The Essential HR Handbook Book Summary - The Essential HR Handbook Book explained in key points
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The Essential HR Handbook summary

Sharon Armstrong & Barbara Mitchell

A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional

3.9 (55 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

The Essential HR Handbook by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell is a comprehensive guide for HR professionals that covers all aspects of HR management, from recruitment and performance management to employee relations and legal compliance, providing practical tips and insights into the world of HR.

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    The Essential HR Handbook
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    Successful organizations align human resources planning with their overall strategy.

    When you think of a human resources department, do you imagine an isolated, hidden office with a set of duties limited to simply hiring and firing?

    Well, think again; human resources or HR is much more than recruitment and layoffs. In fact, HR is responsible not only for the acquisition, training, appraisal and compensation of an organization’s employees, but also for dealing with issues like health and safety.

    So, if an organization truly wants to be successful, it needs to link its HR planning to its greater organizational strategy. For instance, it’s important for every organization to build a strategy that lays out exactly how its goals will be achieved. To make these goals a reality, the managers then allocate available resources.

    And here’s where HR comes in, because the people working in the organization are one such resource – and a very important one at that.

    After all, a typical human resources department will generally receive a hefty chunk of an organization’s budget to spend on things like salaries and benefits. So, if the organization fails to put its HR planning in line with its overall strategy, broad success will be hard to achieve.

    For example, if an organization hasn’t put together a strong benefits package for its current and future employees, it might struggle to attract the high-quality talent it needs to succeed.

    It’s important to keep HR updated on all organizational targets; doing so will help the department understand the role employees are meant to play in achieving these goals, which is the first step in determining whether the right people are on staff, and who still needs to be hired.

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    Key ideas in The Essential HR Handbook

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    What is The Essential HR Handbook about?

    The Essential HR Handbook (2008) is a guide to human resources management. These blinks are full of useful tools and important insights on how to manage your organization’s most important resource: human capital.

    The Essential HR Handbook Review

    The Essential HR Handbook (2008) is a comprehensive guide to the field of human resources and a valuable resource for HR professionals and managers alike. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • It provides practical solutions and advice for common HR challenges, helping readers navigate employment laws, policies, and employee relations effectively.
    • With its clear and concise explanations and examples, the book simplifies complex HR concepts, making it accessible to beginners and a useful refresher for experienced professionals.
    • From recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee development, the book covers the full spectrum of HR functions, making it a one-stop resource for all HR-related matters.

    Best quote from The Essential HR Handbook

    If you dont know where youre going, how will you know when you get there?

    —Sharon Armstrong & Barbara Mitchell
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    Who should read The Essential HR Handbook?

    • Anyone working in human resources
    • Managers who want a better understanding of their organization’s inner workings
    • Anybody who is in the process of hiring new employees

    About the Author

    Sharon Armstrong is the founder of the consulting business Sharon Armstrong and Associates, and works as a human resources consultant and trainer. She is the co-author of two successful business books, as well as the light-hearted Healing the Canine Within: The Dog's Self-Help Companion.

    Barbara Mitchell advises businesses on human resources and organizational development. Before becoming a managing partner of the consulting practice The Mitchell Group, much of her career was spent as an HR specialist at Marriott International.

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    The Essential HR Handbook FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Essential HR Handbook?

    The main message of The Essential HR Handbook is to provide practical advice and guidelines for HR professionals to effectively manage people and organizations.

    How long does it take to read The Essential HR Handbook?

    The reading time for The Essential HR Handbook varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Essential HR Handbook a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Essential HR Handbook is a valuable read for HR professionals. It offers comprehensive insights and practical strategies to excel in managing human resources.

    Who is the author of The Essential HR Handbook?

    The authors of The Essential HR Handbook are Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell.

    What to read after The Essential HR Handbook?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Essential HR Handbook, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Effective HR Communication by Debra Corey
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    • Start With Why (new version) by Simon Sinek
    • Read People Like a Book by Patrick King
    • Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett
    • Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson
    • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell
    • Misplaced Talent by Joe Ungemah
    • Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath