SmartRecruiters Blog

7 TA & HR Books That Should Be on Every Recruiters Bookshelf

An effective recruiter is an informed recruiter. Equip yourself with the knowledge to succeed by adding these reading recommendations to your list.

No matter what your career is, one of the best things you can do to develop yourself professionally is to attend industry conferences. Take Hiring Success as an example. It provides recruiters and talent acquisition practitioners across the world a chance to come together under one roof, network with old and new acquaintances, and perhaps most important of all—learn and share knowledge.

Inspired by the smorgasbord of thought-provoking presentations and roundtable discussions at this year’s conference, we decided to pose the following question to a handful of speakers and TA leaders who were in attendance: “What have you been reading?” 

There’s no greater form of knowledge sharing than a solid book recommendation. At SmartRecruiters we firmly believe that all professionals should be lifelong learners; therefore, we’ve compiled a shortlist of titles that have inspired the individuals whose ideas and insights helped bring Hiring Success to life. Enjoy!

1) Hiring Success: How Visionary CEOs Compete for the Best Talent

Recommended by: Louis Cross, Founder, Collabz

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“Finally people at enterprise level are linking talent acquisition/recruitment to business and commercial success. If you’re a small business looking to set the right foundations or a mid market company trying to reinvent your processes, I’d seriously read this book, it’s the best content out there.”

Louis Cross

Success in business today revolves around people. Who you hire defines the future of your company, that’s why it’s no surprise that hiring top talent is the #1 priority of a majority of CEOs, however studies indicate that a majority of CEOs don’t believe they are recruiting highly talented people. As a proven TA leader and the Founder & CEO of SmartRecruiters, in Hiring Success: How Visionary CEOs Compete for the Best Talent Jerome Ternynck is able to distill 30 years of learning and leadership into a book. Readers will walk away with the ability to attract, select, and hire the best talent on a global scale.


2) Time and How to Spend It: The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier Days

Recommended by: Gareth Flynn, Managing Director, TQ Solutions

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In Time and How to Spend It: The 7 Rules for Richer, Happier Days, James Wallman investigates how we utilize our time and ties it into what makes us happy. Instead of basing his discoveries on personal opinions, Wallman backs his claims using the latest science to bring readers actionable insights on how to avoid empty experiences and transition towards more elevated ones. Wallman’s book is interactive and employs checklists and introspective activities to further allow readers access to a metamorphic reading experience.  


 3) ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community

Recommended by: Jason Paradowski, Head of HR Service and Talent Acquisition, Bosch, Americas Region

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“I would recommend this book to change practitioners as it clearly explains the methods required to implement change management at the organizational level.” 

Jason Paradowski

Jeff Hiatt is the president of Prosci Research and founder of the Change Management Learning Center. His 2006 book ADKAR – A model for Change in Business, Government, and our Community— which is based on research with more than 1100 companies from 59 countries— details the theory behind the process of change management. Specifically, the ways that individuals can apply said theory in their personal and professional lives.


4) Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World

Recommended by: Gareth Flynn, Managing Director, TQ Solutions

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In Nine Lies About Work, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall take aim at many of the assumptions and misconceptions that are prevalent in the workforce today. The book tackles the nine big lies that are told to you implicitly or explicitly every time you show up for work.

It also argues for less top-down planning and instead utilizing better real-time intelligence to better align people to a sense of purpose and meaning in the workplace. Nine Lies About Work allows the reader access to insights that will help them advance themselves by highlighting how instrumental they are to the people who need them most. 


5) What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture

Recommended by: Kristina Johnson, Chief People Officer at Okta, Inc.

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“This is a must read for anyone who is intentional about developing a healthy workplace culture.” 

Kristina Johnson

New York Times bestselling author Ben Horrowitz provides readers a roadmap for developing a purposeful work culture in this 2019 text. At the core of his methodology are four historical models of leadership and culture building—the leader of the only successful slave revolt, Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture; the Samurai of Japan; Genghis Khan; and Shaka Senghor, a convicted murderer who led one of the most infamous prison gangs in history. 

Horowitz ties lessons from the lives of these historical leaders to the successes and failures of modern public figures like Hillary Clinton, Reed Hastings, Travis Kalanick, and more. By examining the ways in which humans have formed cultures and communities throughout history, Horowitz is able to focus on timeless questions that are relevant to every organization.


6) The Start-Up J Curve: The Six Steps to Entrepreneurial Success Kindle Edition

Recommended by: Barbie Brewer, Chief People Officer, LoveToKnowMedia

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History tends to repeat itself—and businesses are no exception. In The Start-Up J Curve, Howard Love pinpoints six predictable and observable stages of start-up growth. In each of these stages, he outlines best practices for success and cautions readers against avoidable pitfalls. It is an indispensable field guide for entrepreneurs and investors as they navigate the challenges that come with establishing a business and nurturing it to success. 


7) Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)

Recommended by: Gary A. Bolles, Chair for the Future of Work, Singularity University

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Exponential Organizations touches on a phenomenon that is on every business leader’s mind. How does an organization achieve exponential growth? Companies today have seemed to skip all the traditional growth trajectories we are used to seeing at valuable companies. Exponential Organizations walks the reader through what is being done differently by today’s market leaders, and how they are leveraging technology to streamline performance and growth. 

Enjoy learning about TA-related topics? Then you’ll love the Hiring Success Podcast, which explores many of the ideas examined in the books listed in this article—and so much more!

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Mason Mitchel

Content Marketer at SmartRecruiters. Donut enthusiast.