Top 5 TED TALKS Recruiters Need to Listen to for a Fresh Dose of Inspiration

All great recruiters have one thing in common- they never stop learning!

And when it comes to getting fresh insights to enhance your recruitment game, TED talks are the best place to look.

We’ve picked a handful of our favorite recruitment-related TED talks for you.

These five motivating talks will help you feel more confident at work, get more done, and improve your overall performance.

Knowing your time is valuable, we’ve only included talks under 15 minutes in this list!

5 TED Talks That Will Make You a Better Recruiter

1. Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Improve Candidate Relationships)

Being a kickass recruiter strongly depends on developing solid connections with your applicants. 

Enter Celeste’s TED talk on enhancing your daily interaction with candidates!

Headlee is spot on when she mentions that our minor bad habits while talking to people can disrupt the flow of conversation and, eventually, the connection.

A great example is when we begin thinking about what we want to say next while the candidate is still talking.

Today we have a wide range of communication choices because of technology. A more advanced alternative to conventional landlines is VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol.

Let this TED talk push you to get back on the phone, and this time (being mindful of those little habits), do it right!

2. Regina Hartley: Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume (Deal With Talent Shortages)

Regina Hartley, Vice President of HR at UPS, discusses how a good in-house recruiter will scan a CV and look for the most relevant experience, but an outstanding one will read between the lines.

You can transform a technically disqualified applicant into a good contender for a position you’re trying to fill by sifting through your CV pile for scrappers, aka individuals who don’t exactly tick all the boxes but display true resilience and adaptability.

And, if you’re worried that this idea won’t fly with your coworkers, the podcast covers some really cool tips on pitching such applicants to your team.

3. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action (Perfect Your Recruitment Sales Pitch)

This TED talk by Simon Sinek is valuable for any recruiter wanting to improve their sales pitch when bringing in new business prospects.

The idea is that people buy into why you do what you do rather than what you do. What is the purpose of your client’s community?

This is fantastic advice; if you can’t talk honestly about why your client does what they do, you’ll struggle to persuade someone to pick them over their rival.

4. Julian Treasure: How to Speak So That People Want to Listen (Make More Successful Phone Calls)

Tune in to Julian Treasure’s TED for some actionable solid tips on communicating well with others. Communication is the heart of recruiting, which makes these tips all the more important for any recruiter.

Treasure warns of the seven lethal sins of speaking that put others off from listening to what we have to say and the four pillars on which we should stand if we want our voice to be more impactful.

Honesty, Integrity, Authenticity, and Love (H.A.I.L.) will win you clients and candidates on the first phone call.

5. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend (Manage Stress & Increase Productivity)

Being a recruiter, you’re probably familiar with your old ‘buddy’ stress – especially when the end of the month approaches and you’re still nowhere near your billing target. It can take a toll on your mental health.

In this intriguing talk, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal advises us to embrace our stress by viewing it as beneficial to our productivity rather than something to be feared.

Your body’s natural response to stress, like an increase in heart rate, is an attempt to assist you in solving a problem. McGonigal’s research shows it may even help you live longer!

These 5 short TED talks for recruiters can give you the extra nudge you need to achieve your maximum potential.

You’re great at what you do, but you can always be better! So we encourage you to take a little out of your day and watch these.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. When were TED talks started?

TED was founded by Richard Saul Wurman with Harry Marks in February 1984 as a conference. It has been held every year since 1990.

TED’s early focus was on technology and design, consistent with its Silicon Valley roots. It has since widened its perspective to include talks on many scientific, cultural, political, humanitarian, and academic topics.

2. What does TED stand for in TED talks?

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design – three broad subject areas collectively shaping the world. But a TED conference is even broader, showcasing critical research and ideas from all disciplines and exploring how they connect.

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