David Scheinman didn't want to pay for an expensive help-wanted advertisement only to be deluged with rÉsumÉs from unqualified candidates. So the CEO of Smokey's Sports Cards, a $20-million sports-card distributor in Las Vegas, called SkillSearch, a rÉsumÉ-search service. SkillSearch returned 20 rÉsumÉs, 15 of which, Scheinman says, were "right on target."

RÉsumÉ-search services sort through thousands of current rÉsumÉs, looking for specific skills. Because services often recruit minority candidates for their databases, they can help companies trying to meet Equal Employment Opportunity hiring guidelines. Search firms charge far less than headhunters do, and they guarantee qualified candidates -- no matches, no charge.

Inc. tested three services by performing two sample searches: "Restaurant supplier in Bozeman, Mont., seeks salesperson, two years' experience, willing to travel, for $25,000"; and "Atlanta benefits-management firm wants female personnel director, five years' experience, with desktop-publishing skills, for $35,000." See the results, below.

-- Phaedra Hise

CompanySearch costRÉsumÉs on file"Salesperson""Personnel director"kiNexus/AdEase 800-828-0422$800 for one search $3,000 for five searches175,0006 rÉsumÉs7 rÉsumÉs: all women, 4 good candidates (one with industry experience)Job Bank USA 800-296-1872$200 for two searches $495 for five searches17,500No responses ("No one will move to Bozeman for $25,000 a year.")19 rÉsumÉs: 11 women, 5 good candidatesSkillSearch 800-258-6641$375 for intro search $3,000 for five searches11,0008 rÉsumÉs: 3 good candidates6 rÉsumÉs: all women, all good candidates