I often end up discussing what books I have been reading with friends and like-minded professionals. Frankly, reading is the best habit I keep and I read a variety of materials everyday for 2-3 hours at least. The latest book I read on HR is called “Retooling HR” by John Boudreau. It is most unlike the traditional books on HR, very very fascinating.
The idea of the book is to apply commonly used business analysis tools to HR / Talent Management problems. It does not disregard existing HR systems, frameworks and approaches, but focuses on articulating and solving such problems in a way that leaders and managers readily understand because of their familiarity with these business tools. For instance, it applies “portfolio diversification” techniques from Finance to scenario planning for talent management. It borrows from Marketing Research to identify hot talent groups and optimize talent supply strategies. My favourite was the application of “Conjoint Analysis” to design Total Rewards for Microsoft. Here, employees’ preferred Rewards packages were determined and the data was analyzed to find out the expected costs / pay-offs of each Reward scenario. The books is full of such real-life examples. I am soon to start work on a new project on Human Capital Risk Management and I think this book will be a great resource for me.
I strongly recommend the book for anyone who wants to bring strong analytics, clarity, logic and structure to the way HR & Talent Management is approached in his/her company. In fact, I feel this book will be a great addition to “recommended readings” for business school students as well.