It feels odd to say this, but the clearest writing in the literary marketplace may be business books. Note that I did not say the best writing. Business books aren’t especially imaginative. They aren’t always compelling. They aren’t generally un-put-downable. They rely on clichés, obvious set-ups, too little research, and lots of repetition. Yet they all have one thing in common: they’re easy to read. No fan of, say, Jim Collins’s Good to Great or Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich or Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is ever at a loss for what those authors are trying to say.
Longtime headhunter Craig Brown’s THE LEAN RECRUITING TOOLKIT (An Agile Blueprint for Creating & Executing Top Hiring Strategies) has this same virtue. It opens with an anecdote about Brown’s experience delivering newspapers as a nine-year-old boy, which he uses to illustrate the book’s central thesis: success in business means changing your processes to work smarter, not harder. The anecdote and the lesson go down smooth as Baileys Irish Cream. His style is chatty but not folksy, intelligent but not overbearing, informative but not pedantic. “Lean” is a manufacturing concept that’s been around for several decades. Brown gives a short history of the approach, then lays out how he will apply it to corporate recruiting, which occupies the rest of the book. Brown writes with the attention to detail and the bottom-line orientation of America’s best CEOs.
Like most business writers, Brown assumes that, because change is so hard, telling readers how to effect it is where he should spend his time. This means overlooking the idea that, because the status quo is sometimes worth keeping, the real trick is learning when to change things up. Yet LEAN RECRUITING TOOLKIT is an action plan, not a philosophical treatise, so it’s a forgivable lapse. There isn’t much here for the casual follower of management trends. Rather, it is HR managers, search firm executives, and small business owners who will revel in Brown’s acumen and analysis, the plethora of real-world examples, and his subtle sense of humor.
Like the best business books, Craig Brown’s recruiting manifesto THE LEAN RECRUITING TOOLKIT is focused, easy to understand, and immensely helpful to working professionals.
~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader