Human Resources

7 Essential HR Books You Need to Read in 2020



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2020 is set to be an interesting year for HR, with new developments and innovations ready to change the profession.

To keep ahead of the curve and develop your professional practice, delve into these new HR books. Learn how to manage change, recruit the best professionals, and progress your HR career with these top reads for 2020.




The Essential HR Handbook by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell

Now on its tenth edition, The Essential HR Handbook has long been relied on by HR professionals. This book contains instructions and advice on a multitude of HR topics, including strategic HR, talent management, onboarding, diversity, employment law and more.

The practical nature of the book means that you can easily consult it in a variety of situations, using it as a reference guide after the first read-through. As new editions are released annually, you can rest assured that the information is correct and relevant for the current climate of HR.

Get a copy on Amazon.


HR Beyond the Theory by Charles Goff-Deakins

Career development expert (and ICS Learn CIPD graduate!) Charles Goff-Deakins provides practical career advice for HR practitioners, covering everything from getting your first job in HR to data analytics.

The book is written in a snappy and approachable manner, with Goff-Deakins giving a wry take on the biggest challenges of working in HR. From his own experience, he teaches readers how best to communicate to get the information they need, take their professional practice to the next level, and keep up with the latest trends.

Read our full review of HR Beyond the Theory or go ahead and get your copy on Amazon.




Driving Performance Through Learning by Andy Lancaster

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking of learning as a fixed concept, but the truth is that learning can be as varied as the individual. In this book, Lancaster helps us to unlearn the ideas and concepts that hinder progress at work.

Lancaster explores these through research, anecdotes and case studies. He also prompts the reader to recap at the end of each chapter through small activities which can really help you to assess whether you’ve absorbed the material.

The writing style is light on jargon, and tricky concepts are broken down into simple analogies ensuring that you really get a handle on the important stuff.

Get your copy from Kogan Page.


A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind

While many of us are aware that automation is becoming ever-more sophisticated, considering the real impact that this will have on the world of work can be overwhelming.

Understanding where humans fit into this future is essential for HR professionals, as we can shape this automation and seek to reskill workers. In this book, Susskind uses an evidence-based approach to shine a light on ‘automation anxiety’ and offer a thought-provoking arguement.

Susskind will challenge many of your preconceived notions about automation and the impact that it will have on the workplace. By assessing historical workplace changes and technological advancements, Susskind forecasts the economic and social effects of automation.

If you enjoy this book as much as we did, then don't miss your chance to watch Susskind speak at the upcoming CIPD Middle East People Conference and Awards!

Get your copy on Amazon.


Competitive People Strategy by Kevin Green

Every business wants to get the best possible person for a job, but they can’t all achieve this. This book teaches HR professionals to create a competitive people strategy, which ensures they consistently choose from the best candidates.

Green advocates for businesses to view candidates as customers, marketing to them as they would a potential customer. He covers everything from creating a desirable culture to the changing digital landscape of recruitment.

If your organisation struggles to recruit and retain top performers, then this is a very worthwhile read.

Pick up a copy from Kogan Page.




Employment Law by David Lewis and Malcolm Sargeant

Now more than ever, a sound knowledge of employment law is essential for HR practitioners. Brexit, the gig economy, new technology, and many more factors compound the role of keeping an organisation compliant.

With frightening financial consequences for businesses that don’t toe the line, it’s little wonder that this knowledge is so valuable. Employment Law is a fantastic reference book that you can consult at your leisure. It sets out the responsibilities, consequences, and processes that you need to be aware of to be an effective practitioner.

The case studies and analysis that the book provides can be readily applied to situations that you encounter in your own organisation.

Get your copy from Kogan Page.


The HR Change Toolkit: Your complete guide to making it happen by Lucy Adams

Creating change in the workplace is often easier said than done. If you’ve ever had an idea to improve HR that stalled in implementation, then this book can guide you as to where you went wrong.

Adams walks the reader through different scenarios and factors that influence the success of change. From her own experience, Adams outlines the neuroscience and theories that impact the way that change is perceived. She then discusses how best to use this information to give your initiatives the best chance of success.

Using her background as an HR Director and consultant, Adams illustrates her theories with real-world examples.

Pick up a copy on Amazon.



No matter how you want to develop your professional practice in 2020, these books can help you on your way to success. Check out our previous book lists for even more recommendations!


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