10 Best HR Podcasts for People Leaders

10 Best HR Podcasts for People Leaders

From HR Happy Hour to Cooleaf’s own new podcast, here’s the ultimate top 10 list for the best HR podcasts to follow.

10 Best HR Podcasts for People Leaders

As how we work continues to evolve, how we approach and manage our people is quickly following suit, leaving people operation teams scrambling to find new resources and real-life examples on how to manage this new approach to work.

There are plenty of helpful employee engagement guides, like  blog posts and HR social media groups, but to keep up with innovative policies or new schools of thought, Cooleaf likes to turn to podcasts. With lively hosts, engaging guests, and relevant issues and topics, HR podcasts are a go-to when you want to keep up with HR trends.

We love podcasts so much, Cooleaf launched its own this year: The Great Retention. In each episode we welcome CEOs, co-founders, and HR leaders, to share experiences throughout their own career, from how they’ve created engaged teams to how they managed people during times of constant change. If you’re interested in tuning in, find our show wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you’re looking for some of our own favorite HR podcasts to add to your queue, we created a top 10 list for you below!

1) Worklife with Adam Grant

Business leaders love sharing Adam Grant’s posts on Linkedin and we can see why. Thoughtful and human-centric, the original TED Talk podcast focuses on a familiar but indisputable consideration: “you spend a quarter of your life at work. This show is about making all that time worth your time.”

As an organizational psychologist, Adam dives into the minds of "some unusual thought leaders” to discover how we can re-imagine work and make the employee experience all the better.

2.) This Working Life with Lisa Leung

For the burned out or those just wanting more from their company, the podcast This Working Life with Lisa Leung is a bountiful resource. Lisa Leung’s a CEO, broadcaster, and best-selling writer who explores the world of work and business with quirky, and sometimes controversial, entrepreneurs and leaders.

This Working Life looks at themes like diversity and inclusion at the office, The Great Resignation, or how to harness stress to improve your own well-being. Her topics and guests are curated to help you manage your own career path and help you understand how you can support a better workplace as an HR professional or anyone wanting to evolve their performance management style.

3.) HR Leaders Podcast

A daily podcast and Linkedin Live Show hosted by Chris Rainey, the HR Leaders Podcast dives into the future of work with HR executives and talent management from major global brands.

Chris' has interviewed the industry leaders from HP, Pfizer, and more, to get tangible, real-life examples on how these large entities look at their people management and company culture to create a place their teams can thrive.

The cast dives deeply into workplace culture and all things related from teams, diversity, and more. Chris and his curated guests  offer actionable advice on building and managing your teams, and go beyond insights for those interested in human resource management. Anyone looking to create a highly productive, diverse, and thriving organization would find something inspiring.

4.) Dare to Lead with Brené Brown

Brené Brown is a Cooleaf favorite, from her books, her podcast, and of course her TED Talks, the team finds inspiration from Brené’s storytelling and guests. In this weekly podcast, she hosts conversations with “change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and more than a few troublemakers” innovating, creating, and bringing a daring approach to leadership.

Brené’s guests chat everything from making an impact during a digital age to finding your focus. Her episode on how toxic work cultures drove us towards The Great Resignation, is a must listen for any HR team.

5.) HR Famous

HR Famous is a podcast hosted by HR experts Tim Sackett, author of the Talent Fix, Jessica Lee, VP of Talent Brand at Marriott, and Kris Dunn, author of The 9 Faces of HR. They met a decade ago, before becoming industry experts, and their cast is a lively conversation that deals with “the real-life craziness HR pros deal with every day”, creating a safe space for critical discussions, laughs, some arguments, but plenty of hope and inspiration.

Check out their cast for how to build HR influence through a strong point of view and get some real life insights from HR peers.

6.) HR Happy Hour

Is this even a list if we don’t include Trish McFarlane and Steve Boese’s podcast HR Happy Hour?  As the longest running (and top downloaded) HR podcast, HR Happy Hour is a definite go-to when it comes to anyone’s HR playlist.

The cast focuses on human resources, management, leadership, and workforce technology. It’s an uphill battle to find an HR topic they haven’t covered, what with their litany of guests ranging from thought leaders to CHROs, CEOs to co-founders. Their recent episode dives into the transition of The Great Resignation to The Great Attraction.

7) Nine to Thrive HR: HCI Podcast

Workplace revolutions come from focusing on thriving in the workplace, rather than putting in the hours. Maybe that’s why the appropriately named Nine to Thrive resonates so much with HR industry leaders. Not only is the cast informative, providing key insights and actionable advice on growing and managing your teams, but the tone is encouraging and the guests keep topics engaging.

Guests include those leading chief people officers from Fortune 1000 companies, writers, and academics, and episodes cover everything form talent acquisition, employee engagement, strategic HR initiatives for retention and development.

8.) DriveThruHR

DriveThruHR is a lunchtime podcast, hosted by the captivating and funny  Mike VanDervort, Robin Schooling, DwaneLay and Crystal Miller-Lay. This lunchtime chat covers people management topics from HR Technology, recruiting and onboarding, talent management, leadership, and strategic HR.

Their irreverent episode titles might make it hard to choose where to start but hosts and guests cover a wealth of topics, offer plenty of inspiration, and provide great insight to help anyone grow as a manager, a team, and human.

9.) Punkrock HR

Punkrock HR acknowledges quite openly that “work is broken”. Hosted by “the failed HR lady who went on to become one of the world’s top career advisers” Laurie Ruettimann welcomes her closest friends, peers, and those popular thought leaders to dive into the mechanics of work.

And yes, that includes covering HR topics from the buzzy, the nerdy, and the contrarian. She dives into everything from HR trends to mental health in the workplace. The podcast seeks to provide you with the tools to take control of your career path and be your own HR team.

10) Redefining HR

Lars Schmidt is an entrepreneur, NPR alum, writer, speaker, and “advocate for modern HR and people practices.” More importantly, he is the host of the one and only Redefining HR, a workplace and people management storytelling podcast shedding a light on HR management and systems in the new century.

He dives into the career journeys of HR leaders and high-performing individuals, who are making new roads for how we work and challenging the old model of a 9-5 and worker treatment.

Bonus: The Great Retention Podcast

Whether you consider it The Great Resignation, The Great Reshuffling, or even The Great Reckoning, one thing is for certain: this isn’t a moment but a movement to make work work for us.

It’s time for The Great Retention, Cooleaf’s own human-centric podcast where CEOs, business leaders, and thought leaders join John Duisberg to discuss their own career journeys, the importance of employee engagement, and how they’re putting people first in their organization.

From making hybrid or remote work work for a large enterprise to raising the importance of health and wellness initiatives with each department, tune in to learn effective strategies and hear real-life examples of an organization’s struggles, solutions, and growth.

You can tune into The Great Retention Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

It’s time you join the movement.

engaging virtual teams guide


Insights in an instant

Get more tips on creating exceptional employee experiences with our industry newsletter. You'll receive our weekly newsletter, along with occasional event invites for upcoming webinars.

We will never share your email address with third parties.