The Rise of HR Book Review

Laurie Ruettimann Books, Current Affairs, Good HR, HR, in the news, Laurie Ruettimann

I was lucky enough to get a free and advanced copy of The Rise of HR: Wisdom from 73 Thought Leaders. Actually, I have two copies. One for me and one to hold my front door open when the UPS guy delivers my boxes.

I kid, sorta.

This book is physically huge, and that’s on purpose. Edited by HR stalwarts such as Ulrich and Sartain—and published in conjunction with HRCI—this book is meant to show that the HR Certification Institute™ means business when it comes to human resources.

I sat down with the book over the weekend and read a few chapters from my good friends China Gorman, Josh Bersin and Iona Harding. Guess what? HR is changing. HR is emerging as a new function that is business-focused, obsessed with talent and tuned into the culture. And the best HR professionals are certified from HRCI, of course.

(I think that last part is somewhat true. I have both my SPHR and my SHRM-SCP, and I think my HRCI certification is a better measure of my business and HR competencies. The SHRM-SCP feels more like MBTI than a CPA. I’m also an INFJ, if you care.)

I then selected a few pieces at random. First up? I read an essay from David Shadovitz, who is an editor and co-publisher of an online HR magazine. (Yes, that job exists.) He began his article with Zappos, which left me a little disappointed. I’m a little like Seinfeld. “What’s the deal with Zappos? Are there no other examples of HR in this world?”

I enjoyed a piece called “Engaging White Men to Drive Diversity and Inclusion” from Carole Watkins, the CHRO of Cardinal Health. She offered pragmatic, sensible advice on diversity and inclusion initiatives that are in line with other pieces written elsewhere by Naomi Bloom and Carmen Hudson. Ms. Watkins gave clear examples of the challenges at Cardinal Health, and she disclosed the “secret sauce” to solving the diversity and inclusion challenges at her company. It’s the kind of practical advice that makes the book worth reading.

I also enjoyed a chapter from Lorraine Murphy. She is the CHRO of Air New Zealand and had the opportunity to hit the “reset button” on human resources. It is a meaty section of the book where Ms. Murphy tells us how she answered the following four questions.

  1. What do we keep?
  2. What needs to change?
  3. What can we do that will make the biggest difference?
  4. How can we build it quickly, cleanly and simply—and get it to stick?

I enjoyed learning more about her solutions, which seemed to confirm my beliefs: sensible and pragmatic HR leadership behaviors are crucial to creating a great environment for recruiting and retaining talented employees.

So did I like the book?

Yeah, I think so. There is no comparable book on the market that outlines great HR practices and allows you to learn from the experts. This book is full of great tips, and since you can download a copy for free, you’d be silly not to take a peek.

My advice?

Download the book for content, and then hit LinkedIn and connect with every single person in the table of contents. This book is  an HR job seeker’s compendium of people who have power, headcount and budget.

Want the opportunity to work in a great HR department? This book connects you with the power brokers and leaders in the industry. Get to connecting online, and tell them that Fistful of Talent sent you!