In the light of my participation in the upcoming SourceCon’s “Paid Resources” panel, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the subject.
Roughly, paid resources fall into these categories:
1. Data collections, along with software to search it: resumes; profiles; contact info; and competitive intelligence.
Data may be self-entered (as in job boards or LinkedIn) or collected elsewhere (for example, Zoominfo, theSocialCV crawl the web; Jigsaw collects data via its members).
2. Search tools; matching tools
I think that search tools need to be taken with a grain of salt. True, it feels nice to have your search strings automated or for software to search across different sources. But this can be compared to using an automatic transmission vs. manual in a car. Which one gives drivers better control?
As for matching tools (looking for resumes that match jobs) I personally don’t think any tool is achieving this at the time; the task is way difficult. Sorry!
3. Parsing and sorting tools
Parsing and sorting tools, on the other hand, make a lot of sense and could save volumes of time, money, and help dig out data that we’d never reach without them. Tools from Broadlook such as Diver help dive into hundreds of links letting you know what’s hidden there. eGrabber has tools that do similar tasks; the ResumeGrabber is an excellent resume parser that puls resumes from links, folders, etc.
To wrap this up: don’t expect parsing tools to search for you. (Diver comes with a list of sample strings; but it is just the packaging, so to speak.) You must learn to search well to take advantage of tools that boost the productivity of processing your search results.