Working in the Human Resources department requires a special set of skills. It takes passion, dedication and commitment to human interactions as well as a mindset of development and growth.

But before one becomes a professional, he has to have experience, and knowledge from experts in the field. And what better way to gain knowledge by picking the brains of some of the best minds in the world! Here are a few books that are a must read for those in the Human Resources department.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

As the saying goes, “You cannot give what you do not have.” How can an HR expect to empower others when he is not empowered himself? The purpose of Stephen Covey with this book is to inspire and change the individual from within. He talks about how highly effective people are those with a continuous commitment to excellence: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

1501 Ways to Reward Employees

After self-improvement, comes consistency. And what better way to enforce consistency than by establishing a rewards system?
Written by Bob Nelson PHd., this book offers creative ways of incentivizing employees at work in order for them to stay focused and motivated. Ideas range from actual company practices from around the globe, “such as Wells Fargo’s thank you e-cards, to JC Penney’s affirmation of new managers in a moving ceremony.” This would prove to be quite useful for HR personnel who are looking for ideas to inspire their own employees.

96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire

In every company, the quest for great employees never end. Perhaps due to company expansion, job openings are present; or maybe the company is looking towards improving its lackluster roster. This book from HR rockstar Paul Falcone will help the HR ask beyond the superficial questions; beyond the experimental “manhole cover” novelties. When used correctly, it will help the company find the next great asset to add to its roster. And he has solid cred to back it up: he has held senior-level positions with Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Time Warner, among others. As one book review puts it, “… [it’s] invaluable in telling how to organize interviews to best identify high-performance candidates and how to spot evasions and untruths.”

Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead

Perhaps one of the more unconventional choices for this book list is this gem which challenges the traditional performance appraisal system as seriously outdated. And with good reason; these systems have been in place and have been used in corporations ever since World War II. As Amazon reviewer Steve Calandro puts it, “Coens and Jenkins capture and dispel all the well-meaning assumptions of traditional Performance Appraisals, while also providing solid performance-based alternatives.” Want to know more about this radical perspective? Read the book to find out!

The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers

When you want to find the right solution to an important HR problem, what do you do? Do you google HR forums and try to find the answers there, and risk experimenting with unverified approaches? Or would you rather stick with tried and tested methods, reliably used by experts in the industry? The HR Answer book is a comprehensive instruction guide which contains solutions to over 200 of the most vital HR questions. Hiring, downsizing, firing, payroll, harassment, — and that’s only scratching the surface. It can be used as a quick reference guide, handy for situations which call for an immediate resolution.


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