The Best 5 Books to Give a Recruiter for the Holidays—According to Talent Leaders

December 17, 2018

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a co-worker or just want to treat yourself this holiday season, these books will make the perfect stocking stuffer for any talent professional.

We asked some of the industry’s most recognizable leaders which books have helped them build successful careers in recruiting and HR. Their answers cover a range of topics from building workplace culture to finding creativity.

Here are five excellent books to give a recruiter for the holidays.

1. Lars Schmidt recommends Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Give a recruiter the gift of creativity this holiday season by picking up New York Times bestseller and one of Amplify founder Lars Schmidt’s all-time favorites: “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Written by Austin Kleon, this book offers practical advice and exercises on how to find originality by being open to outside inspiration and influence.  

According to Lars, not only is the book an easy read, but it’s packed with “some really important tips and reminders on where creativity comes from, and how to tap into it.” That sounds like valuable info for a recruiter who is trying to get a candidate’s attention with a witty subject line or an HR leader building an employee engagement program. Just make sure you acquire the book by legal means.

2. Jessica Miller-Merrell recommends Everybody Wants to Love Their Job by Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

If you’re looking for a book for someone who has read them all, then check out “Everybody Wants to Love Their Job,” a new title from serial tech CEO, advisor, and board member Marylene Delbourg-Delphis. This book, which tackles how to build a strong and trusting workplace culture, is a recent favorite of Jessica Miller-Merrell, the creator of Workology.

“Everybody Wants to Love Their Job” takes a slightly unconventional approach to company culture: it isn’t about plastering your values on posters around the office, but about creating a strong sense of community that gives meaning to work. It’s sure to be both an informative and a refreshing read. 

3. John Vlastelica recommends First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

John Vlastelica, the founder of Recruiting Toolbox, says that “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” had a big impact on him. Specifically, it helped him reshape his thinking on what it means to lead a team of recruiters. “Instead of trying to change people,” he says, “[it] got me in the mode of trying to identify and leverage each person’s strengths.”

This bestseller and now classic management book from Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman is based on a research study by Gallup of over 80,000 managers. In it, the two authors explore how to maintain employee satisfaction and keep good talent, revealing some surprising findings along the way. John says that after reading this book, “I began to invest more in what people were naturally good at, and spent less time trying to get people who weren’t as detailed to focus on details, or people who didn’t love tech to love tech.”   

And if John’s endorsement isn’t convincing enough, the “First, Break All the Rules” is also a favorite of veteran recruiter Lou Adler. So if you have any colleagues embarking on a new managerial role, don’t overlook this one.

4. Christ Hoyt Recommends The One Thing by Gary Keller

We could all use a little less clutter and little more focus—especially when it comes to the hectic workdays of recruiting and HR. That’s why “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller could make the perfect holiday gift. Not only is this book a No. 1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, it’s also a favorite of Chris Hoyt, president of CareerXRoads.

Chris says this book helped him in his career because it’s all about how to be more productive by focusing on the one thing that is truly going to move the needle and bring results to our lives. Since recruiting can often feel like the constant juggling of candidates and priorities, this one is a must-read in the new year.

5. Lou Adler recommends The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

I know what you’re thinking: what’s a self-help book doing on a list for recruiters? Lou Adler says that “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey is more than  self-help, it’s about the “characteristics that predict ultimate performance.”

This landmark book on building habits for success has sold more than 25 million copies in 45 languages around the world since its first publication in 1989. And Lous says it has a different appeal for recruiters: it can help you identify top candidates. “When I’m interviewing a candidate, I ask them to tell me something they are very proud of and walk me through how they got there,” says Lou. “I’m looking for those things that represent an understanding of problems, an understanding of people and packaging all of that to come up with effective solutions.”

Give the gift of career development

This holiday season, step away from the fruit basket and give the gift of knowledge instead. It will never spoil, and according to these industry leaders, it may even help a colleague find growth, fulfillment, and meaning in their work.

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