5 Podcasts Every Recruiter Should Listen to

May 31, 2017

Podcasts are getting pretty popular: more than one in three Americans listen to one, and more than one in five tune in regularly—an audience that’s almost doubled in just a few years, according to Pew.

A lot of this is due to the fact that there are podcasts for just about everyone. whether you’re interested in comedy, history, politics, quirky fiction, or guided meditation, there’s a podcast for you—and yes, there’s even podcasts just for recruiters.

With that in mind, we did some searching and came up with a list of the best podcasts for recruiters, including specific episodes to get started on. While only a couple are explicitly about recruiting, all are packed with insights that’ll come in handy when you’re talking to candidates, sourcing recruits, and making hiring decisions. They’re also free and make a boring commute a billion times better.

1. HBR Ideacast

“A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review,” this show offers awesome insights from one of the most respected business magazines.

With almost 600 episodes to choose from, there’s a ton of shows on hiring and HR—like how Google manages talentfixing the college grad hiring process, and the era of agile (i.e., freelance) talent.

But you shouldn’t limit yourself to the episodes explicitly about recruiting: you have just as much to gain from other episodes that just happen to apply to recruiting—like how to negotiate betterhow to conduct great interviewshow to give constructive feedback, and how to take control of your time.

Recommended episode for recruiters: Our Delusions About Talent, with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of business psychology, on the myths and misconceptions that still run rampant in talent acquisition.

2. Slate’s Working

“A podcast about what people do all day,” Slate’s Working podcast is just that: an in-depth, deep-dive interview that explores the ins and outs of various jobs.

With almost 100 episodes on everything from “How Does a Google Coder Work?” to “How Does An Appliance Repairman Work” and even “How Does a Clown Work,” this show offers intimate explorations of every kind of job imaginable—including positions you’re probably recruiting for.

As a recruiter, the reality is you’ve probably hired people for jobs with only a fuzzy idea of what their day-to-day work will actually entail. Instead of a high-level overview, Working gets into the nitty-gritty details: what’s the first thing a retail manager does in the morning, what a CIA analyst’s cubicle looks like and so on.

It’s a fascinating way to look at work—and one that recruiters will find especially enlightening as it will help you better understand and engage with the people you are recruiting.

Recommended episode for recruiters: The “How Does the Head of HR Work” Edition, an interview with Kevin Fanning, VP of Talent & Culture at the startup incubator Cogo Labs.

3. The Best Part of My Job

A podcast created by a recruiter, Lars Schmidt, Best Part of My Job has a similar premise as Slate’s Working with a decidedly more recruiter-y slant.

Inspired by Lars’ favorite interview question, the show features interesting discussions with people like Josh Narva, Global Head of Talent at Sonos, and Victor Nyugen-Long, former General Manager of Experience Innovation at Audi of America.

While it’s more focused on the traditional business world than the quirkier occupations featured in Working, it’s no less interesting, with friendly conversations about people’s favorite parts of their jobs (and the parts that suck).

Recommended episode for recruiters: These 4 Things Will Transform Your Candidate Experience, with Gerry Crispin, Co-Founder of CareerXroads.

4. Freakonomics Radio

A weekly podcast exploring “the hidden side of everything,” this uber-popular podcast from Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt (authors of the also-popular Freakonomics book) looks at the world through the lens of behavioral economics.

If you slept through Econ 101, don’t worry—it’s much more about the hidden parts of human nature than dull things like inflation. This podcast is anything but boring, as it investigates everything from the gender gap and cheeseburgers to crime prevention and the secret to being more productive.

As a recruiter, you know how important it is to understand how people make decisions and what fuels our inner desires. And that’s exactly what Freakonomics is all about, from the upside of quitting (which you could use to convince a passive candidate to jump ship) to how ads manipulate our emotions (which can help you write a better job description).

Recommended episode for recruiters: How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future, which looks at why we’re usually so off-base with our predictions (e.g., whether this person will be a good employee), and how to get a little bit better at forecasting the future.

5. Recruiting Future

“A weekly podcast dedicated to innovation and futurology in recruitment and HR,” Recruiting Future is the definitive podcast by recruiters, for recruiters.

Hosted by talent consultant Matt Alder, this show takes a close, considered look at virtually every topic under the talent acquisition umbrella—from in-house recruiting, to global talent branding, to people analytics.

Featuring interviews with the industry’s brightest stars, making this podcast a regular listen is an effortless way to keep up on the latest trends and topics in recruiting on your morning commute.

Recommended episode for recruiters: How to Source the Very Best Talent, with Chris Shaw, Director of Talent at Meteor (and former recruiter at Twitter and Google), where they talk about that time Google hired 300 people in 11 months and how to turn passive candidates into active ones.

If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to enter the brave new world of podcasts. It’s a brand new medium, but one that’s catching fire for a reason: they’re free, easy to consume, informative, and entertaining. And if you’re looking to fit one more podcast into your life, allow us to recommend the LinkedIn Speaker Series, featuring inspiring speeches from all across the professional world.

*Image from Death to the Stock Photo