Like any field, recruiting is constantly developing. New strategies, methods, systems, and insights are appearing all the time. But there are also bedrock concepts that form the foundation of the discipline.
These 20 books for recruiters will teach you everything you need to know, from basic recruiting concepts to the latest innovations in data-backed hiring.
Whether you’re a recruiter, a hiring manager, or an executive, these recruitment books will help you attract better talent, weed out potential problems, and hire top performers for your company.
1. Who: The A Method for Hiring
The title is a little strange (it took me a moment to parse it correctly), but the insights contained in this book are essential for recruiters and hiring managers. The authors spent over 1,000 hours interviewing billionaires and CEOs about successful hiring and condensed what they learned into a single concise book.
You’ll learn why the average hiring manager makes so many mistakes and why those mistakes are so costly (the average hiring mistake, they say, costs a company $1.5 million a year).
The A Method promises to improve successful hiring rates from 50% to 90% through defining outcomes, asking the right interview questions, and emphasizing the right points to get the candidates you want.
2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
Like it or not, the recruiting process is often biased toward extroverts. Introverts tend to not perform as well in the standard interviewing process. But that’s limiting your recruitment pool by up to 50%.
As Cain points out in Quiet, introverts tend to excel in many important areas of business—and you could be missing out on their skills.
This book will help you open your mind to recruiting introverts, and teach you to make the interview process more introvert-friendly. By combining these insights with the practical recruiting and interviewing advice in the rest of the books on the list, you’ll open up your company to a new and powerful group of employees.
3. Social Media Recruitment: How to Successfully Integrate Social Media into Recruitment Strategy
With a less-than-exciting title and a cover that looks like it belongs in a university library, you might be tempted to pass this one up. But Headworth’s thoughts on social media recruitment are valuable to any recruiter that wants to keep up with the modern world of job searching and networking.
This is a highly practical book. You’ll see how companies have successfully used social media for recruitment and learn to apply the lessons to your own business. You’ll learn how to begin and end the process. You’ll find out how to calculate your social-media-recruiting ROI. And in the end, you’ll be an expert on social media recruitment.
4. Hire With Your Head: Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams
A modern classic among recruitment books, Hire with Your Head presents a simple premise: you should hire based on performance.
Performance-based hiring includes sourcing, screening, interviewing, and recruiting—all with a view to how top candidates look at the jobs they’re offered.
The focus is on job requirements, not skills and experiences; career-oriented networking, not job board postings; and analysis of a candidate’s background instead of application forms.
It’s an involved process, but Adler’s book has been the basis of an extremely effective recruiting paradigm that you can’t afford to ignore.
5. Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude
While some companies find success in looking for candidates based on the skills they have, Murphy argues that they’re going about it all wrong. Instead, he writes, they should be focused on a candidate’s attitude. He cites his own experience as well as scientific research to back up his claims that a good attitude is more important than a specific skill set.
It’s a unique approach to recruiting, and this break from how things have been done is likely to make many recruiters and hiring managers uncomfortable. But Murphy makes a compelling case that we should think about recruiting differently.
Of course, recruiting doesn’t have to be one or the other; if you can combine the insights from this book with another practical guide to recruiting, you’ll be a formidable force indeed.
6. Creative Hiring: The Pinnacle Model for Spontaneous, Imaginative, Collaborative Interviews
Every step of the recruitment process is important—and interviewing is no exception. But the traditional model is outdated, inefficient, and ineffective (and maybe most importantly, no fun). This book helps recruiters and hiring managers get to the candidate behind the canned answers.
The Pinnacle Model is a seven-step process for interviewing that will help you see the competencies that candidates find difficult to express, like creativity, curiosity, and genuineness.
A combination of sociology, psychology, communication studies, and the authors’ years of experience come together to form a new and extremely valuable interviewing tool.
7. Recruiting 101: The Fundamentals of Being a Great Recruiter
Whether you’re just getting started in a recruiting career or you’re a life-long professional, the basic skills of recruiting are crucial for your success.
Even if you’ve been recruiting for years, it’s valuable to go back to the beginning and make sure you’re using all the tools at your disposal to get the best candidates.
Recruiting 101 covers 15 basic skills for recruiting success, including social media, recruitment marketing, cold calling, and interviewing. Not all 15 skills will be applicable to your job—but this book will help you nail the basics and become a better, more well-rounded recruiter.
8. Hiring Smart!: How to Predict Winners and Losers in the Incredibly Expensive People-Reading Game
More than anything else, successful recruiters need to be able to read people. They need to get at the motivations and competencies that other people have difficulty identifying with a few interviews. It’s not easy.
Dr. Mornell shows interviewers how to judge a candidate’s fitness for the skills required in the job as well as the organizational fit, something that’s often overlooked in the interviewing process.
9. Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business
If you think your job is about building a workforce, you’re aiming too low; you need to be working toward creating a talent force.
Rueff and Stringer write about how the world of business employment is changing and the new expectations that employees have. And, of course, how you can meet them.
This book will help you change your thinking about the employees at your company; you’ll see that they don’t simply work there. They apply their talents and help the company move forward. And it’s your job to find the most talented people to help.
10. How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team—Even If You Don't Have a Recruiting Department
If you’re reading this article, chances are you do have a recruiting department. But that doesn’t make this book any less relevant. Herrenkohl gives examples of companies that have had great recruiting success even without big recruiting departments and shows how their existing marketing, networking, and sales processes helped them do it.
You’ll learn how to change your mindset to better attract top talent, how to leverage social media and your website to recruit, and how to turn your current B-players into A-level ones. It’s an all-in-one guide to getting the most out of your employees.