Summary of The Big Book of HR

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7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


In one volume, consultants Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem attempt to capture all facets of human resources work, from the mundane and transactional to the strategic and creative. They use templates, case histories and samples to provide a useful guide to the basics. The authors range through planning, recruitment, hiring, firing, talent development and performance management. They make excellent points about engaging, retaining and inspiring people, but fall short on strategic HR and talent management. getAbstract recommends this basic manual to those new to HR or those with HR responsibilities in firms that lack designated HR divisions. Mitchell and Gamlem’s descriptions of US regulations and laws governing personnel management also make this a worthwhile read for managers in operational HR.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to deliver a range of basic HR services,
  • How some US regulations affect HR practices and
  • How to use strategic talent management. 

About the Authors

Consultants Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem are former HR professionals.



Six Major Trends

Consider these trends as you execute each essential element of HR, starting with planning:

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