Three Books Every Recruitment Business Owner Should Read

Here at TEAM HQ we are frequently asked about resources and books to help business owners develop. You only have to go to Amazon and search “business books” and you’ll be spoilt for choice. Often that’s the biggest challenge, especially if you’d like to browse, or get a recommendation.


Here we have put together our three faves. In our humble opinion, each is a perfect choice for small business owner who is looking for fresh ideas and meaningful tactics to improve their business. We love these books as they are also hyper relevant for the World we find ourselves in today.


In no particular order, our top #3 recommendations are:

#1 – Eating the Big Fish – How Challenger Brands can Compete Against Brand Leaders, Author – Adam Morgan

What a book for any business owner who has a great service offering that simply requires more customers to tap into it. Adam deep dives into the tactics and strategies of challenger brands in multiple industries. It is refreshing to hear how the same principle – challenging the “big fish” is applied by different businesses. With interviews with business owners and marketeers the book is full of concepts that are reassuringly simple to translate into the context of a recruitment environment.


With so many new recruitment agencies starting (15,000 incorporations in the last two years) competition is both fierce and fragmented. To stand out, to be seen as the go-to recruitment agency in your market (be that regional or sector) requires a well constructed marketing and sales plan.


What struck us the most about this book was how simple the ideas are, yet how powerful the results can be. Being a challenger brand isn’t about market conditions, it is a state of mind. This makes building your challenger offering a rapid process. Adam’s advice through the book is practical. We love the eight credos of the challenger brand.


If you are finding your marketing and sales activity for the business isn’t creating the buzz and volume of incoming business you would like to see, grab this book and make sure you’ve got the right strategies in place.

#2 – Traction – Get a Grip on Your Business, Author – Gino Wickman

The headaches of business ownership are all too real for many of us. When there has been so much volatility and uncertainty, holding the tiller and weathering the storm has been tough. We can see calmer waters ahead. It feels positive out there. As we emerge from the lockdown, opportunities for business growth and revenue creation are in front of us.


This book is for now. If there is one book we recommend that every business owner in TEAM reads in 2021, it is this one.


Gino Wickman lays out his powerful, practical system for running your business. Filled with real life examples and interviews with other business owners, this light (240 page, and also available on audio) book is far more of a structured playbook than a business book. Chapter by chapter Gino takes you through a process to implement an operating system in your business that will help you scale (scale in revenues and scale through headcount). The system is appropriate for any size of business.


Last month Simon was joined on a seminar by two friends of TEAM – Jeremy Snell and Andrew Sillitoe. They both shared their thoughts and ideas on scaling and growth. One of the key elements they agreed on as fundamental was systems and processes. 


[TEAM Members you can find a recording of this session in the TEAM Hub]


If you watched the session and were left with the appetite to review your systems; develop your processes and then were left wondering where to start – Gino Wickman’s book is perfect.


We recognise that the total implementation of the EOS (Gino’s Entrepreneurial Operating System) may not be where you decide to go. The questions he asks through the book and the systematic way in which he describes change and implementation is gold.


A word of warning – if you elect to listen to the audio book whilst driving, you will end up pulling over every five minutes to write notes. It’s good stuff.

#3 Who: The A Method for Hiring, Author – Geoff Smart, Randy Street

Yes – it is American. When the author is called Randy Street you are also allowed to smile. Setting this aside, we love this book for two reasons –

It will help you hire better for your own business (it seems recruitment business owners aren’t able to replicate the super powers they have to help their client on their own business. In fact hiring for their own business seems to be their Kryptonite)

The content will help you to help your clients hire better. Ultimately increasing your value in the process.

Hiring mistakes cost businesses big. Yours included. A wrong hire (let’s not say bad, we mean someone who doesn’t stay long enough to create value. Leavers in the first 12 months) cost business money. Google “cost of a wrong hire” and there is plenty of evidence to support the cost being as much as three times the annual salary.

If you think as a solo recruiter this isn’t appropriate (when will I ever hire for my business?) we think that the proposition to the client for your placement fee of 25% is to reduce the probability of losing 300% of the first year’s salary with a wrong hire. Comparing 25% to 15% doesn’t seem the right angle for a client to take… just TEAM HQ adding value with some negotiation training


The authors interview 300 CEOs to find out what works and how the A method adds value when implemented. We admit, the content isn’t revelatory but we see that as a good thing. It reinforces what we know is right and provides and roadmap to get better at interviewing consistently. The chapters on writing job descriptions and attracting talent will help you, help your clients hire and retain the right people.

If you hire into your own business and apply the techniques it will save you the pain and heartache of discovering the person you thought would be a star is struggling to hit the levels promised in interview.

We have set up a discussion group in the TEAM Hub called – TEAM’s Business Book Club. Open for everyone to join, it is there for you to share with others books you’ve read and find out about what everyone else is consuming. We’ve put in there links to these books. If you’ve got a book you’d recommend (even one to avoid?!) then we will see you on the Hub at Book Club.

Remember, the first rule of TEAM book club – Everyone talks about book club 😂


  • Angela Cripps
    March 5, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Here are some of my recommendations:
    Effective Leadership – John Adair,
    Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill,
    Good to Great – Jim Collins,
    Global Challenge – Humphrey Walters,
    Leadership and the One Minute Manager – Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

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Best buying decision we've made in 32 years of business. Not only do we receive supplier discounts, help with documentation and back office support, we get to network and share business with like minded independent recruiters. Why wouldn't you want to do that?

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TEAM have been fantastic for before lockdown, the growth and since lockdown, the survival of Aspire Personnel. TEAM offers great networking with agencies and like minded business owners across the UK, giving the opportunity to work with split fees, and more so building great relationships with other recruiters. TEAM HQ have also been a fantastic support, with answers from recruitment legislation, legal docs and more.

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February 1, 2021

TEAM have provided my business with great support for many years. It is great to be able to meet with other independent agency owners and TEAM provides us with the platform on which to do this. TEAM provide a variety of webinars and training opportunities which are always well thought out and informative. Throughout the COVID-19 period I also managed to do some "Split" business with other members which was a welcome boost to my business. Would thoroughly recommend membership to anyone

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We have been members of TEAM for over 10 years now and it's always been a no brainer for us. Splitting fees with other like minded, independent agencies means that both our Candidates and our Clients get a much larger pool to choose from. It allows us to grow our turnover without immediate overheads. Then of course, there are the savings that buying as a larger group bring. The Employment Agents' Movement gives the smaller recruitment agency the ability to punch above their weight and compete with the high street agencies.