By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The human resources industry is constantly evolving and changing, which is why it’s so important for practitioners to make research and discovery as much a part of their jobs as anything else. Whether you’re naturally a reader or not, there is so much insight that can be gained by spending some time with your nose in a book. And with the new year upon us, my mind is already on the books I’ll be reading in 2015. Without further ado, here are five books you’ll find me glued to this year. Each have been chosen for different reasons, but they are all worth the read.
Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy 
by Shel Isreal and Robert Scoble
It’s important for us to understand where our industries and businesses are heading, and “Age of Context” helps us to discover just that. Constant development goes beyond consumer technology and is quickly moving into businesses and our workplaces as the way we do business continues to be more and more technology centric. It’s vital for us not only keep up but also know where we’re going because best-in-class employees we seek to recruit and hire are increasingly expecting us to be at the cutting edge.
Predictive Analytics for Human Resources
by Jac Fitz-Enz
Jac Fitz-Enz has long been known as a pioneer in the human resources and analytics spaces, which is why his newest book, “Predictive Analytics for Human Resources,” was so highly anticipated. HR is increasingly making use of analytics and saying goodbye to dumb luck (link to post about dumb luck) but it’s still an area that some practitioners are unfamiliar with. Start with Fitz-Enz’s “The new HR Analytics,” then follow up with this book to gain a well-rounded understanding of analytics in HR.
The 4-Hour Workweek
by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Workweek” has changed my approach to business, which is why I’ll revisit it again in 2015. In this book, Ferriss paints a real-life view of what the business world is like, though it may have you shaking your head and wondering if anyone plays by the rules. Even so, a lot of what business is about is finding a way to manage our time, be as productive as possible and learn how to make other companies’ natural weaknesses work in our favor to hire their best employees.
No Fear: Business Leadership for the Digital Age
by Mark Mueller-Eberstein and Pekka Viljakainen
This book helps you understand and engage the digital cowboys of your workplace and leverage their habits to elevate your business and brand beyond compare. The authors’ focus on ROI and metrics provides useful insights into the world of the social media, blogging and online communities.
How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything
by Dov Seidman

Sometimes the best way to learn how to make something happen is to hear from those who have already made it happen. “How”does just that by discussing the monumental business and work shift we are encountering as our businesses become globally interconnected. The book shares how top-notch business leaders stay effective in this fast moving, technology-focused, transparent economy.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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