11 of the Best Recruitment Books for 2021

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An image of two cartoon figures sitting in front of a large, grey book.

The world of recruiting is always evolving, and this year — faster than ever. Where just a few years ago, it made sense to make hiring decisions based on resumes and cover letters alone, today there are dozens of factors that come into play, and it can be daunting to stay on top of  new ideas as they emerge.

New best practices, new technologies, and new strategies have continuously changed the way we recruit talent—and we’re definitely expecting to see new changes in the year ahead. With 2020 being anything but ordinary, 2021 is sure to bring some dramatic shifts that we all need to be prepared for. 

One of the best ways to do that is through reading. Whether you’re looking to level-up your personal recruitment skills or you’re adjusting your corporate strategy to keep up with changing demands, here are the 10 best recruitment books to read in 2021.

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1. High-Tech High-Touch Recruiting: How to Attract and Retain the Best Talent By Improving the Candidate Experience 

Bruno’s guide to recruiting includes sample interview questions and recruitment process examples alongside her methodology to supercharge your takeaways.
Image courtesy of KoganPage.

High-Tech High-Touch Recruiting was written by Barbara Bruno, president of Good As Gold Training and HR Search. In her latest book, Bruno provides recruiters with an end-to-end process for recruiting in-demand talent and engaging them to become long-term employees. 

The “high-touch” portion of this book focuses on building strong relationships with candidates and new hires while the “high-tech” focuses on how you can use AI-powered software to weed through large pools of candidates to find the right person for your job. She gives tips on how to better connect with your candidates beyond just text and email, creating a better experience for everyone involved in the recruiting process. 

High-Tech High-Touch Recruiting also comes with online resources, such as sample offer letters, recruiting scripts, job requisitions, interview scorecards, and more. 

Who should read this book? 

Anyone looking to implement new technology while maintaining the “human” aspect of recruiting. It’s available for purchase at Target, on Amazon, or from an independent bookstore via Bookshop.org.

2. Culture Driven Recruiting: There is No “Talent War” If You Eliminate the Competition 

Lee-Anne Edwards, founder of One in Mil and a “Talent Matchmaker,” provides the foundation for breaking out of traditional recruiting in Culture Driven Recruiting: There is No “Talent War” If You Eliminate the Competition. In this book, Edwards explains how to shake up your recruiting approach to better appeal to candidates and eliminate competition. 

Culture Driven Recruiting tells human-resource departments and CEOs alike how to hold onto their one-in-a-million talent through asking tough questions, sharing stories and experiences, as well as guidance on how to navigate the often challenging waters of attracting (and retaining) high-quality talent. 

Who should read this book?

Anyone sick of doing things the way they’ve always been done. The book is available on Amazon.

3. Talent Acquisition Essentials Guidebook: Julie MacFarland and HireReach

Julie MacFarland paired with HireReach to bring you the Talent Acquisition Essentials Guidebook. This book is written for talent acquisition professionals leading hiring processes across their organizations. 

This book is more tactical than some of the others on our list, but if you’re looking for a no-fluff, practical way to boost your recruitment strategy while building a successful, efficient and legal selection and hiring process, this book can provide you with the direction you’re looking for. 

Who should read this book? 

Anyone looking for clear, to the point tips about building an efficient recruitment and hiring process. It is available for purchase on Amazon.

4. Hire by Design: A Hiring Blueprint with Design Thinking 

Image courtesy of Jodi Brandsetter

Jodi Brandsetter is Chief Talent Strategist of Lean Effective Talent Strategies and founder of Talent Acquisition Evolution. She’s also a best selling author of recruitment books, adding her latest Hire by Design: A Hiring Blueprint with Design Thinking, to her resume. 

Hiring by Design utilizes design thinking and applies it to talent acquisition. It breaks down a typical talent acquisition strategy and assigns design thinking to share how recruiters can make that process stronger. The book also provides templates to make it even easier to apply design thinking to their business and hiring practices. 

Who should read this book?

Anyone looking for ways to get creative with their hiring practices. Hire by Design is available on Amazon or can be purchased from an independent bookstore via Bookshop.org.

The state of diversity recruiting in 2020

Defining the path that corporate diversity and inclusion will follow in the near future, The State of Diversity Recruiting white paper dives into relevant emerging trends and discusses example cases throughout every stage of the recruitment funnel.

5. Righteous Recruiting: Essays on Reinventing Talent Acquisition for People 

Righteous Recruiting is written by Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace and former Fortune 500 HR Senior VP. Her essays explore how talent acquisition professionals can reinvent the way they do things, laying out practical and attainable visions for where their work can go. 

In Righteous Recruiting, Elizabeth Ryan brings an empathetic perspective on recruiting differently that is worthy of its high praises.

Ryan is people-centric, covering recruitment topics that really matter to both recruiters and candidates.  She shares tips of every size, including small changes that can improve communication and enhance the recruitment process so employers can create a sustainable competitive advantage. 

Who should read this book?

Anyone with a people-first philosophy to recruiting and hiring. The book is in stock on Amazon as well as via independent bookstores on Bookshop.org.

6. Recruiting Sucks… But It Doesn’t Have To: Breaking Through the Myths That Got Us Here 

Steve Lowisz, author of Recruiting Sucks… But It Doesn’t Have To and CEO of Qualigence Group of Companies, is a recruiting industry veteran and guru in talent optimization. In his latest book, Lowisz addresses the out-of-date business practices companies have been relying on for far too long. 

In the book, Lowisz breaks down seven common myths, starting with the idea that skills are the most important consideration. Want to know the truth? You’ll have to read on…

He offers specific and practical advice and actions recruiters can take to attract, develop and retain a high-quality workforce. In Recruiting Sucks… But It Doesn’t Have To, Lowisz debunks 7 recruiting myths to build a recruiting process that attracts stronger talent. He’ll teach recruiters everything from how to be better marketers to how to avoid reliance on technology. 

Who should read this book?

Anyone ready to leave traditional recruiting behind in favor of something a little more exciting. You can purchase the book on Amazon or from an independent bookstore via Bookshop.org.

7. Hiring for Diversity: A Complete Guide 

Having a diverse workforce is crucial and if it’s not already a priority for your team, it’s time to make it one. In Hiring for Diversity: A Complete Guide, written by Gerardus Blokdyk and presented by The Art of Service, readers will learn how to set diversity goals appropriately and achieve them using evidence-based best practice strategies. 

Hiring for Diversity: A Complete Guide, also teaches readers how to integrate recent advances and process design strategies to improve their diversity efforts. The book also comes with a self-assessment scorecard so you can dive deep into the areas that need the most attention. 

Who should read this book?

Anyone looking to make diversity more of a priority, but they’re not sure where to start. The guide, including the self-assessment, is available on Amazon.

8. Hire Right, Fire Right: A Leader’s Guide to Finding and Keeping Your Best People

Hire Right, Fire Right is Hewertson’s second book on recruitment; She also authored Lead Like it Matters, Because it Does in 2014.

Author of Hire Right, Fire Right, Roxi Bahar Hewertson is known for her no-nonsense approach to talent acquisition. In this book, she gives leaders the tools to hire, develop and even fire someone at the right time. She tackles a complicated subject we don’t normally see in recruitment books. 

Hire Right, Fire Right explains the importance of weeding out mismatched hires and how to handle the loss of top talent. This book promises to empower decision makers to increase their company’s hiring success rate, book employee retention rates, and even lower the risk of lawsuits and damage to your organization’s reputation. 

Who should read this book?

Anyone wanting to learn more about how both hiring and firing plays into a company’s success. The book is available at independent bookstores via Bookshop.org, as well as on Amazon.

9. Hiring Success: How Visionary CEOs Compete for the Best Talent 

Source: PRWire

Hiring Success: How Visionary CEOs Compete for the Best Talent is written by Jerome Ternyck, SaaS CEO and former recruiter. He has over 30 years of experience in recruiting strategies and uses Hiring Success to apply those insights to how CEOs can use talent acquisition to grow their companies. 

Ternyck stresses the importance of hiring in achieving business success. He uses this book to argue that hiring top talent should be the #1 priority of all CEOs and how to implement recruiting strategies that create a future-ready environment at their company or startup. 

Who should read this book? 

Anyone (including CEOs) who want to dive deeper into how important talent is for growing a business. Hiring Success is in stock on Amazon as well as at independent bookstores, via Bookshop.org.

10. Evidence-Based Recruiting: How to Build a Company of Star Performers Through Systematic and Repeatable Hiring Practices 

Image courtesy of Shoutout LA.

Atta Tarki, CEO of Ex-Consultants Agency, takes a strategic approach to hiring in Evidence-Based Recruiting: How to Build a Company of Star Performers Through Systematic and Repeatable Hiring Practices. Tarki argues that you can stand out from competition by differentiating technologies, building brand recognition and building a strong competitive advantage. 

This book helps readers design a data-driven hiring strategy that is systematic and repeatable for long-term success. It pulls from top companies like Netflix and Google to give readers of any size ideas on how they can improve their hiring processes. 

Who should read this book? 

Anyone who wants to add an analytical approach to hiring. Independent bookstores are stocking Tarki’s book via Bookshop.org, and it’s also available on Amazon.

11. Inclusive Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Developing and Executing an Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Strategy: – Locally and Globally

A truly successful diversity & inclusion strategy begins before a candidate even applies, and should touch every part of your organization. In Inclusive Leadership, authors Charlotte Sweeney and Fleur Bothwick teach readers how to drive change with tried and tested organizational design principles, enabling your team to build a more engaged and productive workforce.

A blue background with a quote that reads: “A thorough introduction to D&I with practical and pragmatic advice on how to create a truly inclusive culture.” 
- Peter Duff, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, BP (EMEA)
Inclusive Leadership has garnered praise from recruitment and D&I leaders alike around the globe.. maybe it’ll be your next favorite, too?

Inclusive Leadership also teaches readers about how other parts of the employee lifecycle, as well as other parts of your business, impact the success of your D&I strategy, and how you can reach across your organization to take a collaborative approach and ensure your recruiting efforts aren’t wasted only to fall through later in the employee’s tenure.

Who should read this book? 

Everyone – but especially recruitment professionals who want to take the success of their D&I program to the next level. Inclusive Leadership is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

What’s on your reading list? 

There are a lot of great books on talent acquisition and recruiting out there. Did your favorite make the list? Did we miss a must-have on your reading list for 2021? We want to know!

The state of diversity recruiting in 2020

Defining the path that corporate diversity and inclusion will follow in the near future, The State of Diversity Recruiting white paper dives into relevant emerging trends and discusses example cases throughout every stage of the recruitment funnel.



Erica Hayton writes about recruitment, marketing, and technology for B2B SaaS companies.

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