Working for a small recruitment agency requires that you be resourceful and identify creative ways to be just as productive as your bigger competitors. Sometimes this means developing innovative strategies that challenge traditional methods (adding tools in addition to your recruiting CRM and ATS), and other times this means identifying tools to help you be more productive.

I can relate. I have spent the last 3 years working for lean startups with almost non-existent budgets. It’s challenged me to be creative, and identify new tools to help me stay competitive. Over the years, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite free tools, and today I want to share some of them with you in the hopes that you can use them to grow your recruitment agency.

Canva (Design)

A quality graphic designer can cost you over $100 per hour for a simple design while poorly designed collateral can cost you new business. Which do you choose? For a lot of small businesses the choice is simple. There isn’t the budget to hire a designer, and external facing collateral suffers. But, it doesn’t have to.

Canva was hands down my favorite discovery of 2017, and my only regret is not finding it sooner. Canva is a free graphic-design web app that features a simple to use drag-and-drop editor perfect for even the design challenged. Best of all, Canva offers access to millions of photographs, graphics, fonts, and customizable templates all for little to no cost. There is zero reason you to compromise on design ever again.

Hootsuite (Social Media)

I recently wrote a blog about the importance of your social media presence as a recruiter. From driving business development to engaging passive talent to promoting your jobs, social media can play an integral role in helping you achieve your business goals.

While it can be tiring trying to manage multiple profiles on multiple sites at once, it doesn’t have to be. Social media management platform, Hootsuite, simplifies social. With their free account, you link up to 3 social profiles, business and personal, in seconds and schedule your updates days, weeks, even months in advance.

MailChimp (Email Marketing)

MailChimp is a powerful marketing automation platform, and one I can’t live without. From bulk emails to drip campaigns to lead nurtures, there isn’t anything MailChimp can’t do.

As a new or small agency, you’re going to need a recruitment marketing strategy, a tool to collect leads, and way to measure and assess your efforts. MailChimp has it all. With their free accounts, you can build automations triggered based on your contacts’ activity and even create customizable sign up forms. With the ability to send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 contacts each month, MailChimp’s Free plan will work for most growing companies.

Smallpdf (Document Management)

For years, I paid for a monthly subscription to Adobe Acrobat only to use the tool 1 to 2 times each month, but I had to have it. Nothing was more frustrating than trying to merge PDFs or convert a PDF to a different format without it. That is until I discovered Smallpdf. This handy tool has saved me hours of frustration over the last two years.

Smallpdf can convert a PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and even a .jpg. It even allows you to merge, edit, sign, and unlock PDFs.

Slack (Collaboration)

Prior to joining Loxo, I had never used Slack and was stuck using Skype for Business. The difference is night and day. Slack makes it really simple to collaborate with your whole team and helps improve transparency. Gone are the days of the back and forth emails, cluttering you and your coworkers inboxes. Now, we share updates or pose questions and are back to work in seconds. Best of all, Slack integrates with hundreds of apps, including Google Calendar, Trello, and MailChimp.

Check back for future posts where I share even more of my favorite free tools!