Money Talks: NotchUp
Greatest strength: NotchUp lets employers offer passive job seekers cash to sit for an interview. Candidates name their price.
References: 100,000 users; recruiters from Disney and Genentech
Experience: Motorola product marketing director Manish Rai first tried recruiters to fill an open senior-marketing-manager position, but "it took several cycles of feedback on candidates before they understood the position," he says. In one day on NotchUp, Rai says he found the best four people he'd seen. He offered one $500 to interview but hired someone from his own network first.
Greatest weakness: In a softening job market, will recruiters still need to pay people to talk to them?
Multilevel Networking: Blue Chip Expert
Greatest strength: Individuals join in the hope of either being discovered by an executive hiring manager or reaping a piece of Blue Chip's finder's fee when a friend they've invited gets hired. Employers join to get access to a better class of candidate.
References: 375,000 members (60% outside the U.S.); companies such as American Express, Pepsi, and Williams-Sonoma
Experience: Within weeks of joining, Cheryl Schurr got hired as a district sales manager at Impac Medical Systems, which sells back-end tech to medical facilities. Ten recruiters and daily job-board visits had netted her nothing. "You never know what jobs recruiters have or how hard they're working for you," she says.
Greatest weakness: Hiring managers need an invite to participate.
eHarmony for Paychecks: Jobfox
Greatest strength: Employers use Jobfox's search algorithms to identify candidates' profiles that best fit their job descriptions.
References: 1 million job seekers per month; 3,000 companies, including Bank of America, Comcast, Time Warner, and TiVo
Experience: "With this, I'm not flipping through 100 résumés going 'no, no, no,' " says Mike Manzo, a recruiter for $4 billion casual-dining conglomerate Brinker International. He uses it to fill manager slots. For a New York City Chili's, he says, "I got four applications, everyone was a fit, and candidates got back to me. With Monster and CareerBuilder, they apply but may not be as serious."
Greatest weakness: Less coverage outside the top 10 U.S. cities.
Pay It Forward: H3.com
Greatest strength: Employers broadcast a job notice, along with an offer of a $10,000 bonus to the person who refers the winning candidate, through H3. The posting then ripples through email forwards and social networks such as LinkedIn.
References: 20,000 referrers; 200-plus companies, including Fidelity and Gartner
Experience: Scott Simmons, a recruiter for Microsoft in its accounting software division, made seven hires -- including senior-level software engineers and program managers -- in the first five months of using H3. He now uses the tool for every open position.
Greatest weakness: Limited control over where the job notice is posted. Facebook, sure. MySpace, not exactly.