Let’s face it. There are too many professional books one can read in a lifespan. This list of People Analytics and HR-Tech books is not exceptional. I won’t be able to complete reading all of it, though I do have these books on my Kindle, ready for browsing. I find here inspiration, blended with practical guidance, validation for my practices, mixed with new ideas and innovative tools, but most of all, an “open door” to a professional community, which I’m happy and honored to be a part of it. So here is my People Analytics and HR-Tech reading list on Kindle, ordered chronologically, from newest to oldest. Click titles for Kindle versions (Work in progress. First published: May 14th, 2018. Last update: August 26th, 2021. Total kindle books mentioned: 50). If you are interested in additional free resources to data science and R programming, check the comment section of this post.
Introduction to HR Technologies: Understand How to Use Technology to Improve Performance and Processes
Stacey Harris (2021). “Technology can have huge benefits for the HR function: saving time by streamlining processes, boosting engagement by enabling analysis of people data or improving employee development by allowing staff to access the content they need on different platforms, wherever and whenever they need it. However, with more apps, software, and platforms than ever before, the volume and variety of available technologies can be overwhelming. The book offers a clear, accessible, and jargon-free guide for HR professionals to understand how to use technologies to add tangible business value. It covers all the core areas of HR including recruitment, performance management, learning and development (L&D), and reward. There is also discussion of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) and what they mean for HR”.
Introducing HR Analytics with Machine Learning: Empowering Practitioners, Psychologists, and Organizations
Christopher M. Rosett and Austin Hagerty (2021). “For today’s organizational psychologists to successfully work with their partners, they must go beyond behavioral science into the realms of computing and business acumen. Similarly, today’s data scientists must appreciate the unique aspects of behavioral data and the circumstances surrounding HR data and HR systems. Finally, traditional HR professionals must become familiar with research methods, statistics, and data systems to collaborate with these new specialized partners and teams. The book introduces these areas and guides on building the connectivity across domains required to establish well-rounded skills for individuals and best practices for organizations when applying advanced analytics to workforce data. It will also introduce machine learning and where it fits within the larger HR Analytics framework”.
Keith McNulty (2021). “Despite the recent rapid growth in machine learning and predictive analytics, many of the statistical questions that are faced by researchers and practitioners still involve explaining why something is happening. Regression analysis is the best ‘Swiss army knife’ we have for answering these kinds of questions. This book is a learning resource on inferential statistics and regression analysis. It teaches how to do a wide range of statistical analyses in both R and in Python, ranging from simple hypothesis testing to advanced multivariate modeling. It is primarily focused on examples related to the analysis of people and talent, and includes a step-by-step guide and easily reproducible examples and code so that the methods can be put into practice immediately”.
The Science of Dream Teams: How Talent Optimization Can Drive Engagement, Productivity, and Happiness
Mike Zani (2021). “The book details a data-driven approach to talent optimization that makes hiring, motivating, and managing people more efficient and effective. It employs sophisticated assessments, tools, and software that enable leaders to: measure the traits and characteristics that predict success in a role or fit on a team, build finely tuned project teams and well-balanced leadership teams, boost employee productivity, engagement, retention—and happiness, unlock the hidden potential of individual workers and your organization as a whole”.
Jonathan Ferrar, David Green (2021). “Effectively and ethically leveraging people data to deliver real business value is what sets the best HR leaders and teams apart. The book provides practical guidance on how to create sustainable business value with people analytics and develop a data-driven culture in HR. It allows HR professionals and business executives to translate their data into tangible actions to improve business performance while navigating the rapidly evolving world of work. Following a nine dimensions model, the book demonstrates how to use people data to increase profits, improve staff retention and workplace productivity as well as develop individual employee experience”.
Michael Walsh (2021). “The book covers the following topics: Define what HR Analytics can do for an organization, Determine the best HR analytics role, Assess the readiness of organizations for undergoing a study using HR analytics, Apply HR Analytics in various HR disciplines, including recruiting and staffing, labor negotiations, incentives, and training, Use Excel to efficiently manage data for your HR analytics. The book walks readers through the many benefits of using analytics to make better people decisions. As it shows, HR Analytics is both an art and a science that can help organizations make informed decisions that benefit all stakeholders, including employees”.
Adam Gibson (2021). “As business priorities change and focus shifts to address arising issues, HR professionals need to be able to reorganize talent swiftly and plan for future needs to enable the business to succeed. The book covers how to use agile workforce planning to forecast organizational demand for people, resources, and skills, and how to analyze and fill the gap between supply and demand. This is a practical guide for HR and organization development practitioners needing to align their staff, skills, and resources with evolving company goals. It also covers how to identify the skills needed in the workforce, where these skills are already available and when they’re missing, how to decide whether to buy, borrow or build them. It explains how to collect data to calculate and predict staff churn as well as how to use qualitative and quantitative demand modeling to forecast for future needs and provides strategies to address these including lateral internal recruitment”.
Sharna Wiblen (Editor) (2021). “The book focuses on the use of information technologies in talent management. It affords theoretically, methodologically, and empirically informed insights that are especially salient given the need for executives and organizations to balance the role of humans and technology while ensuring competitiveness in an interconnected and increasingly digital world. It contributes to the industry conversations about the role of technological innovations in enabling organizations to transition towards digital ways of organizing talent, and the implications for different stakeholders. The book adds value by assembling subject matter experts currently siloed within traditional research domains whilst also highlighting the complexity of managing talent”.
Nadeem Khan and Dave Millner (2020). “An understanding of people analytics is a crucial skill for all HR professionals and an integral part of every HR job. This book allows all HR professionals to get to grips with analytics, feel confident in their ability to handle employee and organizational data, and use analytics to move from opinions to insights. It covers key questions: Where to find data in an organization? How to collect it and analyze it? How to use the findings to add business value? With case studies and thought leadership insights from companies who have leveraged people analytics to improve culture and employee engagement, increase performance and reduce costs, this book shows how and where HR analytics can make a tangible difference to organizations”.
Soumyasanto Sen (2020). “A crucial reading for HR practitioners and leaders about organization adaptation to changing and increasingly competitive environment. The book features case studies and covers the importance of cultural change and creating a human-centric employee experience, leveraging value propositions, and harnessing data insights and analytics to improve performance. It also explores frameworks, strategies, and opportunities for wellbeing initiatives, upskilling and reskilling workforces to respond to and establishing a culture of collaboration and innovation”.
Fermin Diez (2019). “The future of the Human Resource Management profession is inextricably linked to understanding data analytics. The book provides practical, hands-on approaches to connect data to HR policies and practices to help influence overall business performance. It makes understanding and engaging with data analytics possible for professionals at all levels. Leveraging key statistical and financial concepts, including ROI and people productivity, and commonly available tools, it explores key skills and tasks in an accessible and illuminating way, including data-analytic thinking, data management, data collection, clean-up, and warehousing, building descriptive and predictive models, applying HR analytics skills and tools to workforce planning, recruitment, training, and turnover analysis”.
John W. Boudreau, Wayne F. Cascio, Alexis A. Fink (2019). “The future of work, talent, and employment are changing at an unprecedented pace, and organizational decisions about investment in people are under increasing scrutiny. Leaders’ decisions about human resources are crucial in an uncertain and interconnected world, yet decisions about people remain among the least systematic and evidence-based, compared to resources such as money and technology. The book draws upon state-of-the-art practice and research across disciplines including psychology, economics, accounting, and finance to provide HR professionals and leaders with proven guidelines for evaluating key HR initiatives. It is based on a comprehensive framework that clarifies and supports strategic linkages between investments in human capital and important outcomes that senior leaders most care about, such as talent acquisition, engagement, learning, customer service, and higher financial returns”.
Martin Edwards and Kirsten Edwards (2019). “Organizational people-related data is an invaluable source of information from which to identify patterns to make effective business decisions. HR practitioners often lack statistical and analytical know-how. The book provides a clear, accessible framework for understanding People Analytics. It includes examples, such as employee engagement, performance, and turnover. It shows how to use the results to develop effective evidence-based HR strategies. This 2nd edition has been updated to include machine learning, biased algorithms, data protection, GDPR considerations, and a new example using survival analyses. A new appendix shows main R coding, and online resources consisting of SPSS and Excel data sets”.
Mong Shen Ng (2019). “This book teaches you R (open-source programming language), People Analytics, Text Mining and Sentiment Analysis. It is written for people with no knowledge of R, with step-by-step print-screen instructions. The book covers the full People Analytics scope (Benefits, Compensation, Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, Engagement, Leadership, Learning & Development, Personality Traits, Performance Management, Recruitment, Sales Incentives) with numerous real-world examples, and shows how R can help”.
Mike West (2019). “This book shows you how to collect data, analyze that data, and then apply your findings to create a happier and more engaged workforce: Start a people analytics project, work with qualitative data, collect data via communications, find the right tools, and approach for analyzing data”.
Talya Bauer, Berrin Erdogan, David E. Caughlin, and Donald M. Truxillo (2018). “The authors introduce the fundamentals of talent management with integrated coverage of data analytics and how they can be used to inform and support decisions about people in an organization. Features tied to SHRM competencies and data exercises give readers hands-on opportunities to practice the analytical and decision-making skills they need to excel in today’s job market. Engaging examples illustrate key HRM concepts and theories, which brings many traditional HRM topics concepts to life”.
Ben Eubanks (2018). “From using natural language processing to ensure job adverts are free from bias and gendered language to implementing chatbots to enhance the employee experience, AI has created a variety of opportunities for the HR function. Artificial Intelligence for HR empowers HR professionals to leverage this potential and use AI to improve efficiency and develop a talented and productive workforce”.
Eduardo Valencia (2018). “We have more information at our disposal about tastes, opinions, and certain behaviors that could be very useful in making decisions about performance, salaries, turnover rate, leaves of absence, etc. Accordingly, People Analytics processes that information through analysis tools that allow you to look at talent management decisions in a new way. People Analytics is based on data analysis as opposed to traditional methods of relationships or personal experiences. People Analytics offers a unique opportunity for human capital professionals to position themselves as strategic senior management partners, using analytically proven techniques to hire and retain employees who drive higher value in companies”.
Nir Kaldero (2018). “Machine intelligence has had a more unprecedented impact on business than the internet, and it’s the only path to corporate survival in the future. This book dispels the myths and confusion surrounding this game-changing technology and provides practical strategies for harnessing its profitable power”.
Rachael Johnson-Murray, Lindsay McFarlane, Valerie Streets, Shonna Waters (2018). “The need for HR professionals to understand and apply data analytics is greater than ever. Today’s successful HR professionals must ask insightful questions, understand key terms, and intelligently apply data, but may lack a clear understanding of the many forms, types, applications, interpretations, and capabilities of HR analytics. HR Analytics provides a practical approach to using data to solve real HR challenges in organizations and demystifies analytics with clear guidelines and recommendations for making the business case, starting an HR analytics function, avoiding common pitfalls, presenting data through visualization and storytelling, and much more”.
Deborah Waddill (2018). “In times when HR leaders implement innovative technologies, such as Watson, AI, predictive modeling, and real-time analytics are being, this book can help. It offers the practical insights, real-world case studies, tips and tools, recommendations, and additional resources, to guide HR practitioners through each of the major technologies and to address vital strategic and implementation issues, that eventually enhance, enable, revitalize, and empower Human Resources”.
Edward E. Lawler and John W. Boudreau (2018). “the book delivers new findings of what makes HR successful and how it can add value to today’s organizations. Tracing changes in a global sample of firms, it provides an international benchmark against which to measure a company’s HR practice. HR is most powerful when it plays a strategic role, makes use of information technology, and has tangible metrics and analytics. The authors offer insights about HR’s changing role in strategy, big data, social and knowledge networks, and the gig economy”.
Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations
Michael Arena (2018). “In this book, Michael Arena, an organizational networks expert who helped enable GM’s legendary turnaround, explains how to transform a company through the concept of adaptive space: enabling creativity, innovation, and novel ideas to flow freely among teams, across departments, and throughout the company. Using GM case study and other highly adaptive organizations, Arena provides a model to follow.”
Bernard Marr (2018). “A practical guide which enables HR professionals to leverage the value of the vast amount of data available at their fingertips. Covering how to identify the most useful sources of data, collect information in a transparent way that is in line with data protection requirements and turn this data into real insights.”
Ross Sparkman (2018). “A playbook for workforce planning from beginning to end. It enables HR professionals to answer core business questions including how do I analyze future hiring demand? How do I assess what skills will be required in the future? How should I prioritize investments like training and development? How do I assess the supply of talent around the world? How do I identify the business drivers that impact workforce demand? It also covers the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), automation and machine learning on the global workforce and how to deal with these implications.”
Tracey Smith (2018). “The book aims to proactively plan to put the right people, in the right place, at the right time at the right cost in order to mitigate workforce risk. Written by the former head of global strategic workforce planning for FedEx Express, this basic introduction guides the reader through the planning framework and presents practical tools and approaches for successful implementation. It also discusses some of the major challenges of implementation facing leaders today”.
Lyndon Sundmark (2017). “The book seeks to cut through the jargon and hype that currently accompanies the current state of this field. It provides foundational definitions and concepts, a suggested ‘known’ analytics framework, and practical illustrative examples of how to make use of analytics to address HR issues. It gets you to think informationally about ‘all’ of HR, and offers examples that ‘scratch the surface’ of what is possible.”
The Power of People: How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics to Improve Business Performance
Nigel Guenole, Jonathan Ferrar and Sheri Feinzig (2017). “Drawing on incisive case studies and vignettes, three experts help you bring purpose and clarity to any workforce analytics project, with robust research design and analysis to get reliable insights. They reveal where to start, where to find stakeholder support, and how to earn “quick wins” to build upon.”
The Data-Driven Leader: A Powerful Approach to Delivering Measurable Business Impact through People Analytics
Jenny Dearborn and David Swanson (2017). “How to transform the HR function and overall organizational effectiveness by using data to make decisions grounded in facts vs. opinions, identify causes behind your company’s thorniest problems and move toward a winning, future-focused business strategy. Realistic and actionable, this book tells the story of a successful sales executive who, after leading an analytics-driven turnaround (in Data-Driven, this book’s predecessor), faces a new turnaround challenge as chief human resources officer.”
Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris (2017). “The roadmap for becoming an analytical competitor, this book shows how to create new strategies for organizations based on sophisticated analytics, introduces a five-stage model of analytical competition, and describes typical behaviors, capabilities, and challenges of each stage. It equally emphasizes human and technological resources, and contains examples from different industries and business functions”.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (2017). “Bridging the gap between the psychological science of talent and common real-world talent practices, this book aims to educate HR practitioners and leaders on how to measure, predict and manage talent. It provides a data-driven solution to the common problems around employee selection, development, and engagement; how to define and evaluate talent; how to detect and inhibit toxic employee behaviors; and how to identify and harness leadership potential.”
People Analytics in the Era of Big Data: Changing the Way You Attract, Acquire, Develop, and Retain Talent
Jean Paul Isson and Jesse S. Harriott (2016). “This book presents a practical framework for real-world talent analytics, backed by groundbreaking examples of workforce analytics in action across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Leverage predictive analytics throughout the hiring process, Utilize analytics techniques for more effective workforce management, Learn how people analytics benefits organizations of all sizes in various industries, Integrate analytics into HR practices seamlessly and thoroughly.”
Martin Edwards and Kirsten Edwards (2016). “Where other functions of an organization deal in profits, sales growth, forecasts, and strategic planning, the HR function is responsible for employee well-being, engagement, and motivation. Such concerns do not immediately conjure up images of analytical know-how, even though in reality the management of such things often requires a lot of measurement and technical skill. The book provides a clear, accessible framework with which to understand and work with HR analytics at an advanced level.”
John R. Mattox II, Mark Van Buren and Jean Martin (2016). “The book provides a framework for understanding how to work with learning analytics at an advanced level. It focuses on the questions that training evaluation is intended to answer: is training effective and how can it be improved? It discusses the field of learning analytics, outlines how and why analytics can be useful, offers examples of approaches to answering these questions and looks at the valuable role that technology has to play.”
Ramesh Soundararajan and Kuldeep Singh (2016). “HR analytics is pivotal in identifying, measuring and articulating the objectives and outcomes of different programs. Consider predicting which high performers were at risk of leaving six months before they walked out the door, or triage incoming resumes overnight to predict employee success and tenure before you hire. It is possible with sophisticated technology and analytics, as demonstrated by companies such as Google, Walmart, and American Express.”
Alec Levenson (2015). “Business people who devise the strategies and the human resources people who get employees to implement them use completely different analytics. Business analytics can determine if operational priorities aren’t being achieved but can’t explain why. HR analytics reveal potentially effective policy and process improvements but can’t identify which would have the greatest strategic impact. This book shows how to use an integrated approach to bring these two pieces together.”
Optimize Your Greatest Asset – Your People: How to Apply Analytics to Big Data to Improve Your Human Capital Investments
Gene Pease (2015). “The author offers a framework for optimizing human capital investments through predictive analysis. You’ll learn how to transition from anecdotes and surveys to more advanced measurement techniques and combine the data from multiple systems into a unified plan of action that improves business results. The book includes practical examples and case studies to show how these techniques are applied in real-world settings, and executives and thought leaders weigh in on how advanced analytics are informing better business decisions every day.”
Laszlo Bock (2015). “A compelling manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live, Laszlo Bock, Ex. Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations offers both a philosophy of the new world of work and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent and ensuring the brightest and best prosper.”
Jack Phillips and Patricia Pulliam Phillips (2015). “The tools and techniques you need to use analytics to show top decision-makers the value of HR in your organization. Focusing on three types of analytics, descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive, the book shows how you can apply analytics by Developing relationships between variables, Predicting the success of HR programs, Determining the cost of intangibles that are otherwise difficult to value, Showing the business value of particular HR programs, Calculating and forecasting the ROI of various HR projects and programs.”
Jac Fitz-Enz and John Mattox (2014). “The book explains the basics of every business: the vision, the brand, and the culture, and shows how predictive analytics supports them. The authors put the focus on the fundamentals of predictability and include a framework of logical questions to help set up an analytic program or project, then follow up by offering a clear explanation of statistical applications.”
David Lahey (2014). “A practical guide for using analytics to finding the perfect member for a team and avoiding bad culture fits, mismatched skillsets, entitled workers, and other hiring missteps that drain the team of productivity and morale. The book provides guidance toward implementing tools to build the best teams and achieve best outcomes.”
Alec Levenson (2014). “Poorly designed employee surveys frustrate participants, analysts, and executives and can end up doing more harm than good. The book offers sensible, practical ways to make surveys more useful and accurate and provides specific advice for ensuring that the purpose and desired outcomes of surveys are clear, the questions are designed to provide the most relevant and accurate data, and the results are actionable. It also covers the best benchmarking practices, the benefits of multivariate modeling for analyzing results, the linking of survey data with performance data, the best ways to measure employee engagement, and the pros and cons of respondent anonymity.”
Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett (2013). “Fundamental principles of data science necessary for extracting business value from the data you collect. The book helps to understand data-mining techniques in use today, provides examples of real-world business problems to illustrate these principles, helps to improve communication between business stakeholders and data scientists, and reveals how to think data-analytically.”
People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business and What It Tells Us about the Future of Work
Ben Waber (2013). “Sensors and analytics can give you an unprecedented understanding of how your people work and collaborate, and actionable insights for building a more effective, productive, and positive organization. The book covers cutting-edge case studies, e.g., changing the way call center employees spent their breaks to increase performance by 25% while significantly reducing stress, tweaking the balance of in-person and electronic communication to enhance the value of both and many more.”
Carl Hoffmann, Eric Lesser, Tim Ringo (2011). “Most companies today have access to reams of data: marketing, supply chain, finance, as well as critical data about their workforce. Yet research shows that leaders at these companies lack the confidence to effectively integrate and use this data to compete more effectively in the marketplace. While executives know the results they need to achieve, they often fail to analyze the impact of their decisions on the firm, its processes, and its people. The book shows how to can take an analytical approach to both anticipate and address the changes required by a company’s competitive environment and drive superior performance: Analyze the work that needs to be done and know how to structure it; Provide the right types of people to do it; Motivate them to engage in that work; Explore innovative ways to get the work done.”
John W. Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan (2011). “Proven HR strategies that can have a real impact on organizational success. This book demonstrates how some of the world’s most admired and prominent organizations are redefining HR leadership by using evidence-based change to inform human capital decisions that optimize efficiency, effectiveness and strategic impact. The authors present the five foundational principles to the new HR decision science: Logic-driven analytics, segmentation, risk leverage, synergy and integration and optimization.”
Kim S. Cameron and Robert E. Quinn (2011). “This book provides a means of understanding and changing organizational culture in order to make organizations more effective. It provides validated instruments for diagnosing organizational culture and management competency; a theoretical framework for understanding organizational culture; and a systematic strategy and methodology for changing organizational culture and personal behavior.”
Jac FITZ-ENZ (2010). “This book reveals how human resources professionals can apply expense-based knowledge to make the most strategic staffing decisions for their companies, and how to measure and evaluate past and current returns and apply the information to make predictions about the future value of human capital investments: Evaluate and prioritize the skills needed to sustain performance; build an agile workforce through flexible Capability Planning; determine how the organization can stimulate and reward behaviors that matter; apply a proven succession planning strategy that leverages employee engagement and drives top-line revenue growth; recognize risks and formulate responses that avoid surprises.”
Mark A. Huselid, Brian E. Becker, and Richard W. Beatty (2005). “In a marketplace fueled by intangible assets, anything less than optimal workforce success can threaten a firm’s survival. Yet, in most organizations, employee performance is both poorly managed and underutilized. To maximize the power of their workforce, organizations must meet three challenges: view their workforce in terms of contribution rather than cost; replace benchmarking metrics with measures that differentiate levels of strategic impact; and make line managers and HR professionals jointly responsible for executing workforce initiatives. The authors show how to create a Workforce Scorecard that identifies and measures the behaviors, competencies, mindset, and culture required for workforce success and reveals how each dimension impacts the bottom line.”
Brian E. Becker, David Ulrich, and Mark A. Huselid (2001). “The book introduces a measurement system that showcases how HR impacts business performance and describes a seven-step process for embedding HR systems within the firm’s overall strategy and measuring its activities in terms that line managers and CEOs will find compelling. Analyzing how each element of the HR system can be designed to enhance firm performance and maximize the overall quality of human capital, the book heralds the emergence of HR as a strategic powerhouse in today’s organizations.”