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The books you have to read before you finish your recruitment career

The books you have to read before you finish your recruitment career

You’re definitely going to need to grab a coffee for this (or two) because we’ve put together a special edition of Limitless Learning.

For long-term subscribers, you’ll know that we’ve spoken about books and resources in drips and drabs over the past few years.

We want to inspire recruiters to enrich their knowledge and, ultimately, pick up a book every so often and switch off from digital life. 

We spend so much of our time online, taking time away from a screen, notifications, and endless media consumption can be a great break for our brains.

Whether you’re someone who loves reading on a Kindle, or you prefer the physical feeling of turning pages of a book, we’re looking to inspire you to broaden your reading horizons this year. 

It’s important to note that we aren’t claiming that these books are the “best of all time” either. Instead, these are books that will, in some way or another, impact you as a recruiter.

It could be focussed on performance, spirituality, or mental health - we’ve tried to include a healthy mix.

So, without further ado, here are the top 25 books that you need to read before you finish your recruitment career!

1 | Good Vibes, Good Life | Vex King

Inspiring, the law of attraction, self-help for beginners

If you like self-help books that focus on the law of attraction and manifestation, then this book is for you. Good Vibes, Good Life, is a great introductory book if you’ve never read any self-help books that discuss spirituality and how good vibes can literally impact your life. You could be sceptical of other self-help books, but I promise that this is actionable and has a ton of key takeaways that will resonate. 

2 | Little Black Book | Otegha Uwagba

Practical, quick-read, great for women in recruitment

This one’s for all the female recruiters out there. We’re acutely aware of how male-dominated our industry is, and it’s time that we broadened our reading! This is a great non-fiction that is actually for female business owners and freelancers, but is a great tool that you can use to help you grow your desk, as a lot of the advice is sales-centric. The beauty of this book is that it’s pocket-sized in shape but also the information within it is short and snappy. It’s a book you don’t need to read in one go, either. Think of it as a mini business bible that you can carry around, flicking to the relevant page when you need some advice or a mental refresh.

3 | How To Win Friends & Influence People | Dale Carnegie

A timeless classic, human psychology, building relationship principles

An old classic, and one that most of you have probably read, How To Win Friends & Influence People one of the “sales bibles” in the world of recruitment. Read it for yourself if you haven’t already…! It highlights important lessons on how to make people like you, win people to your way of thinking and techniques to handle your relationships.

4 | Surrounded By Idiots | Thomas Erikson

Personality types, leadership advice

Ever felt like the people around you just don’t make sense? Surrounded By Idiots is all about personality types and how to manage them. In the world of recruitment, our life is quite literally people. You need to be able to understand people and their personalities to be able to work with them or do business with them. Surrounded by Idiots is a great introduction to this. This is also an excellent book for leaders who are looking to understand humans, how we behave, and how to deal with personalities that may not mesh with our own.

5 | Atomic Habits | James Clear

Productivity, habit-setting, organisation basics

A personal favourite, and one I’ve spoken about in previous editions, Atomic Habits is an incredible book about habit formation and how it can be fundamental to your success. Whether you read this and apply it to your professional life as a recruiter, or you apply it to your personal day to day - this is a great read with a ton of actionable takeaways. This book is incredibly accessible, and great for people who are looking to ease themselves into reading, particularly non-fiction, which can sometimes be a lot to digest. Habits form the foundation of success for recruiters, so it’s a no-brainer that this book should be at the top end of your “must-read” list. 

6 | The 48 Laws Of Power: Robert Greene

Human behaviour, success strategies, self-help

The 48 Laws Of Power is great for those looking to step into leadership or want to understand how they can improve as a leader. The book draws on human behaviour and, in essence, how to understand, manage, and maintain power dynamics that can arise in the workplace. Greene unpacks each law using stories, strategies, and personal tips - making this easy to digest. If you’re someone who is looking for a book that is straightforward and not sugar-coated, then this is a great one for you. 

7 | Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

Personal story, reaching potential, eliminating fear

Can’t Hurt Me is an inspirational personal story which tackles themes such as physical pain, mental health, and difficult socioeconomic factors which were overcome using the right mindset and approach. A difficult read at points, this is a novel that will give you practical advice (as well as personal anecdotes) to ignite your resilience and push yourself to achieve more. 

8 | Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

Mental health, lifestyle

Lost Connections is an educational and inspiring book that dives into depression and how this manifests beyond chemical imbalances in our brain. Although this can cause mental health disorders, there are several factors that also contribute to our mental well-being. This is a great book if you want to understand mental health through Hari’s lens, which includes looking at different cultures and locations and how they look at depression and anxiety.

9 | The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness

Building wealth, money mindset

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a book completely centred around money and how to build wealth. For a lot of us in recruitment, money is a key motivation for getting into this line of work. However, it’s common that many recruiters are unsure how to manage their money or even grow their wealth once they’ve accumulated it. This book is less of a “how-to” and more about guiding principles that you can take if they resonate with you.

10 | The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel

Money mindset, personal advice and stories

“Doing well with money isn't necessarily about what you know. It's about how you behave”

The Psychology of Money is a collection of 19 short stories that are all centred around lessons to do with money. Whether it’s greed, or how to manage your money for better financial stability, this book unpacks a ton of different perspectives that will resonate in some way or another. The book also delves into money behaviours and how this can impact our wealth in the long-term. 

11 | Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Human psychology, sales and marketing, success strategies

The psychology of Persuasion is all about human behaviour and how this is impacted by sales and marketing. In recruitment, it’s no secret that a huge part of our jobs is persuasion and getting buy-in, and this book unpacks so many incredible seeds of knowledge to broaden our approaches. 

The classic book on persuasion that explains the psychology of why people say yes--and how to apply these understandings.”

12 | Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling by Jeb Blout

Business development, social selling

Fanatical Prospecting is all about business development and the principles that you can use, so your pipeline is always healthy. Business development is a common challenge that a lot of recruiters are faced with, and this is an excellent book that covers everything from phone prospecting, through to social selling and even prospecting via text. A great book for those looking to refresh their business development brain. 

13 | Gap Selling: How Problem-Centric Selling Increases Sales by Changing Everything You Know About Relationships, Overcoming Objections, Closing and Price by Keenan

Business development, sales techniques

Gap Selling is another incredible business development book. From how to increase revenue through to achieving higher average deal values, Keenan shares sales nuggets that would benefit junior recruiters and senior leaders. 

Gap Selling is a game-changing book designed to raise the sales IQ of selling organizations around the world. In his unapologetic and irreverent style, Keenan breaks down the tired old sales myths causing today's frustrating sales issues, to highlight a deceptively powerful new way to connect with buyers.”

14 | The Challenger Sale: How To Take Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon

Relationship building, business development, sales methodology

The Challenger Sale is a book that doesn’t just look at customer psychology and relationship building, but also weaves in valuable sales methodology that can help to boost your performance and take control of your sales processes. There’s advice on how to be a great performer, as well as valuable takeaways that can be applied to sales teams (not just individuals). If you’re looking to rethink your sales strategy, then this could be for you.

15 | Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

Personal stories, negotiation

Never Split The Difference is the ultimate book on negotiation. Voss, who is an ex-negotiator for the FBI, shares his lived experiences as well as effective tips for negotiation and getting what you want. In the guide, he shares 9 principles - all of which can be applied to your personal or work situations. 

Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.”

16 | Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Leadership, innovation, influence

Start With Why is a globally-renowned and social-media viral book, and for good reason. Sinek unpacks how great leaders aspire to take action - from how teams and organisations cultivate an incredible culture for performance through to how innovation can be nurtured. This is an excellent book for any current or aspiring leader looking to step up their approach and learn from one of the greats.

17 | Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Motivation, discipline, inspiring

Drive is a book about - you guessed it - drive and motivation. This book unpacks everything to do with high performance, as well as busting a few myths that we believe to be true (the carrot and stick analogy, to give you a bit of an idea). Pink unpacks not only from anecdotal experiences, but also science - giving this book an excellent, well-rounded approach. This is great for leaders or if you’re a recruiter looking to ignite your passion and motivation a little bit more.

18 | Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins

Leadership, business, culture

Good To Great unpacks how some companies are born with good DNA, whereas others are born with bad DNA. How do these companies with bad DNA progress into something great, and what are the parameters they put in place to ensure success? 

Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck”

19 | Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success by Angela Duckworth

Motivation, personal stories, resilience

“In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.”

20 | Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck

Mental health, mindset, motivation

Mindset is all about how the way we think shapes our success. Dweck highlights things such as the negatives of perfectionism, as well as discussing mental health and how this can impact our potential in our personal and professional lives. This is an excellent book for those who are looking for a mixture of personal stories, mental health, and actionable nuggets of advice.

21 | Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Human behaviour, decision-making

Have you ever thought about how you think? Thinking, fast and slow is all about this question. 

Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior.” 

22 | The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Prof Steve Peters

Mind management, mindset, human behaviour

The Chimp Paradox is a well-known, world-famous book that looks to unpack how you can achieve more success, confidence, and happiness in your life. The book highlights how your mind works, from decision-making to how you emotionally respond to situations. This is a great book for those who want to understand themselves better and dip their toes into the realm of mindset and human behaviour.

23 | The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

Philosophy, mindset, stoicism

The Obstacle Is the Way is a book rooted in Stoicism. He makes it accessible for readers as well as providing practical frameworks for success. This is great for those who are interested in a different approach and outlook on success, which is found in typical business-based non-fiction novels.

24 | Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Productivity, mindset, motivation

Deep Work is all about looking into the notion of deep work and why so many of us struggle with it. As well as providing practical tips for success, this is an easy-to-digest book that breaks down productivity and maximising your work day into manageable chunks. 

A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, Deep Work takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.”

25 | Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Boundary-setting, organisation

Essentialism is a great book for those who feel overworked and stressed, and need some actionable insights to help them reduce the noise in their brain, and in their lives. Setting boundaries is something that comes with experience, age, and time, and this book looks to unpack how you can be disciplined with yourself. What is essential in your work life, personal life, and what is causing you stress and strain!

How is your understanding of this year’s market forecasts? Do you have the market knowledge and data to remain agile?

Our sponsors, Firefish, recently released their 2024 Recruitment Agency report, read by over 2,000 recruiters in just 4 weeks.

Built on the forecasts of 200 agency leaders, the report breaks down growth predictions, candidate attraction strategies, recruiter retention, headcount growth plans and more.

Read the interactive report here.

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