How Books Influence Our Hiring and Shape Our Team’s Success at ContactOut

At ContactOut, we believe in the power of learning – be it books, podcasts, or insightful articles. 

In fact, we ask our future team members to answer this question, “How many books did you read last year, and what did you learn from them?” during our hiring process as part of the Values Questionnaire to get to know them better.

See the response from our Product Manager, Rahul:


And here’s response from our Account Executive, Sami for the same question:


Reading these responses does give us insights into how our team members think and what topics are they passionate about.

It helps us to see if it aligns with our company culture here at ContactOut, and will it be a good fit for both sides.

Here’re the top 4 books that are most popular with our team:

We dive deep into the key takeaways from various learning materials that influenced our team members and how these insights are seamlessly integrated into their roles, driving both personal growth and professional excellence.

Harnessing the Power of Habit

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Our team has embraced the philosophy of ‘Atomic Habits’ in everyday work. This approach has been particularly effective in project management and development teams, where small, daily progress accumulates into substantial long-term achievements.

Team Takeaways:

  • Small, consistent changes lead to significant results.
  • Success is more about systems than goals.
  • Identity shapes habits.

Balancing Life and Work

How Will You Measure Your Life by Clay Christensen

Christensen’s insights remind us to look beyond immediate tasks and focus on what truly adds value to our lives and careers. This perspective has been instrumental in shaping our company culture, where we prioritize work-life balance and meaningful projects over mere short-term successes.

Team Takeaways:

  • Focus on long-term fulfillment over short-term gains.
  • It’s important to allocate time and resources wisely.

Understanding Wealth Beyond Money

Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Housel’s principles share a holistic view of wealth, focusing on long-term financial health and sustainability. This shaped our team’s approach to their personal financial planning and decision-making.

Team Takeaways:

  • Wealth is about control over time, not just financial assets.
  • Savings should dictate expenses, not the other way around.


Navigating New Challenges

The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

‘The First 90 Days’ has been the inspiration of our own onboarding process at ContactOut. It provides a roadmap for navigating the critical initial phase of any new role, emphasizing the need for strategic planning and swift adaptation. This book has been particularly beneficial for those joining our team, ensuring they make an impactful start.

Team Takeaways:

  • Prepare strategies for successful transitions in new roles – be methodical about how you spend your time
  • Quickly learning and adapting to new environments can shape your first 3 months. Focus on learning the landscape and how you can secure “small wins” that leads to bigger things. 

At ContactOut, we’re united by our shared passion for knowledge and our commitment to making a meaningful impact in our field. As we look to the future, we are excited to continue this journey of learning, growing, and succeeding together.

What book have you read lately and how has it shaped you?