5 Great TED Talks for Recruiters: The Best of the Best

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Today, we continue our series on TED talks for Recruiters. TED’s motto is “ideas worth spreading” and the talks in today’s article are the best of the best they have on offer. Specifically those that have been shared and viewed the most, from their vast back catalogue.

Prepare to be inspired by some truly great speakers, all for the handsome price of an hour’s investment. 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

Tony Robbins TED Talk

1. Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Tony Robbins is probably the most famous motivational speaker of all time, and this talk epitomises why he’s thought of so highly by almost everyone who’s seen him, including Al Gore who he ‘high-fives’ in this very talk. In this presentation, Tony asks you to think about who you are, and more importantly why you do what you do. He asks this for two reasons.

Firstly, so you can contribute more. Secondly, so you can learn to understand others more. Not only understand them however, appreciate them more and create greater connections.

As a Recruiter, quite simply, the more meaningful connections you have with your network, the better Recruiter you’ll become. The more successful you’ll be. The more money you’ll make. But also, the easier and more fun your job (and life) will become.

Powerful stuff, from a powerful man.

Watch it here

Dan Pink TED Talk

2. Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

Dan Pink decided to give up his career as Al Gore’s speechwriter, and go freelance in order to spark a right-brain revolution in the career marketplace. So, for a Recruiter, this is someone you’ll want to listen to. This speech targets the subject of motivation in people’s careers, which is probably one of the most crucial subjects you could pick in determining success as a Recruiter.

What makes this talk so interesting for Recruiters the world over, is the scientific experiment Dan highlights which shows ‘incentives’ (such as bonuses or commission for example) in tasks, can have a negative impact on creativity and thinking.

In his own words “this is one of the most robust findings in social science, and also one of the most ignored.” For an amazing video that will change how you think about recruitment, your candidates and your own motivation in life, dive in.

Watch it here

Pamela Meyer TED Talk

3. Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar

In an average day, according to Pamela (if that is her real name), we’re lied to between ten and two hundred times. Now, I’m not suggesting everyone you talk to in recruitment is lying to you, but I am suggesting that number would probably be at the higher end of the spectrum. There’s a potential pandemic of deception arising, but here, Pamela gives us some pretty great tools to abate it. 

Rule number one about lying is “it’s a cooperative act.” Which means, a lie on its own isn’t any use until someone agrees to believe it. And a lot of the time they’re not harmful in any way.

A lot of the time however, they are harmful. Let’s say a candidate lies to you about why they don’t attend an interview. It doesn’t necessarily harm you directly, initially, but it could turn out to be a pretty big sign you can’t trust this person. For a talk that will make you critically analyse your daily relationships, this is for you.

Watch it here

Shawn Anchor TED Talk

4. Shawn Anchor: The happy secret to better work

Shawn Anchor is the CEO of Good Think Inc. where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. Most people in the world accept that to be happy you need to work hard. In recruitment that’s probably one of the most fundamental beliefs, universally accepted. In this talk, Shawn flips that idea on its head.

Happiness, Shawn argues, actually inspires us to be more productive. So, in relation to recruitment, you could work in a company you don’t like, in order to get higher commission, more money and nicer things.

Or… you could work for an awesome business that makes you happy, and by virtue of your happiness, become better at your job, and maintain that commission, and ability to have nicer things. Sound interesting? Then, you’ll want to watch this video.

Watch it here

Julian Treasure TED Talk

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

If you’re a Recruiter, which if you’re reading this, to be honest is pretty likely, you’ll be using your voice a lot in the average day. And it won’t surprise you to know that when you’re speaking to someone, your voice has a huge part to play in how attractive your propositions will come across.

When you’re speaking to someone face to face, your voice is important. When you’re speaking to them on the phone, your voice is even more important, as it’s the only thing someone has to go on. They can’t see you. So, the first step to being more successful on the phone, is actually paying attention to how you sound. For example, did you know, you’re more likely to be voted for as a politician if you have a lower voice?

For some great vocal practices and lessons on how to talk in a way that people will want to listen, this is your first port of call.

Watch it here


So, there you have it. A complete guide to being a better, happier Recruiter, who’s a great speaker, good at spotting liars and is super motivated. The above are all great videos to revisit from time to time and all short enough to watch in your lunch break or on your commute.

Happy watching.