16 Best Recruiting Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Recruiting BooksUpdated: September 16, 2021

You found our list of the best recruiting books.

Recruiting books are guides to attracting, interviewing, evaluating, and hiring new employees. These resources cover topics like data-driving hiring practices, interviewing strategies, technology’s role in recruiting, and best practices for assembling offers. These books are also called “hiring books” or “recruitment books.”

These books are a subset of HR books, and share similarities with books on project management, people management books, and employee engagement books.

This list includes:

  • technical recruiting books
  • executive recruiting books
  • HR recruiting books
  • diversity recruiting books
  • headhunting books
  • recruiting books for beginners

Let’s get into it!

List of recruiting books

From new releases to years old bestsellers, here is a list of books about recruiting to help hirers gain a competitive edge in navigating the often overwhelming talent acquisition process.

1. The Robot-Proof Recruiter: A Survival Guide for Recruitment and Sourcing Professionals by Katrina Collier

The Robot Proof Recruiter

Automation and digitalization has changed the recruiting landscape, both to the benefit and detriment of recruiters and job seekers alike. Recruiting professionals find themselves struggling to attract and hold applicant attention, and candidates often feel more like numbers than individuals. In The Robot-Proof Recruiter, Katrina Collier advocates for a humanistic approach to recruiting as a salve to the increasingly isolated, impersonal nature of online recruitment. The book teaches recruiters how to use technology and tools to enhance, not replace, personalized online interactions between hiring managers and potential hires.

Notable Quote: “Putting technology first and the human last was never going to create a positive outcome for recruiters, even if it was unintentional. For too long recruiters have used technology to spam, disrespect, ghost, and even reject; using technology to cut the wrong corners, they have left people cold.”

Buy The Robot-Proof Recruiter.

2. Social Media Recruitment: How to Successfully Integrate Social Media into Recruitment Strategy by Andy Headworth

Social Media Recruitment

Most traditional headhunting books focus on recruitment techniques and best practices. Social Media Recruitment centers around leveraging social media to improve the hiring process. The book tackles topics such as picking platforms, creating content for global audiences, using social media tools, devising social strategies, and building an employer brand. The guide also delves into measuring return on investment, advocating for the use of recruitment social media within the organization, as well as predicting future trends and tactics.

Notable Quote: “This ‘always on’ aspect of technology has huge implications for everyone involved in recruitment, including job seekers. Recruitment video technology allows candidates to take interviews when it suits them, mobile technology provides freedom of location and flexibility, and social media gives everyone a voice whenever and wherever they choose to use it.”

Buy Social Media Recruitment.

3. The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring by Adam Robinson

The Best Team Wins

Predictive hiring is a strategy that uses the interview process to determine applicants’ patterns of behavior and gauge an employee’s true fit. As any good recruiter understands, a candidate’s appearance on paper and performance in a role are often very different. In The Best Team Wins, Adam Robinson draws on two decades of experience in recruiting to illustrate vetted methods of testing applicant mettle. The book navigates topics like identifying an organization’s competitive advantage, narrowing the pool of applicants, and verifying candidates without being overly invasive. Believing that very few organizations actually train hiring managers in proper recruiting practices, The Best Team Wins outlines steps and procedures for selecting winning candidates that justify the time and hassle.

Notable Quote: “Most companies are bad at hiring because most companies don’t teach their managers how to do it.”

Buy The Best Team Wins.

4. The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent by Mike Sarraille, George Randle and Josh Cotton

The Talent War

Experts often refer to the act of attracting qualified candidates as a “war for talent.” So, who better to navigate battles and high-pressure situations than combat commanders? The Talent War applies strategies of military recruitment and training used by US Special Operations Forces to corporate environments. The book argues that by attaining a talent mindset, recruiters attract and cultivate optimal talent and gain an advantage in a highly competitive landscape. The book channels military principles like character, loyalty, and discipline to strategize in current recruiting climates.

Notable Quote: “A company’s dedication and commitment to fighting the war for talent is often the determining factor of success or failure, regardless of industry or domain. The only way to win is through trial and error, constant innovation, adaption, and improvement of your talent acquisition and talent management procedures.”

Buy The Talent War.

5. High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant by Scott Wintrip

High Velocity Hiring

According to Monster, the average hiring process takes three months from job posting to hire. Lag is one of the most common complaints about the modern recruitment process. High Velocity Hiring presents revolutionary recruitment strategies focused on courting and attracting talent before the need arises. The book seeks to eliminate hiring delays with methods such as well-maintained hiring pools, interview techniques, and relationships with staffing professionals. These techniques save hours of work and accelerate the hiring timeline, making High Velocity Hiring an invaluable resource for recruiters.

Notable Quote: “The standard approach (keeping a job open until the right person shows up) has a big downside. In an organization, an empty seat is like an open wound. It’s a painful distraction that interferes with the business’s core mission.”

Buy High Velocity Hiring.

6. Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street

Who

Who is one of the most recommended recruiting books on the market. Geoff Smart and Randy Street outline interview techniques, evaluation practices, and offer strategy to help hiring managers attract, secure, and retain “A players” in competitive hiring markets. The book encourages recruiters to look beyond “voodoo recruiting” tactics in favor of tried and tested methods to finding and wooing quality candidates.

Notable Quote: “In an age in which every other management process has been studied and codified, we find it amazing that people still view hiring, the process where building an organization begins, as something that resists an orderly approach. Yet managers cling to their favorite methods even when evidence suggests they don’t work.”

Buy Who.

7. Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude by Mack Murphy

Hiring for Attitude

Hiring for Attitude is another of the most popular HR recruiting books. This work asserts that talent is not the only indicator of a candidate’s potential, but rather that attitude, perspective, and culture fits are strong determinants of long term success. The book coaches recruiters in techniques and tests designed to identify positive-minded candidates. Hiring for Attitude aims to help hiring managers find enthusiastic and hardworking applicants and improve employee retention rates.

Notable Quote: “I’m not saying that knowing the answer in advance is a prerequisite for every query you make. There are plenty of times when it’s perfectly OK to ask a question if you’re unsure, or even clueless, as to the answer. However, interviewing job candidates is when you definitely want guidelines on what good and bad answers sound like before you ask the question.”

Buy Hiring for Attitude.

8. The Effective Hiring Manager by Mark Horstman

The Effective Hiring Manager

The Effective Hiring Manager is one of the best recruiting books for beginners. This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of recruiting, from creating hiring criteria to overseeing onboarding. The book also includes information on evaluating resumes, and structuring interviewing days, documenting and evaluating interview results, and making offers or declining candidates. The Effective Hiring Manager is a great resource for brand new recruiters, hiring managers unfamiliar with HR best practices, or seasoned industry professionals in need of a refresher.

Notable Quote: “If an organization’s people are the engine of its success, then the decisions made about which people join the organization are the most important decisions the organization makes.”

Buy The Effective Hiring Manager.

9. The Talent Fix: A Leader’s Guide to Recruiting Great Talent by Tim Sackett

The Talent Fix

The Talent Fix presents a practical yet entertaining approach to talent acquisition. The book covers concepts such as recruiting software and technology, budget employee branding strategies, hiring metrics, and the difference between active and passive candidates. Tim Sackett pairs concrete examples with a humorous tone, making the book an entertaining yet informational read. The Talent Fix breaks down the talent acquisition process into simple steps and rules, trading bells and whistles for proven hiring practices.

Notable Quote: “As more organizations ramp up their recruitment marketing and candidate experience programs, the noise surrounding candidates is at an all-time high and getting worse….Noise is everything a candidate potentially has to cipher through when determining if a job and a company is right for them.”

Buy The Talent Fix.

10. Recruit Rockstars: The 10 Step Playbook to Find the Winners and Ignite Your Business by Jeff Hyman

Recruit Rockstars

In Recruit Rockstars, Jeff Hyman shares his foolproof ten step method to finding and signing exceptional employees. The book covers subjects such as determining needs gaps, prompting practical predictors of success during interviews, conducting trials, checking references, making enticing offers, and ensuring smooth starts for new employees. Recruit Rockstars aims to increase the odds that new hires become veteran employees. The process starts with selecting the right candidates and ending with creating environments where those professionals thrive.

Notable Quote: ” One mistake that nearly all companies make is simply one of nomenclature. They view recruitment as a “cost” rather than an “investment.”

Buy Recruit Rockstars.

11. Recruiting in the Age of Googlization by Ira S Wolfe

Recruiting in the Age of Googleization

The internet changed the nature of recruiting, and hiring continues to change as new technology develops and emerges. In Recruiting in the Age of Googlization, Ira Wolfe makes a case for updating hiring practices in response to the exponential change accelerated by tech innovations. Change is constant in the high-tech modern landscape, and recruiters need to learn, grow, and adapt regularly to stay competitive. The book touches on concepts like VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) and the psychology of change. The goal of Recruiting in the Age of Googlization is to reframe the recruitment process and propose more effective strategies to reach qualified candidates. The book helps professionals build a modern recruitment toolkit in an era when Google algorithms determine the likelihood of candidates and hirers connecting.

Notable Quote: “It’s not just that jobs are changing, but job classifications are changing too. A popular estimate suggests that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t exist.”

Buy Recruiting in the Age of Googlization.

12. The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees by Jeanne C Meister and Kevin Mulcahy

The Future Workplace Experience

While most hiring book start with the job posting and end with onboarding, The Future Workplace takes a more holistic approach by examining the impact that factors like disruptive technology, employee engagement, and recruitment trends have on hiring. The book advocates for data-driven, agile, and industry-leading outlook on hiring, covering topics ranging from company culture to multigenerational workspaces to the gig economy.

Notable Quote: “I tend to believe we overcomplicate a very simple function. Recruiting is simply about connecting with people who have the desire to work for your organization and the ability to learn the skills needed to work in the positions you need to hire for, if they don’t already have them.”

Buy The Future Workplace Experience.

13. High-Impact Interview Questions: 701 Behavior-Based Questions to Find the Right Person for Every Job by Victoria Hoevemeyer

High Impact Interview Questions

Interviewing is one of the key portions of the recruiting process, and High-Impact Interview Questions collects hundreds of insightful inquiries into a collection that will reveal enlightening information about candidates. Rather than asking questions with simple or formulaic answers, hiring managers who use this guide ask about specific circumstances that uncover patterns of past behavior and performance.

Notable Quote: “The primary problem with hypothetical questions is that they assume people actually do as they say they will do (or act as they say they will act.) This, as we know, doesn’t always happen….For many of us, there is, unfortunately, a weak correlation between knowing the right thing to do or the right process to follow and actually doing the right thing under pressure, while distracted, when in a time crunch, or even sometimes when everything is calm.”

Buy High-Impact Interview Questions.

14. Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter by Obi Ogbanufe

Technology Made Simple

Technical recruiting books help hiring professionals gain skills and knowledge needed to navigate the process. Because technical roles are in demand in current markers, it is essential for many hiring professionals to have a sufficient technical background or understanding. Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter teaches recruiters jargon and concepts useful in evaluating high-level and highly-skilled candidates. The book covers basics in in-demand areas like software development, data analytics, and information technology, outlining everything from terms to certifications and competencies.

Notable Quote: “Given that the typical technical recruiter is in constant contact with technical candidates and trying to match their skills and expertise with a hiring organization’s requirements, it is important that the recruiter understands the technologies and processes used by both the candidate and hiring organization.”

Buy Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter.

15. Leadership Recruiting: Strategy, Tactics and Tools for Hiring Organizations by Simon Mullins and David Lord

Leadership Recruiting

Choosing organizational leaders is an important decision, yet there is a surprising lack of executive recruiting books on the market. Leadership Recruiting fills that gap by providing an extensive guide to executive recruiting. The book covers topics such as deciding whether to focus the search internally or externally, creating enticing offer packages and transparent compensation, and assessing candidates via scorecard and communication with the C-suite. Leadership Recruiting teaches organizations how to find and hire desirable candidates for higher management positions.

Notable Quote: Amid unprecedented, unanticipated, and–in some cases– existential challenges, today’s organizations have an opportunity to reevaluate their approach to every function, talent being a primary concern in both human and business terms. CEOs and HR leaders are taking a hard look at senior management capabilities, as well as gaps in those capabilities.”

Buy Leadership Recruiting.

16. The Better Allies Approach to Hiring by Karen Catlin

The Better Allies Approach to Hiring

Diversity recruiting books are more important than ever in the current hiring climate. The Better Allies Approach to Hiring offers a practical and nuanced guide to finding, evaluating, and advocating for diverse candidates. The book instructs on how to fill the hiring pipeline with underrepresented applicants, identify and battle biases, ensure fair and equitable interview and hiring practices, and foster an inclusive culture where unique hires can thrive.

Notable Quote: “By creating a culture where all people can do their best work and thrive, you’ll be better equipped to attract the best and brightest talent. The cream of the crop will want to work with and for you. Employees will share how good it is with their friends and whisper networks. The word will get out.”

Buy The Better Allies Approach to Hiring.

Final Thoughts

Savvy hiring managers know that digging into recruitment books imparts new perspectives and techniques that save time in the long run. By brushing up on new recruitment trends and hiring best practices, HR professionals and executives position themselves to attract, court, and ultimately win over the best employees for their organizations. The result is more time and energy available to execute the company’s mission and visions.

Next, check out our list of books on organizational behavior, list of interview questions and this one with the best applicant tracking software.

FAQ: Recruiting books

Here are answers to common questions about recruiting books.

What are recruiting books?

Recruiting books are guides to the hiring process that cover topics such as recruitment strategy and position promotion, interview best practices, offer-making, and candidate communications. Some of these titles concentrate on specific areas such as social media or interviewing, while others provide broad guidelines to the hiring process.

What are some good recruiting books?

Some good recruiting books include Recruit Rockstars by Jeff Hyman, The Better Allies Approach to Hiring by Karen Catlin, and Hiring for Attitude by Mack Murphy. When selecting hiring books, it is a good idea to mix classics with new releases to gain a firmer handle on both the basics and cutting-edge trends in the recruitment world.

How does reading help you be a better recruiter?

Reading helps any professional increase their knowledge and stay on top of industry trends. Exploring recruitment books exposes hirers to new ideas, strategies, and techniques that can help connect them more meaningfully with candidates, improving the chances of securing and retaining top talent.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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