The Recruitment Reading List: January 2020

It’s the fifteenth week of January. And while it’s a bit late to be talking about resolutions at this stage, there are still eleven months of 2020 to go. Despite January apparently lasting four of them.

Cultivate better habits.

Make the most of your downtime.

Learn something new.

Books are a good way to do all of the above. And they’re cheap.

Well, relatively speaking. See there’s a hidden ROI to reading.

First, while you’re doing it, you’re recharging. Letting someone else take the wheel in your brain and putting your feet up means when you get back to action, you’re coming off the back of a mini break.

You’ll perform better because of it. And the better you perform, the more money you usually make. Right?

Then whether it’s a fresh perspective on a stale issue, actionable advice, unheard stories, a radical way of thinking, or good old brand new information, what you get from reading you’ll be able to put back into every area of your personal and professional life.

And you can’t put a price on how many conversation starters you’ll get from a single book. The intros you’ll be able to access on the phone, in boardrooms, and at networking events make it a worthwhile habit alone.

So if you’ve resolved to read more this year, these 6 books are a good place to start.

You Look Like A Thing And I Love You

Janelle Shane

Janelle Shane’s a research scientist focused on AI. She keeps a blog called AI Weirdness, which does pretty much what you’d imagine it to.

This book explains the algorithms that increasingly make the world go round. From autocorrect on your phone to which LinkedIn posts you see at the top of your feed.

If you recruit AI Scientists or Machine Learning Engineers, to be honest, you don’t need to know exactly how algorithms work. Only the machines do really. And they’re constantly changing.

What this book does well is present hefty topics like neural networks in a fun and accessible way. Basically, the kind of patter you’d need to open the door to new business opportunities…

Get it here.

Now Try Something Weirder

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson’s the founder of design consultancy Johnson Banks. You’ll know their work from a number of high profile places, arguably the most recognisable being Virgin Atlantic and homelessness charity Shelter.

The book contains 233 tips, almost enough for one every working day this year, on how to remain full of fresh, creative ideas. Absolutely vital in today’s constantly evolving digital sector.

It also includes pearls of wisdom all recruiters will be familiar with: “write a list every morning and get on with it” and “you can’t represent something until you understand it”.

Although it’s particularly useful if you’re a contract recruiter in digital media looking to better consult your candidates. If one of your runners comes to you for advice, this book could be the difference between you saying “I dunno, have you asked your manager?” and “why don’t you try this instead?”

Get it here.

The Finance Book

Si Hussain & Stuart Warner

Both authors are chartered accountants, and both currently run financial training consultancies. With a combined five decades of experience, if there’s anyone you’d want to learn from, it’s these two.

Their book’s written specifically for non-finance people, ie: me, you, and about 99% of the population. It aims to level up your financial knowledge, covering the basics and leading you to the point you’re confident looking at effective strategies for managing a business.

Now if that’s not an in with your clients, I don’t know what is. You’d also get value of it if you’re moving through the ranks at your current company, or thinking about branching out and starting your own.

The title of the book’s reasonably definitive, as is the content inside.

Get it here.

Joyful: The Surprising Power Of Ordinary Things To Create Extraordinary Happiness

Ingrid Fetell Lee

Ingrid Fetell Lee’s a designer focussed on the myriad ways design affects our health and happiness. And this book draws from research in neuroscience and psychology to properly explore that link.

It contains plenty of insight into how making small changes in the world can have a profound impact on our lives. Which not only applies to the nature of work creative and design candidates do, but also to how recruiters might manage their space in the office, at home, or which company they ultimately feel at home with.

I’ve written before about why where you work matters. This book backs me up.

Get it here.

Building A StoryBrand

Donald Miller

Don Miller’s an author, public speaker and entrepreneur. Here, he’s worked the name of his company into the title of his book, the sly fox.

StoryBrand’s a growth marketing consultancy that aims to do something everyone in recruitment needs reminding of from time to time: that is to “clarify your message so your customers will listen”.

Marketers will need to hear that. Companies that hire marketers will too. And so will you, if marketing forms part of your day job.

Storybrand’s also a process. The likes of which Don lays out in the pages here, in a bid to get you communicating with greater clarity in order to win more business.

Get it here.

Ed Hunter’s Lies And Prejudice

Ed Hunter

Ed Hunter’s been sculpted by recruitment. Danced on its many peaks. And been obliterated by its constant, shattering lows.

He’s a smart mouth in a slow world. A bona fide recruitment heavyweight. And in this, his first outing in print, he casts an eye over what it means to be a recruiter.

There’s a little of Ed Hunter in all of us. Let him put some in you.

And if that didn’t sell you, there’s a teaser for the book here. And a sneak peak at a few extra pages here.

Get it here.


You can read the rest of our Recruitment Reading Lists here.

Recent editions feature the best newsletters to sign up to, books to help look after your mental health, and a list of vital reads for anyone into personal development.