Human resource management is a field that experiences change rapidly. Any professional worth their salt knows that arming himself/herself with knowledge is the most effective way of staying competitive and fresh. In 2020, there are a plethora of human resource management books to choose from.
Unfortunately, not all of them are equal. This is why it’s important to separate the gems from the riff-raff. The following is a carefully curated list of the best of the best human resource management books. These books cover topics such as leadership, time management, performance evaluation, and plenty more so that you can be at the top of your game.
1. It’s the Manager (Jim Clifton and Jim Harter)
Written by the CEO and chairman of Gallup, Jim Clifton, as well as the chief scientist of workplace management and well-being for Gallup, Jim Harter, the book dives deeply into 52 important findings from Gallup’s largest global study of the future of work.
The book also looks at case studies about how managers have failed and succeeded, analyzes the many faces of the modern work environment, and even discusses Gallup’s newest workplace platform called Gallup Access. HR leaders looking to manage the weaknesses and strengths of their employees will want this one in their library.
2. Recruiting Sucks…But It Doesn’t Have To (Steve Lowisz)
The most valuable asset of any business is its people. Contrary to popular belief, hiring practices haven’t changed much over fifty years. In Lowisz’s book, he argues that 2020 is the decade where updates to the hiring process should be made. Modern solutions to these archaic hiring practices do exist. However, none of them are as effective in today’s competitive landscape. Every organization needs data-backed predictive hiring, workforce diversity management, workforce planning, and training and development solutions (offered by TalenX). More on this nifty program is talked about at the end of this article.
Lowisz makes the argument that most organizations miss the point about it being about the people and not the process. Lowisz’s book also details an incredible approach to building and retaining a workforce that is vibrant as well as accomplished.
In addition to the above, Lowisz shatters common myths that many HR departments believe. The book also teaches the reader to think bigger than LinkedIn, inspire employees in real ways, embrace responsibility, and plenty more.
3. The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations (Lisa Guerin J.D.)
Unprepared or inexperienced managers, supervisors, and human resource professionals can quickly find themselves swamped with workplace problems. Looking for the easy way out? Lisa Guerin J.D.’s essential guide to workplace investigations is the ticket. The guide is an excellent book that will prepare you for issues such as discrimination, harassment, employee theft, and so on. In fact, the book even comes with sample policies, checklists, forms, and sample documentation that employers require to investigate issues in a manner that is acceptable to courts.
4. Generation Z: A Century in the Making (Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace)
Generation Z is unlike any generation that’s come before it. The way this young generation interacts as consumers, voters, neighbors, colleagues, and students is quite different from the generations before it. As this generation enters the workforce, HR managers must be quick to create work environments that will encourage Generation Z to thrive in the workplace. The book takes a deep look into this demography and highlights their aspirations, values, educational preferences, and so on. Understanding the newest generation that’s joining the workforce can make workplace transitions much easier for everyone involved.
5. Human Resources Changes the World: How and Why HR and HR Directors Should Step-Up as Leaders in the 21st Century (Glenn G. Jones)
The transition from HR to CEO is one that very few individuals get to make. The big why is answered by Jones in this book so that HR professionals may realize why many of them don’t reach their full potential. The book also goes into detail as to how HR professionals and directors can go about changing the world in 2020.
6. Human Resources Strategies: Balancing Stability and Agility in Times of Digitization (Future of Business and Finance) (Armin Trost)
Business digitization isn’t anything new. However, leadership, as well as collaboration, hasn’t followed suit. HR professionals must begin thinking about how digitization will change their business practices as well as procedures. Learning about those digital changes is where Human Resource Strategies come in. The book looks at the stark differences that agility and stability demand within leadership. In addition to the above, it also details aspects of HR management such as recruitment, corporate training, executive development, talent management, and plenty more. Human resource managers with an eye for the future would do well taking a look at this one.
7. Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave and How to Keep Them Longer (Cara Silletto and Leah Brown)
No one likes high employee turnover. High employee turnover can result in productivity, service, and profitability taking a turn for the worse. Silletto explains how human resource managers can tackle high employee turnover in this book. The book contains plenty of useful tips as well as practical advice as to how organizations can keep their employees and reduce turnover significantly. Understanding challenges is imperative to solving them.
8. Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone (Satya Nadella)
Leaders looking for self-improvement would do themselves a big favor by reading Hit Refresh. The book details Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, life as a boy in India who went on to head the most impactful changes in the modern era. It also details Microsoft’s transformation from the perspective of someone who was inside at the time. Nadella’s reflections, recommendations, and meditations are all excellent for leaders looking for guidance. Nadella summarizes this by expressing that ideas excite him while empathy grounds and centers him.
9. Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter (Obi Ogbanufe)
Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter is the perfect manual for budding technical recruiters looking for guidance. No matter how technology-savvy a person thinks they are, there’s always a new technology that can make a person feel like they’re out of their league. This book acts as a technical skill primer for recruiters. It contains fancy big data lingo, network vocabulary, tech acronyms, sample questions, and much more. Ogbanufe has managed to convey his message through simplicity and precision.
10. Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization (Rhodes Perry, MPA)
Success consists of many factors. Feeling included is an important yet often overlooked one. Many professionals have failed to live up to their full potential because of a disconnect they felt between their identity and the company they work for. Part of a human resource professional’s job is to make sure that all employees feel like they are a part of the company culture.
Perry’s book contains the knowledge that leaders need to feel empowered and that the agents need for a change. The book also highlights what belonging means in an organization as well as why it’s important to belong for the future of work. Belonging at Work is an excellent read that’s essential for anyone looking for success.
11. High Potential: How to Spot, Manage, and Develop Talented People at Work (Ian MacRae, Adrian Furnham, and Martin Reed)
Hiring talented people isn’t the end of the road when it comes to human resource. In fact, recruiting top talent is a waste of time as well as money when a firm isn’t investing resources into keeping those talented people in the organization. The book High Potential is geared towards cracking this problem. Understanding potential as well as how to ensure employees with the most potential are happy in their positions is another area the book tackles. The book also includes case studies as well as real-life examples that organizations can relate to.
12. Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It, How to Fix It (M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Dowling Grealish)
Part of a human resource professionals’ job is to help employees and teams improve by facilitating feedback. Making feedback productive and empowering instead of intimidating is the way that excellent human resource professionals operate. The book talks about the bad reputation that feedback currently suffers from and educates readers on good practices to reduce negative responses from difficult communication. There is a great emphasis on the three Fs- Fair, Frequent, and Focused, to encourage feedback.
The books mentioned above are the cream of the crop for human resource professionals in 2020. While there are other books out there, these books are a great place to start. All of these books have been mentioned in this list because they cover a wide variety of important and unignorable topics in human resource management. This means that you can read these books in any order you see fit.
If books aren’t your style and you’d rather approach human resource management with a hands-on approach, check out TalenX. It is a data analytics platform that’s committed to helping companies hire as well as grow high potential talent. The platform provides talent acquisition (predictive hiring, diversity, campus recruitment) and talent management (workforce planning and training & development) solutions because the creators believe that all companies, regardless of their size, should benefit from psychological sciences in their hiring and talent retention process.