4 Must-Have Books, Podcasts and Tools for HR Pros

4 Must-Have Books, Podcasts and Tools for HR Pros

Author: Rosie Greaves, LaborIQ Staff Writer

Feb 2, 2022

HR professionals wear a lot of hats - from handling personnel issues to being the go-between managers and employees to managing employment policies, benefits, payroll, recruitment, maternity, sick leave, etc.

The bottom line: HR managers have lots on their plates. Day job aside, keeping up-to-date on all the latest HR trends, compliance, social developments, etc., is imperative for staying up to speed on all the latest trends and market dynamics.

To this end, we’ve compiled our top four books, podcasts and must-have tools for staying in the know.

Let’s get started.

4 Must-Have Books, Podcasts and Tools for HR Pros

Our Top Four HR Books

There are thousands of books for HR pros to choose from, which, needless to say, makes narrowing down your options difficult.

So, to help streamline your search, we've listed our top four picks:

Bring Your Human to Work, by Erica Keswin

Erica Keswin’s Bring Your Human to Work takes a humanist approach to team leadership, focusing on employers forming better working relationships with employees. The book also looks at the impact and consequence of our language choices. Kewswin also discusses some of the top HR practices used by big-name companies like SoulCycle and Starbucks.

With an average 4 to 5-star reader rating on Amazon, this book is undoubtedly a popular choice for HR professionals.

Available in: print, ebook, and audiobook.

Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live And Lead,by Laszlo Bock

Bock is a former senior vice president of People Operations at Google. His book offers unique insights into working at Google and how employers can achieve that delicate workplace balance between structure and creativity. In addition, he writes about psychology and behavioral economics in a way that’s engaging and fun to read.

This is an excellent book for HR professionals looking to delve into life at Google and learn more about:

  • The importance of learning from employees
  • Hiring people more clever than themselves
  • Giving employees greater freedom at work.

Work Rules! has an average 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and similarly high praise on Good Reads.

Available in: print, ebook, and audio (narrated by Bock).

Talent Keepers: How Leaders Engage and Retain Top Performers, by Christopher Mulligan and Craig Taylor

The well-noted skills shortage and the so-called Great Resignation continue to be much-discussed topics. While published in 2019, this book discusses creating workable strategies to retain employees under such challenging circumstances, using real-life case studies to illustrate its points. This book also discusses the shift toward recruiting Millennials.

The book is frequently cited on several blogs as one of the best books every HR pro should read.

Available in: print, ebook, and audiobook.

HR From the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources, by Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank, & Mike Ulrich

HR from the Outside In is a technical read, presenting plenty of HR data, including survey responses and real-life HR experiences. All of which, when compiled together, provide HR pros with a better understanding of their role.

The reference to “Outside In” is because this thought-provoking book looks at HR against the backdrop of demographic, societal, economic, political, and technological changes in the outside world.

The reader is also provided with tools and frameworks to help them add greater value to their organization.

Impressively, 70% of Amazon readers give this book a 5-star rating.

Available in: Print and ebook.

Top Four Podcasts

While reading is an excellent way to explore new topics, podcasts enable you to listen to information while you’re on the go. You can delve into podcasts at any time - for instance, during your commute, while doing household chores, walking the dog, etc. In short, they're a super-easy way to consume helpful information.

That said, here are our top four picks:

Working with People Podcast

This podcast provides valuable insights from people experts. It aims to provide the info you need to better manage your talent and get the most out of your staff and yourself.

It covers various topics, including beneficial skills for new managers and how to actively engage with remote workers.

In short, this podcast is pretty engaging and covers current HR issues to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Available on: Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

HR Works: The Podcast for Human Resources

Aptly named, this podcast is explicitly created with HR professionals in mind, providing listeners with relevant, current, and actionable information across a multitude of HR-related topics.

Available on: Apple Podcasts

Redefining HR

Hosted by Lars Schmidt, this podcast explores the latest thinking in HR professionalism. Each week a new speaker joins the show and speaks with Schmidt on various HR topics such as teambuilding, what can be done better in HR, and what drives them in their HR-related role.

This conversational podcast is laidback and provides real-life stories from HR leaders and businesses worldwide.

Available on: Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

HR Leaders Podcast

In this daily podcast, Chris Rainey leads insightful discussions designed to help HR leaders and aspiring HR leaders. He covers issues like inclusion, diversity and people analytics. Experts in the field are invited onto the podcast to discuss these issues, with previous guest speakers sharing their HR experience with brands like Lego and FirstSource.

Available on: Itunes, Youtube, Tunein, Spotify, Stitcher, and RSS Feed.

Top Four Tools

Considering the average job opening may attract around 250 resumes, HR professionals are short on time even with the best recruitment software. So, to help streamline your operations, we’ve listed our top four HR tools to help you get the most out of each business day:

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy

Current, accurate data has become the HR professional’s must-have tool, which is precisely what LaborIQ offers. This talent intelligence software provides employers and HR professionals reports and forecasts on current employment conditions. In addition, subscribers access invaluable information on salary and compensation package recommendations for more than 20,000 job titles across multiple geographical areas and demographics.

LaborIQ eliminates the guesswork so that HR professionals have all the hiring information they need at their fingertips to fuel their hiring strategies.


With 4.7 million of us working remotely since COVID-19, providing recognition at work can be difficult. In fact, more than 68% of remote workers say they don’t feel as motivated or interested in their work because everything they do goes unnoticed.

This is where a tool like Assembly comes in handy. Assembly is a worker recognition tool that identifies and rewards hard or good work, which boosts office morale. Pricing is tailored to your company's needs and how many employees will use the tool.


HR professionals should always look for new ways to engage employees and boost morale. Volunteering, encouraging workers to try new things and starting positive habits are all ways HR can help achieve increased engagement.

Alaya lets employees volunteer physically and online and connects with the local community through fundraisers. Not to mention, it promotes a purpose-driven culture within your organization.

You can contact Alaya directly for a custom quote.


Gusto provides everything HR professionals need to handle payroll, employee benefits, time and attendance, onboarding and hiring, insights and reporting, and talent management, among other things.

Pricing for Gusto varies according to your business size and the pricing tier that meets your needs.

Are You Ready to Up Your HR Game?

So there we have it, four of our favorite HR books, podcasts and tools to help elevate your HR game.

We’re confident that HR professionals will find inspiration in some of our thought-provoking books and podcast selections. These can be shared and discussed with colleagues, and the lessons learned can help influence future management, hiring and retention practices. On top of this, tools such as those provided by ThinkWhy are invaluable in today’s competitive hiring and retention climate. Not only are they time-saving, but they can also offer valuable insights into modern HR methods. Contact us today for more information about how ThinkWhy can help you and your organization achieve your hiring and retention goals!

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