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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: http://alwaysrecruiting.com/book-excerpts
Buy the book:


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

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Moneymonk
8 years 11 months ago

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

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

Jonathan
8 years 11 months ago

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! 😀

KS
KS
8 years 11 months ago

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!

Chuck
8 years 11 months ago

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

Jared Goralnick
8 years 11 months ago

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!

Samir
Samir
8 years 11 months ago

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

Alexandra Levit
8 years 11 months ago

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

Matt Wolfe
8 years 11 months ago

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

Pamela Slim
8 years 11 months ago

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.

Sara
Sara
8 years 11 months ago

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

Raj Patel
Raj Patel
8 years 11 months ago

Good stuff Ramit. I wil help spread the word.

Did you look at scenarios of compaines going international to recruit young talent?

jeffkuo
8 years 11 months ago

Wow, I had no idea when this was coming out. I’m getting one.

julien
8 years 11 months ago

hey, nice! good for you dude. 🙂

trackback
8 years 11 months ago

[…] Rambi Sethi has a book just out and it’s likely worth a peek. My first book is out! It’s on recruiting young talent and it’s in bookstores everywhere […]

Jean B
8 years 11 months ago

Wow!
I can’t wait to see the look on my HR manager’s face when I hand him a copy…

Frank
8 years 11 months ago

coooooool… i’ll get a copy and/or i’ll get my boss to get a copy hahah. i work in government and i’m in a high turnover position. four of eight people in my position just left this summer. i dunno how much this book covers on retention (to me recruitment/retention kinda go hand in hand), but i’ll check it out.

Zachary
8 years 11 months ago

Congratulations!

Kevin Cherrick
8 years 11 months ago
Ramit, I just got done previewing your book at B&N. It is great! Per your suggestion, I’m going to buy two copies and have lunch with the head of HR at my campus locally, and then ask for the same with the head of HR at our national HQ when I fly out there later this month. Through the whole book I was able to connect what MY COMPANY could do to better attract valuable new hires, not only on campus, but afterwards as well. I believe that a big advantage is having connections with those graduate school programs as… Read more »
Jonathan B.
Jonathan B.
8 years 11 months ago

Ramit,
So this is where you’ve disappeared for the past few weeks. Anyway, yeah I saw Penelope Trunk’s post about your book and I tried to order it on Amazon Japan (I fully plan to give it to HR…after I read it…) Got an email back about how they’re having trouble placing my order and that I might have to cancel it…hmmm, guess I’ll have to find another way to get it…

In any case, congratulations on the book, I’m looking forward to reading it, when and if I get it…;p

Greg
8 years 11 months ago

Congrats! Let me know if you’re swinging by NYC to promote it.

Jed
Jed
8 years 11 months ago

Congrats on your first book! Must have been quite a ride … But here’s a less than supportive comment *about your website*:

You’ve got a loyal reader base, and I used to read your site on an every-other-day basis. With the recent lack of new posts appearing, my interest has died down. PLEASE pump out some new, interesting, posts!

trackback

[…] was reading Ramit Sethi’s post about his first book – Recruit or Die: How Any Business Can Beat the Big Gu…, and found some interesting insights. I have been blaming today’s young graduates for running […]

Jerri
8 years 11 months ago

That’s so cool! Congrats!

If I was in the corporate world, I would read it ( maybe I still will). They didn’t recruit much on my campus so I just started my own business. Oh well…

Very exciting, Ramit!

jack stahl
jack stahl
8 years 11 months ago
Congrats on the book. I’m sure you have good things to say, and it’s never easy to get a book published. That having been said though, I’m not super convinced by your thesis. All your anecdotal evidence is in favor of why people want to go to big companies, regardless of how well they recruit. Google managed to be the number one destination for top [Stanford] students over the last couple of years despite a disaster of a recruiting department (though facebook seems to have overtaken them for the forseeable future). People go to GS, McKinsey, D.E. Shaw, Google and… Read more »
Andy
Andy
8 years 11 months ago

Way to go, Ramit. Like Jonathan, I ordered on Amazon. No problems for me, though…was shipped today!

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
8 years 11 months ago

I know quite a few underemployed college graduates. There are three where I work, all earning our state minimum wage.

Have employers ever considered hiring cheap some of the underemployed, and retraining them for whatever the employer wants or needs? We’re very easy to please and we’ll work cheap and be happy.

trackback
8 years 11 months ago

[…] Can Beat the Big Guys in the War for Young Talent which I’m looking forward to reading. In his blog, Ramit gives a little of the inspiration behind that led him and Chris Resto writing it: “To […]

Ricky
8 years 11 months ago

I have always loved your website, and I’m sure your book is great. I will have to either buy it, or read it at the bookstore.

I look very forward to reading it!

Tushar Wadekar
8 years 11 months ago

Congratulations!

stargell
stargell
8 years 11 months ago
Another book to teach corporate America how to tap the riches of Gen-Y– woo, hoo! I thought Bruce Tulgan had milked the subject to death with Gen-X, but along comes another opportunist with enough moxy to make a mint by telling corporate America with it wants to hear about younger workers. These talent war books are pure bullshit. The only thing that matters about recruiting is pedigree, and the brand of an applicant’s sheepskin. Rugrats who went to ivy schools on mommy and daddy’s dime are automatically labeled talented commodities, and companies will pay absurd premiums to hire them. Experience… Read more »
styleosophy
8 years 10 months ago
I have been (feeding) reading your blog for a couple of monthes, and I just wanted to drop you a little note to say congratulations on the article in Entreprenuer Mag. I think it’s great to get that recognition! (And for the record, McKinsey is an interesting place to work for. I worked in Graphics, in the Chicago Office, and I am always glad I took off those ‘golden handcuffs’.) I will be purchasing the book for myself and then passing it along to my boss. Although we work in government, I am anxious to see how the book’s premise… Read more »
Kartik
Kartik
8 years 8 months ago

Hey Ramit,
Your book really interesting. I live in Mumbai, and would love to purchase it. Do you know if it’s available in Indian bookstores?

Eva Holtz
8 years 1 month ago

Hey Ramit. Friend of Ramana’s and dweekly’s here. Saw your book at a bookstore while in Boston for my sister’s college graduation and thought of you. So exciting! Congrats on your continued successes.

D
D
7 years 10 months ago
“I’ve hired a fulltime employee as recently as this week, and I outweighed experience over pedigree every single time.” Actually, I agree with stargell. The reality is that people will say “experience matters most” but they then go and behave in way that shows that it really doesn’t. In my own experience, being hired and knowing people who do hiring, the number of people who will recruit based on pedigree and ‘brand loyalty’ outweighs the number of people who seek out experienced people – most especially for fresh out of college, new hires. Here’s more or less how it works:… Read more »
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