11 Must-read HRM Books For HR Professionals

hrm books

Human Resources is a challenging field. It asks HR professionals to be updated to keep up with its ever-changing ways. They must grab every opportunity to learn more and more. HR requires constant knowledge consumption for better leadership and management. Be it, students or professionals, HR books are helpful to everyone in the field in keeping up with the ongoing changes.

The HR books help with a deep understanding of the field. They help professionals to give an extensive overview of different topics of HR. These listed must read HRM books also help in creating a future perspective of the field.

11 must-read HRM books for Professionals

Must-read HRM Books

In this article, we have shared a list of 11 must-read HR books for Professionals.

1. Work Rules! Insights From Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead (2015)

Google is one of the largest tech companies. It has earned appreciation for its HR policy. The visionary head of Google’s people perspective policy, Laszlo Bock, has crafted the behind-the-scenes into the book. The book gives insight into how technology can define the HR system in a company. The book is a short read with a practical perspective that HR professionals can apply as soon as they read it. It takes the readers on a tour of Google’s HR policy, how they can cream top performers, the importance of data in HR, and ways to deal with mistakes in HR.

2. Strategic Human Resource Management: An HR Professional’s Toolkit

The book focuses on the concept of ‘People Experience’. Challenging the usual beliefs about HR’s role in an organization, the writer, Karen Beaven, has presented a practical guide to the broader role of HR in a company. The book is divided into four sections, laying out concepts like how to know yourself, your business, your industry, and your profession. These all four together help an individual to add strategic value to a company. From core HR topics like talent management and workforce planning, the book goes to personal issues like mental health and self-care as well.

3. The Talent Delusion

The book written by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is full-of facts regarding talent management. It is an easy-to-read book. It covers areas like, what is talent, engaging talent, developing it, its dark side, and the future of talent. The book acts as a bridge between common-world practices of talent management and the psychological side of talent. The book aims to make HR professionals aware of these critical talent issues. The book gives insight into managing talent at a company better. It takes the HR professional through scientific facts. It helps them to solve the problems like how to define and manage talent, how to develop it, and how to detect negative aspects of employee behaviour. It shares ways to motivate employees to perform their best.

4. HR Disrupted

It’s Time for Something Different: Another must-read HR book, HR disrupted, revolves around the problem statement of how to engage, lead, and support our employees differently. The constantly changing world of HR demands changes in the traditional system of its working as well. The author, Lucy Adams has successfully crafted this book around the fact that HR has lost its true essence. She believes that there are three pillars of disrupted HR, to treat employees as adults, to treat them as customers, hence, not forcing one-size fits all policy, and to treat them as human beings.

5. Belonging at Work

Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization: The author, Rhodes Perry, revolves around the concept of belongingness to the workplace which creates a positive impact on the employees. He explains the importance of a sense of belonging to the employees. He explains the difference between the concepts of diversity, inclusion, and equity. The book motivates HR professionals, leaders, and visionaries to build inclusive organizations. It features case studies, practical experiences, and personal stories that would help HR professionals to inculcate a sense of belonging in their employees.

6. The HR Scorecard (2001)

The book, The HR Scorecard, is the best HR book of all time. Even after two decades of its publication, it is still relevant in many aspects of HR. Becker, the author of the book, discusses how people, performance, and strategy can be linked and quantified. The book consists of inferences from the author’s research among 3000 firms. He gives a seven-step process for incorporating the HR system into the firm and quantifying the activities. He introduces an HR scorecard to measure the HR activities in the firm.

7. The Practical Guide to HR Analytics

Using Data to Inform, Transform, and Empower HR Decisions: The author, Dr Shonna Waters, in the book, shows the importance of data analytics in the decision-making of HR. She says that HR must understand the capabilities of data analytics and depend on its importance to solve problems. The book covers different examples and shows where to incorporate the use of data analytics and matrixes for better decision making. The author has clearly shown the application of data in HR decision-making without the use of mathematical jargon.

8. HR Rising!! From Ownership to Leadership

From the roles of supporting elements to international leadership, the author Steve Browne inspires the HR professional through his book. One of the must-read HR books, HR Rising, shows how HR roles and responsibilities fit together to make a perfect leader.

It explains Browne’s Formula of People + Processes = Results.

He shows that when the focus is placed on developing, equipping, and encouraging the employees, it results in an engaged workforce.

9. Start with Why : How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009)

Another HRM book recommendation includes the author, Simon Sinek. In the book, he focuses on comparing factors that make organizations more innovative, profitable, and influential. He brings to notice the type of organizations that are successful but are unable to repeat the success rate. He shows in the book that all the influential leaders work similarly. The concepts of the Golden circle in the book present a framework to build an organization, lead movements, and inspire people.

1. The Tibetian Book of Living And Dying

Recommended by: Leena Nair, CHRO, Unilever

The book by meditation master Soygal Rinpoche shows an uncanny vision of life and death. Leena Nair recommends this book to introduce the spiritual meaning of life and death after the present times of pandemic. The book touches upon the concepts of life and death as explained in Buddhist traditions. It shows how practising meditation can have a positive impact on life. Not only this, but it also presents the idea of how to care for and give love and compassion to the dying. The book explores concepts like evolution, rebirth, and karma. It shows a practical guide to incorporate meditation in daily life and the importance of practising compassion.

2. The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good, by Michael Sandel

Recommended by: Dario Gil, Director, IBM Research

Analyzing the dark side of meritocracy, the book by Michael Sundel touches upon the negative impact of obsession with achievement. Dario Gill considers that the book has taken turns on an unusual concept. The author argues that meritocracies are overpowering democracies in the present world. He states that we are living in the world of winners and losers. All the perks are already in favour of the winners. He presents the idea of rethinking the defining factors of success and failure. The book shows how these traditional concepts have resulted in increased globalization and inequality. It points towards a hopeful vision of transformed politics.


The world of HR is constantly growing and developing. A good HR professional has to dedicate themselves to gaining more and more conceptual knowledge for better decision making. In this changing world, one has to constantly develop traditional beliefs and concepts. The above recommended HRM books help HR professionals to keep up with the changes and develop their role in an organization.


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