looking for highly recommended candidates.
Cost: Employers can create jobs and distribute jobs for free, but once you’ve hired an applicant that came through Zao, you must pay Zao the reward (so they can distribute it), plus 30% commission. You can read more .
What do you think of these tools? Are there any others you would add?
Social Media Job Listings
Every week we post a list of . While we publish a huge range of job listings, we've selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
- at Princess Cruises in Valencia, Calif.
- at New York City Ballet in New York
- at Desk.com / Salesforce.com in San Francisco
This story originally published on Mashable .