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15 Little Life Hacks

My first book is out! It’s on recruiting young talent and it’s in bookstores everywhere

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The short version: My first book, Recruit or Die: How Any Business Can Beat the Big Guys in the War for Young Talent, is out in bookstores everywhere! The book advises companies how to recruit top young talent.
Recruit or Die in Borders SF

When I was a senior in college, my friends started recruiting at companies to lock down a job before graduation. Stanford makes it easy — you basically pick from a list of companies you want to interview with, show up, and talk about yourself. What could be more fun?

I noticed something troubling, though. Most of my friends were recruiting with the same companies: investment banks and consulting firms. These jobs are high-paying (between $75,000 and $120,000 your year out of college, with steep increases) and very prestigious. They’re also dreadfully boring and make me want to take a dull thimble and cause 646 puncture wounds on my own body, then bathe in a delightful medley of lemon juice, salt, and bees.

To be honest, seeing so many of my friends go to work at these companies made me mad. Why go work somewhere and be an Excel monkey for two years? Was it really about the money and prestige? I thought there had to be more to a career than those superficial things. And yet, these companies kept recruiting the best of the best, year after year.

I started investigating by interviewing my friends and asking them what they really wanted. I found some fascinating surprises, like the surprising number of friends who felt guilty about how much their parents had paid for their education, so they “had” to go get a high-paying jobs. Others measured their worth by the amount of money they made relative to their peers. Still others had their goals set on prestigious corporate careers and used these jobs as accelerated stepping stones.

Then I started interviewing the companies. How did the same few companies manage to attract talent every single year? Why did my 22-year-old friends rabidly want to go work for companies like McKinsey, Microsoft, and Google? It wasn’t just about the money. These companies spend an immense amount of time understanding young people, appealing to what motivates us (hint: We don’t care about retirement right now), and they’re constantly getting feedback.

I teamed up with Chris Resto (founder of MIT’s largest internship program) and Ian Ybarra to write Recruit or Die: How Any Business Can Beat the Big Guys in the War for Young Talent. We researched over 1,000 students at 180+ schools to advise companies how to recruit top young talent.

I don’t ask much of readers on this site, but if you work in a company, please buy this book and give it to the head of your HR department. Not only would I love you (and you’ll look good giving such a useful gift), but the book is chock-full of insights about strategies and tactics to recruit young talent.

As Penelope Trunk wrote,

As a candidate, this book is a peek into the secret world of your suitors. You should understand the range of ways that forward-thinking companies recruit so you know how to judge the company you’re talking to. This will help you to match your strengths properly with a company’s.

Read the introduction:
Buy the book:


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  1. Congrats Ramit ! One more accomplishment to put under your belt.

    I only wish a book was out when I graduated college.

  2. Whoa! Your own book in stores. That is awesome! I’ll be on the lookout for it in my local Barnes & Noble.

    Congrats on your success, Ramit! 😀

  3. Congratulations Ramit!

    I’m sure it was a lot of hard work getting the book completed. It’s gotta feel good knowing that the book is finally out there. I hope the book does very well. Congrats again!

  4. Love the cover design. Who did that for you? It’s perfect.

  5. Just bought a copy. And hope to buy some more soon…maybe recommend it to some book clubs.

    Keep up the fantastic work and motivation, Ramit!

  6. Congratulations Ramit, on having your own book. I will look for it at local B&N bookstore.

  7. Congratulations, Ramit! I didn’t know you were working on this, and it looks fantastic! Any way I can get a review copy?

  8. Looking forward to picking this one up, Both as a fan of your writting and the manager of a small business…

  9. Woo hoo! Congrats Ramit!

    I love the picture of the book in the bookstore, especially juxtaposed against Good to Great by Jim Collins.

    I HAVE a copy and really need to review and write about it … sorry for slacking on that!

    Thanks for always motivating us to not just do more, but create more meaning. I agree – more young, smart Excel junkies is not what this world needs.

  10. Yay, Ramit! That’s so exciting. As a loyal reader for a couple years now, I feel so proud.