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MBA Human Resources: HR Skills, Books, Courses & More

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

After reading posts on Consulting, Marketing and Finance, some blog members expressed their willingness to explore more about MBA in Human Resources and asked for a comprehensive take on the top HR skills, books, courses and other endeavours one can pursue to align one's profile for HR roles in the future.

So, here is a guest post by Nitish Khanna, who comes from an HR background detailing everything you need to know about building a profile for MBA in HR. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.

MBA in HR Books Courses Skills

In Nitish's Words:


“To win the marketplace, you must first win the workplace.”

These words of the internationally renowned business leader, Doug Conant, will become even more important in the post Covid-19 world. HR professionals will have to lead this change by rethinking and realigning the Talent Management practices of firms, predicting the upcoming changes in the Business Delivery Models and developing capabilities to meet them.

As businesses move to more agile models the responsibility of ensuring that they are able to navigate through these uncertainties and deliver the best for their clients as well as their employees lies with the HR Professionals.

Human Resource Management is a broad field of study which encompasses the below mentioned Career Streams. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Compensation & Total Rewards

  • Organization Design

  • Talent Acquisition

  • Industrial/Employee Relations

  • Learning and Development

  • HR Business Partner

  • HR Analytics Professionals

  • Human Capital Consultants

HR Skills, Books, Courses

Some of the basic skills or subjects that students interested in HR can focus on are:

1. Organizational Behavior

OB forms the heart of HR. It enables the HR professionals to understand Individual behavior, Team/Group behavior and analyze the complex issues of Organizational Structure, Design and Organizational Change. It helps in bringing about a positive change in an organization.



2. Compensation & Wage Determination

Managerial Compensation and Taxation forms a key responsibility of HRs and understanding the way in which Employees must be rewarded is of prime importance. In most sales driven organizations, it is the Compensation Structures that hold the key to transforming the way in which the firm would perform. You can refer to the following books and courses to begin with understanding Compensation Structures:


  • Compensation’ by McGraw Hill Education authored by George Milkovich and Jerry Newman


3. Industrial Relations & Labour Law

The foundations of modern Human Resource Management lie in Industrial Relations. In India, as well as in the world the best Industrial practices slowly gave way to the development of sophisticated HR systems. Industrial relations deal with the complex inter relations between Employer, Employees, State and Labour Unions. Hence it is extremely essential for an HR Manager to be well versed with the Labour Laws.


The first book primarily gives a gist of the labour laws in India and the second book gives a more detailed case based view of the labour law and helps you read between the lines and interpret the law.

MBA Human Resources Skills Books

4. Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

Talent Acquisition encompasses aligning the recruitment strategy with the company’s goals, sourcing the best talent, identifying the right candidate for the right job and finally ensuring a seamless on-boarding experience for the employees.

With Virtual On-boarding and Work from Home (WFH) set to become a trend across the world, Talent Acquisition is an essential skill for HR Professionals.


5. Performance Management

Performance Management is one of the core areas of HRM. Designing and implementing an efficient Performance Management System is extremely essential for any organization. What is more important however, is analyzing its effectiveness and identifying if the Performance Management System is able to accomplish the desired objectives or not. This subject focuses on creating a positive performance culture in an organization.



6. Learning and Development

Organisational learning needs require HR professionals to be capable of creating, implementing, monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of Learning and Development strategies. Every organisation has a unique culture of learning and L&D plans need to be in line with the culture.

With Digital & E-Learning becoming increasingly important in the post Covid-19 world, it becomes imperative that an HR professional is well versed with L&D concepts.