Songs for Recruiters: The HR Mixtape

A good playlist has the power to set the tone for a workout, a dinner party, a road trip–or a day at work. With so many mixtapes floating in the ether, it’s a shame that there are none specifically tailored to the HR professional’s life. That’s why we’re bringing you  Songs for Recruiters: The HR Mixtape, the indie rock soundtrack to the recruiting and staffing world!

Spoon – “The Fitted Shirt”

When we were children, our parents’ work clothes made adulthood seem remote and mysterious. “Nothing else will fit right / Or seem so directly applied / Than fitted shirt hung on me / Fitted shirt alright,” sings frontman Britt Daniel, referencing the tailored shirt his father wore to work every morning. Channel the transition to careerism with this classic rock-inspired track.

St. Vincent – “Actor Out of Work”

Annie Clark’s sweetly crooned lyrics, winding over an authoritative drumbeat, reminds us that our job candidates aren’t always who they initially seem to be: “You’re a cast-signed broken arm / You’re an actor out of work / You’re a liar and that’s the truth / You’re an extra, lost in the scene.

Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”

Seattle rock darlings Fleet Foxes’ latest album Helplessness Blues focuses on finding life’s purpose. In the title track, Robin Pecknold rejects individuality, singing plaintively, “I’d say I’d rather be / a functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me.” Help job hopefuls locate their rightful place with this richly textured, alt-folk gem.

Lykke Li – “Complaint Department”

Lykke Li, hailing from Sweden, performs with attitude and sings with it, too. Blast this stripped down and gritty track whenever you want to remind interviewees, “If you wanna complain / I’m not the complaint department.”

Animal Collective – “My Girls”

This super-catchy psych-pop soundscape from Animal Collective charms with its simple yet resonant lyrics.  The melodic refrain–“I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things / like our social stats / I just want four walls and adobe slats for my girls“–helps us refocus on what’s important, and the careers that help us achieve them.

 Little Joy – “Keep Me In Mind”

Retaining a bit of the flavor of the Strokes, this laid back track from drummer Fabrizio Moretti shrugs off a breakup with the hopeful thought, “Even though we have to say goodbye / keep me in mind.” Give this a spin whenever a candidate impresses you with his or her experience and skills, but just isn’t the right person for the current position.

The Beatles – “A Hard Day’s Night”

The Beatles round out this mixtape with a jangly reminder that even though “it’s been a hard day’s night / And I’ve been working like a dog,” it’s all worth it in the end when a fantastic candidate accepts a job offer!

Want to listen uninterrupted? Click the button below to stream Songs for Recruiters! Then tell us what essential tunes we’re missing in the comments or on Twitter @IMemployers.


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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.