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📚 15 Best HR Books For Professionals To Upgrade Their Human Resource Management Game

By August 8, 2023 August 10th, 2023 No Comments

The best HR books do exist.

They aren’t hidden anywhere by a secretive HR society.

They are right here, on this page.

Pro-Tip from Human Crapital: As you read HR books, create a dedicated journal to jot down key takeaways and action points. Regularly review and integrate these insights into your HR practices, adapting them to your organization’s unique context, and fostering a continuous learning loop for improved effectiveness.

And they can become vitally important tools for you to promote employee wellness and transform not only your mindset but also the whole three-word game, namely, human resource management.

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Books on Human Resource Management: Can They Really Become Game Changers?

Short answer:

They can and they do (if you act, not just read them).

Long answer: 

It’s worth emphasizing that reading by itself is an advantageous activity that can contribute greatly to your collection of habits for highly effective HR management. It develops critical thinking and reasoning skills, wakes up your creative genius, improves vocabulary, and makes you a better communicator.

Essentially, books can empower you to lead your team to success.

Successful people are avid readers. 88% of them read at least 30 mins daily. However, they don’t read for entertainment. They grab books on self-improvement or self-education.

📚 15 Best HR Books For Professionals To Upgrade Their Human Resource Management Game Click To Tweet

What about you?

Do you often read books on human resource management to educate yourself, discover new trends and HR tools, or improve your HR skills?

If you simply clog the corners of your mind with the extracted information, it’s insufficient to drive changes. The critical point here is to turn knowledge into action.

For example, according to Alok Kejriwal, CEO & Co-Founder of Games2win, he changed the way he thought of measuring performance and switched from KPIs to OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) after reading Measure What Matters by John Doerr.

Similarly, just because of one book, namely, Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Trinity Otero, Strategic Communications Creative Manager at HDR, is now leading creative teams differently.

Read about more examples of how the best human resources books helped managers and entrepreneurs implement some new ideas from them and manage their teams more productively and effectively.

Want to become a better professional in just 5 minutes?


15 Best HR Books for HR Professionals

  1. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
  2. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

    "The Infinite Game" by Simon Sinek is a transformative read for HR professionals seeking to reshape their perspectives on organizational success. Sinek introduces the concept of business as an infinite game, emphasizing the importance of long-term thinking, adaptable strategies, and fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes collaboration, innovation, and employee fulfillment.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: Through insightful anecdotes and thought-provoking analyses, the book challenges traditional HR approaches and encourages HR practitioners to embrace a dynamic mindset that aligns with the ever-evolving nature of the professional landscape.

    Key Takeaways

    • Embrace the infinite mindset for lasting success.
    • Prioritize adaptable strategies over fixed goals.
    • Cultivate a culture of collaboration and innovation.

    Buy Now
  3. The Essential HR Handbook by by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell
  4. The Essential HR Handbook by by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell

    In the ever-changing HR responsibilities, the keen insights offered in "The Essential HR Handbook" by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell is a must-have. This comprehensive guide cuts through the maze of personnel issues, providing information, tools, and handy tips to navigate complex HR situations. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned HR pro, a small business owner, or a manager sans an HR department, this book swiftly equips you to tackle everything from onboarding to outplacement and everything in between.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: With its easy-to-follow approach and timely tips, this book demystifies the daunting HR world. It offers practical solutions to attract talent, avoid legal pitfalls, train a diverse workforce, and provide a benefits package that boosts your organization's appeal. Plus, it prepares you to help new employees hit the ground running.

    Key Takeaways

    • Master social media recruiting.
    • Understand and bypass legal hurdles.
    • Optimize your onboarding practices.

    Buy Now
  5. The Big Book of HR by Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem
  6. The Big Book of HR by Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

    This book is your complete guide to becoming a powerhouse Human Resources professional. With "The Big Book of HR", you get insights from some of the most experienced HR professionals in the business. The modern workforce has dramatically changed over the last decade and navigating these changes can be overwhelming, but fear not! This book acknowledges the shifting tides and equips you with up-to-date tactics and strategies to best manage people within your organization.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: It merges past wisdom and modern trends, delivering an unparalleled guide to HR challenges. You'll learn about remote workforce management, diversity and inclusion strategies, pay equality, technology's impact on HR, and more.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Mastering remote and distributed workforces.
    • Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • Navigating changing HR technology.

    Buy Now
  7. The New HR Leader's First 100 Days by Alan Collins
  8. The New HR Leader's First 100 Days by Alan Collins

    If you've recently entered a leadership role in HR, consider "The New HR Leader's First 100 Days" by Alan Collins your cheat sheet for success. As a former Vice President of Human Resources at PepsiCo, Collins shares insider tips on how to start strong, earn respect, and deliver results in your new position. The book offers a practical guide to ensuring success during the crucial first 100 days, a period that defines the trajectory of your role and career. With a focus on practical strategies, this book enables you to evade common pitfalls and build a committed team.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This book empowers new HR leaders with proven strategies from a seasoned HR veteran. It is a gold mine of best practices, strategies, and practical tools that help to fast-track your onboarding process. 

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Effective ways to make a strong first impression.
    • Techniques to decode organizational culture.
    • Strategies for quick onboarding and early wins.

    Buy Now
  9. 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees by Paul Falcone
  10. 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees by Paul Falcone

    Get ready for a management masterclass with Paul Falcone's “101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees: A Manager's Guide to Addressing Performance, Conduct, and Discipline Challenges.” Falcone turns awkward office talks into constructive dialogue, easing the dread that usually comes with addressing sensitive subjects in workplace culture. Whether it's conduct issues, low performance, or even employee turnover, this must-read book has you covered, making it an invaluable tool for first-time and seasoned managers alike. 

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: Paul Falcone’s pragmatic charm makes this a must-have for managers. He provides you with detailed dialogue templates, meaning you’ll never be left lost for words. Plus, his laser focus on treating employees with respect makes uncomfortable performance management talks more endurable.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Tactics for handling challenging staff issues.
    • Sample dialogues to use in tough situations in the work environment.
    • Strategies for creating a respectful dialogue.

    Buy Now
  11. Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
  12. Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock

    In "Work Rules!" authored by Laszlo Bock, HR practitioners are immersed in a treasure trove of unconventional wisdom. Bock, drawing from his extensive experience at Google, offers a refreshing approach to human resources by sharing innovative strategies that center around employee empowerment, data-driven decision-making, and fostering an environment of autonomy and trust.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This book equips HR professionals with actionable insights to reshape traditional practices and create workplaces that inspire creativity, engagement, and exceptional performance.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Prioritize trust, not rules.
    • Data-driven HR decisions.
    • Foster employee autonomy for success.

    Buy Now
  13. The SHRM Essential Guide to Employment Law by Charles Fleischer
  14. The SHRM Essential Guide to Employment Law by Charles Fleischer

    Save yourselves from multiple Google searches and conflicting advice with "The SHRM Essential Guide to Employment Law, Second Edition." This book is the HR professionals’ single pitstop for understanding complex work rules and ensuring your business is on the right side of the courtroom. Say no to legal mumbo-jumbo, and yes to clear, concise language that enlightens and empowers.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This isn't your ordinary bland law book. It's fun, engrossing, and packed to the brim with real-life examples and practical advice. This book helps you anticipate pitfalls, plan tactfully, and keep your relationships with employees smooth and friction-free.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Encourages legal compliance savvy.
    • Comprehensive coverage of 200+ law topics.
    • Simplified language, easy-to-apply suggestions.

    Buy Now
  15. HR Answer Book by Shawn Smith and Rebecca Mazin
  16. HR Answer Book by Shawn Smith and Rebecca Mazin

    Got HR struggles? Wave goodbye to those with the "HR Answer Book" by corporate exec Shawn Smith and Rebecca Mazin. This book is an employer cheat sheet, answering 200+ common HR queries tackling everything from recruitment to benefits and downscaling. Jam-packed with the HR industry's best practices, this comprehensive guide is your key to vanquishing any HR obstacle. 

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: The HR Answer Book is a supercharger for your HR management skills, not only offering solutions and best competencies but also including bonus checklists for practical application. 

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Breezing through recruitment & hiring.
    • Mastering discipline & downsizing.
    • Juggling benefits & compensations.

    Buy Now
  17. The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book by Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem
  18. The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book by Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

    Get ready to kiss those awkward office conflicts goodbye, "The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book" is an HR manager, business owner, or any conflict-averse business leader's best friend. This book arms you with over 2,000 phrases to assist you in diffusing tense situations and solving tricky teammate tangles. It's your go-to guide for turning difficult conversations into productive outcomes! 

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This amazing guide gives you the tools to approach conflict with confidence and tact rather than evasion. It empowers you to take control of awkward situations, make positive changes, and create a harmonious workplace.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Master the art of conflict navigation.
    • Overcome fear of difficult conversations.
    • Sphere positive change through well-chosen words.

    Buy Now
  19. Agile HR by Natal Dank and Riina Hellström
  20. Agile HR by Natal Dank and Riina Hellström

    In the constantly shifting landscape of business, agility has become a non-negotiable trait. As such, Agile HR aims to turn you into a forward-thinking HR practitioner. The book gives a comprehensive guide on modernizing HR practices to be dynamic and supportive of overall business goals, breaking free from the traditional, isolated HR processes considered slow and outdated.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: Agile HR book covers insights and practical steps to transform your HR function within your organization. You'll be a part of difference-makers, facilitating business performance rather than hindering it.

    Key Takeaways:

    • How to modernize HR processes.
    • Navigating resistance during transformations.
    • Prioritizing HR activities effectively.

    Buy Now
  21. Belonging At Work by Rhodes Perry MPA
  22. Belonging At Work by Rhodes Perry MPA

    "Belonging at Work" penned by Rhodes Perry MPA delves into the pivotal theme of fostering inclusivity in the workplace. Perry's comprehensive insights illuminate the significance of creating a diverse and equitable environment, offering practical strategies that empower HR professionals to champion belongingness, unlock employees' potential, and build resilient, united teams that drive organizational success.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This book serves as an invaluable guide for HR practitioners seeking to cultivate cultures where every individual feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive.

    Key Takeaways: 

    • Cultivate inclusive workplaces for diversity.
    • Empower employees through authentic leadership.
    • Drive success by fostering a sense of belonging at work.

    Buy Now
  23. 101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems by Paul Falcone
  24. 101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems by Paul Falcone

    This book by people operations expert, Paul Falcone, addresses a thorny issue most managers and HR professionals grapple with: how to handle employee infractions effectively and legally. "101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems" is an exhaustive resource that sheds light on varying disciplinary processes while providing customizable documents for various scenarios.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This book is a goldmine for managers and HR professionals, with its in-depth, expertly crafted write-ups for diverse performance issues. It takes the guesswork out of confrontation, creating clear, fair, and above all, legal resolutions.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Track and address performance issues effectively.
    • Navigate tricky situations with confidence.
    • Develop clear, fair, and legal responses.

    Buy Now
  25. Recruiting 101: The Fundamentals of Being a Great Recruiter by Steven Mostyn
  26. Recruiting 101: The Fundamentals of Being a Great Recruiter by Steven Mostyn

    No secret sauce here, just the plain truth! "Recruiting 101: The Fundamentals of Being a Great Recruiter" is a stark breakdown of what makes or breaks a top recruiter. It hones in on 15 critical recruitment skills, delivering step-by-step instructions for each. Whether you're a newbie or a veteran in the recruitment industry, there's something juicy for you in this insightful guide,

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: It's your ultimate recruiting roadmap. Beyond theories, it's brimming with practical skill-building exercises, making you a master in sourcing, candidate engagement, recruitment marketing, and, wait for it, - cold calling.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • The ABCs of recruitment.
    • Master the use of major recruitment tools.
    • Effective engagement strategies for candidates.

    Buy Now
  27. The Ideal Team Player by Patrick M. Lencioni
  28. The Ideal Team Player by Patrick M. Lencioni

    Unlock team power with Lencioni’s illuminating guide, "The Ideal Team Player." Meet Jeff Shanley, the thrilling central figure grappled with transforming his uncle’s floundering company by championing teamwork. Can he unravel the virtues that constitute the perfect team player? Sit back, buck up for a business roller coaster and grasp useful, applicable tools for identifying and nurturing your ideal team companions. Anyone aspiring to lead, hire, or simply be a better team player will find this book engrossing and invaluable.

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This isn't just theory, it's practical application. The business fable nails the importance of teamwork for successful companies, presenting tools for recognizing and cultivating the three essential virtues of a dream team player.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Identifying indispensable team player virtues.
    • Tools for hiring and developing team players.
    • Building a teamwork-centric culture.

    Buy Now
  29. Redefining HR by Lars Schmidt
  30. Redefining HR by Lars Schmidt

    Step right into the innovative world of HR with this mammoth of a guide, 'Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance'. This isn't one of those stuffy, theoretical examinations of HR - it's a sparky, in-depth guide to the fundamental components of modern HR. Packed with pearls of wisdom from industry pros at the sharp end of HR's transformation, this guide gives you the lowdown on redefining recruitment, talent management, and much more. 

    ❤️ Why we love this HR book: This book provides real, practical solutions for HR practitioners eager to innovate people practices. It's a treasure trove of fresh ideas and modernized practices that'll boost your HR game.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Innovative practices in recruitment and talent management.
    • Real-life case studies from industry leaders.
    • Insightful perspectives in people analytics and employee experience.

    Buy Now

Bottom Line

best hr books

If these ten best HR books are not enough to quench your hunger for actionable tips and tricks on human resource management, you may explore our library of free ebooks for creating an awesome office culture.

So, bring the new HR strategies into play and build a happier workplace.

Wishing you all the best along each step of your HR journey.


People Also Ask These Questions about HR Books

Q: How do HR books contribute to personal and professional development in the field?

  • A: HR books serve as invaluable resources for personal and professional development in the field by offering comprehensive insights, practical strategies, and real-world case studies, enabling HR professionals to enhance their expertise, make informed decisions, and adapt to the evolving dynamics of the workplace. Additionally, growing your interests and expanding your skills as a leader can help contribute to the growth of your personal and professional development skills. Try expanding your reading search to include management books, professional development books, career newsletters, and HR blogs.

Q: Can you recommend some recent HR books that address modern workplace challenges?

Q: Are there any HR books that focus specifically on employee engagement and motivation?

Q: How do HR books provide insights into navigating complex HR legal and ethical issues?

  • A: HR books play a crucial role in offering comprehensive guidance on navigating intricate HR legal and ethical matters by dissecting relevant case studies, legislation updates, and practical frameworks, empowering HR professionals with the knowledge needed to ensure compliance and uphold ethical standards within their organizations.

Q: How do HR books contribute to fostering a positive company culture and employee well-being?

  • A: HR books contribute significantly to cultivating a positive company culture and enhancing employee well-being by offering strategies, best practices, and real-world examples that empower HR professionals to design initiatives, policies, and programs that prioritize inclusivity, support, and a healthy work-life balance.

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