The Best HR Books of 2023: Essential Reads for UK Employers and HR Professionals

Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends in human resources.


James Rowland

Commercial Director James leads Account Management, Sales and Marketing at Neathouse Partners.


18 September 2023


17 July 2024
5 min read

Whether you're steering an HR department, mentoring a team, or running an entire business, it's crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends in human resources.

Why? Because a well-informed leader is an empowered one, better equipped to create a motivated workforce, foster an inclusive environment, and propel your business to new heights.

At Neathouse Partners, we're passionate about making the world of employment law and HR accessible and manageable for everyone—from small businesses to large enterprises.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, we've compiled a list of the top 10 must-read HR books for 2023 that will fuel your strategy, refresh your perspective, and prepare you for whatever your employees throw your way.


The Essential HR Handbook

1. The Essential HR Handbook by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell

  • £10.49 from Amazon

Your one-stop guide to navigating complex people and legal challenges—from onboarding new talent to avoiding courtroom pitfalls. The Essential HR Handbook is the toolkit every manager needs for workplace success.

This book is the Swiss Army knife for anyone in HR. It's filled with best practices for managing your workforce, creating meaningful relationships, and navigating complex HR challenges. Not just a manual, it's a masterclass in HR strategy that aligns with the UK's worker protection laws.



2. Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World’s Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organisations by Josh Bersin

  • £8.29 on Kindle

Transform Your Leadership, Ignite Your Culture: Irresistible delivers seven game-changing principles for creating magnetic organisations.

Elevate your business by embracing a network of empowered teams, where people and culture drive unprecedented growth and innovation. From fostering engagement to developing your talent, this book aligns well with the principles set forth in the UK's Good Work Plan.


Remote not Distant

3. Remote Not Distant: Design a Company Culture That Will Help You Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace by Gustavo Razzetti

  • £16.58 from Amazon

Adapt or Be Left Behind: Razzetti offers a roadmap that resonates strongly with the UK's flexible working regulations, helping you to maintain both compliance and a strong team spirit. Unlock the secrets to thriving in a post-pandemic world with Remote, Not Distant. Learn how to redefine your workplace culture for a successful hybrid model, leveraging insights from industry giants like Amazon and Microsoft. Your roadmap to the future of work is here, complete with actionable tools and mindset shifts.


Diversity in the Workplace

4. Diversity in the Workplace by Bärí A. Williams

  • £13.25 from Amazon

In line with the UK's Equality Act 2010, this book is a potent resource for understanding the importance of diversity, inclusion, and fairness in the workplace. Dive into Diversity in the Workplace for real-life perspectives, key takeaways, and actionable tips on building an equitable environment. With 25 interviews, you'll explore intersectionality across race, gender, and more, helping your organisation progress toward a bias-conscious future.


Built for People

5. Built for People: Transform Your Employee Experience Using Product Management Principles by Jessica Zwaan

£29.15 from Amazon

How do you treat your employees? As assets or as customers of the employee experience? This book flips conventional HR on its head. Built for People is your comprehensive guide to transforming HR by employing a product-management approach. From evidence-based decision-making to sprint planning and continuous feedback, this book equips HR professionals and business leaders with the tools and strategies to elevate both employee experience and business performance at scale.


6. Effective Hiring: Mastering the Interview, Offer, and Onboarding by Paul Falcone

£7.69 Amazon

Recruitment is an art and a science. Paul Falcone offers sage advice to Get Hiring Right, Every Time: This quick guide to Effective Hiring equips you with actionable scripts, templates, and insights for every step of the hiring process. From dissecting candidate responses to identifying red flags, this book is your indispensable tool for recruiting top talent effortlessly.


7. Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance by Lars Schmidt

£20.67 from Amazon

Progressive HR practices aren't just a trend; they're a necessity. Schmidt’s book provides an all-in-one guide to modernising every aspect of Human Resources—from recruitment to rewards. Packed with actionable insights from leading-edge companies like Hubspot and Stripe, this book offers a practical framework for driving business results through innovative people management.


8. Fully Staffed: Finding & Keeping Great Employees in the Worst Labor Market Ever by Eric Chester

In a candidate's market, how do you attract the best talent? Chester’s book resonates with the CIPD’s guidance on Employer Branding, offering a modern approach to recruitment that will set your organisation apart. "Fully Staffed" uncovers the guerrilla recruiting tactics and bold strategies that small companies and franchises are using to attract, develop, and retain top-notch employees in hard-to-fill positions across various industries. Get ready to change the way you approach staffing forever.


Agile HR

9. Agile HR: Deliver Value in a Changing World of Work by Natal Dank and Riina Hellström

Agility isn't just for tech teams anymore. This book demonstrates how HR can adopt agile methodologies, aligning with the UK’s agile governance recommendations to improve performance and adaptability Agile HR is your go-to guide for transforming traditional, siloed HR processes into agile practices that not only align with business goals but drive performance. This comprehensive manual is filled with case studies and actionable insights to help HR professionals navigate the new world of work, prioritising activities for continuous business improvement.


Work Rules

10. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Transform Your Workplace with Google's Secrets: Dive into Work Rules! to uncover the innovative principles and practices that make Google one of the best places to work. From rethinking management to empowering smarter hiring, this manifesto offers a comprehensive blueprint to not only attract top talent but also create an environment where creativity meets structure for measurable success and quality of life. Are you ready to redefine how you work and live?


The Power of Reading for Learning and Development

The Power of Reading for Learning and Development

One of the most enduring and flexible methods of professional development is reading. Books are a treasure trove of knowledge, accessible at your own pace and convenience and can be shared amongst colleagues. Unlike face-to-face or online courses, which often have a rigid structure and timetable, books allow for a more personalised and interesting learning experience. You can skip chapters that aren't relevant, re-read sections that are complex, and even combine insights from multiple books to gain a more rounded understanding of a subject.


Books Complement Formal Training

It's not about replacing courses with books but understanding how each can complement the other. Courses, whether online or face-to-face, offer their own set of advantages, such as interactive learning, practical exercises, and the opportunity to interact with experts and peers and get immediate feedback. However, books can fill the gaps by offering additional insights, case studies, or viewpoints that you might not encounter in a standard course. Books can also be a cost-effective method of learning and development that can be consumed at your own pace, offering a flexible learning schedule.

The most effective learning and development strategy is often a blended one. Engaging in courses for their interactive benefits and structured learning, while also diving into books for deeper, self-paced understanding, can offer a well-rounded educational experience. This hybrid approach ensures you stay on top of the latest methods, thoughts and themes across HR practices.



Equip yourself and your team with these essential reads for a better understanding of the modern HR landscape. Not only will these books aid you in meeting the challenges of today, but they'll also help you anticipate the needs of tomorrow, safeguarding your business and your employees.

Happy reading!


Next Steps

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