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9 human resources management books to give you an edge


We don’t need to tell you that staying up to date with the latest HR management trends is essential if you’re an HR professional. To do the best job and recruit the best people, you must be aware of the various ways the human resources management field is changing. That’s why we put together this comprehensive list of the best human resources management books.

Why read human resources management books?

Being informed of the latest technology, best practices, and trends is imperative if you want to outperform your competition. But you don’t have to do all the legwork yourself. Experts in various HR-related fields have done years of research to make it easier on the rest of us.

These human resources management books might not be at the top of your summer reading list, but we’ve selected the most interesting and useful books that are worth a look.

Each of these selections will keep you on the cutting edge of HR. From remote work to enhancing company culture to reducing turnover, you’ll have the latest and greatest information available.

Human resources management books

Work Rules! by Lazlo Bock

We’ve started this list with Work Rules! In this book, Bock shares tips that you can take and apply to your recruitment process right away. One of the best sections of Work Rules! focuses on how you can create a workplace culture that will completely transform your company. 

Poor organizational culture is a significant obstacle in attracting passive candidates and the top 20% of job seekers. But Work Rules! will help you to tackle this challenge.

As Google’s former head of People Operations, Bock has a wealth of experience to draw from. He answers questions like:

  • How to choose top talent and exceptional employees

  • Why feedback is vital for your employees

  • What Google did to revolutionize its performance management approach, and

  • The ten critical steps you can take to transform your team and organization

The Healthy Workplace by Leigh Stringer

What’s the best way to tackle both a reduction in workplace productivity and increases in employee absences? You’ll get the answer in the Healthy Workplace, a book that explains effective ways to improve your employees’ wellbeing. You’ll also get plenty of case studies and examples of organizations that have put in place specific approaches to transform their work environment.

These pages are packed with facts on the development of the workplace over time. These facts form the foundation upon which Stringer builds ideas and recruitment strategies that:

  • Maximize employee energy

  • Increase employee productivity and creativity, and

  • Minimize stress and crashes

A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind

To gain a unique perspective on what the world of work will look like in the future and how technology is changing the face of workplaces worldwide, A World Without Work is exactly what you need. Though not strictly a human resources management book, the book covers relevant technology and the automation of certain human resources tasks. In addition, it explores the many ways these contemporary developments help streamline employee activity in the workplace.

Going beyond remote work and automation, though, how else will the progression of technology affect international organizations? For example, how will HR professionals handle their recruitment operations going forward? A World Without Work gets to the heart of these critical questions and opens up the new possibilities and opportunities given to HR personnel technological developments.

_Managing to Make a Difference: How to Engage, Retain, and Develop Talent for Maximum Performanc_e by Larry Sternberg and Kim Turnage

One of your goals as an HR professional is to engage top talent. Another is to keep staff turnover low and retain and develop your talent. Managing to Make a Difference covers each of these challenges in detail. So, if you’re looking for innovative approaches to develop and retain top talent, look no further.

Other topics covered in Managing to Make a Difference include:

  • How to cultivate positive relationships

  • Why loyalty is critical to your organization, and

  • How cultivating relationships can lead to growth and profitability

Backed by comprehensive research into talent engagement and talent motivation, Managing to Make a Difference is a great tool. It gives you the essential facts and ideas on effective team management. 

The Talent Delusion by Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic

The Talent Delusion is an exceptionally detailed human resources management book that focuses on crucial approaches HR professionals can take to measure and manage top talent. At the heart of the Talent Delusion is the question of what talent is and how data is an essential factor to consider when trying to uncover the aptitudes of top talent.

The Talent Decision goes into further detail, exploring the differences between an employee’s optimal performance and their regular performance, making the case that it’s tough to assess skills and your candidates’ abilities on a limited amount of data.

(Pro tip: if you need help assessing candidate skills, try an online skills assessment.)

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh

What’s the best way to mend the so-called ‘dishonest’ relationship between employer and employee? Why is there a ‘fundamental disconnect of modern employment’? The Alliance deals with these potentially disruptive challenges and concerning questions while guiding HR personnel through the top ways of building trust with open, honest dialogues with their employees.

The book also goes into detail about:

  • How to recruit well-connected people

  • The key ways to encourage your employees to receive and share feedback with managers

  • The best approaches to build an alliance with your future employees

It even touches on the many ways you can use network intelligence platforms such as LinkedIn to your advantage.

For example, the book talks about encouraging your employees to build their professional network. Then, both your organization and your employees can benefit from the valuable data available on the platform.

Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay by Beverly Kay and Sharon Jordan-Evans

Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em is a perceptive human resources management book that pinpoints the importance of a supportive culture in the workplace.

Acknowledging the many challenges faced by HR personnel all over the globe, such as developments in technology, ongoing competition between you and your competitors, and keeping staff turnover low, this book gives you all the information you need to encourage your employees to commit to your organization.

Whether you’re a part of a small organization or a larger one, Love ’Em or Lose ‘Em has essential tips you’ll need to keep staff turnover to a minimum. You’ll also find it covers topics such as:

  • Building careers and supporting career growth

  • Encouraging your employees to take part in training or learning new skills, and

  • Discovering which values they appreciate within your organization

Fundamentals of HR Analytics: A Manual on Becoming HR Analytical by Fermin Diez

The rise of data interpretation and data analytics in the world of human resources management is undeniable. If you’re feeling a bit left behind, this book is ideal for you. Fundamentals of HR Analytics explains why data analytics is becoming increasingly important (without which we would only have ‘educated guesses’).

The book details the three critical types of analysis that you should be aware of as an HR professional:

  1. Descriptive analytics

  2. Diagnostic analytics, and

  3. Predictive analytics

It features chapters on the tools you’ll need for HR analytics, such as an HRIS, details on what data collection is and the best ways to collect data, and how to apply your analytics to staff turnover and recruitment.

Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT by Paul L. Marciano

If you’re looking for tips on engaging your employees, Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work delves into various strategies and potential barriers to employee engagement. Some specific topics covered by Marciano include:

  • How to give supportive feedback

  • The best ways to encourage team collaboration, and

  • How to acknowledge your employees’ contributions to your organization

This human resources management book confronts how expensive recognition programs can be and the ideal way to give praise while motivating your employees.

As mentioned in the title, the key to engaging your employees is respect. Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work will guide you through the best approaches to show respect, enhance your organizational health, and reduce staff turnover.

Stay ahead with these human resources management books

Recruitment isn’t always easy. There are many things to keep in mind. From engaging top talent to keeping staff turnover low to the importance of analyzing data and the technological developments that influence recruitment, it’s essential to know how recruitment is changing. 

These human resources management books are a great way to stay ahead of the game. We hope this list will keep you informed and help to take your recruitment process to the next level.


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