Who is an HR business partner? Over the past few years, more and more often we see the position of “HR-business partner” in the structures of companies, and as a result, on worksites, and among colleagues.
I propose to talk about this today because the work of an HR business partner is like an exciting journey. When you not only choose a destination but also plan a route in detail, negotiate with stakeholders and internal clients, agree on all the little things. And all in order to make the journey successful.
What does an HR business partner do
The job title speaks for itself. HR-business partner is a business partner, a person who helps to do business, to achieve set goals. And depending on which function the business partner is supporting, this specialization is received: financial business partner, HR business partner, managing partner, and so on. Basically, a business partner is an employee who is the link between the centers of expertise and the business.
I remember well the dialogue with my manager when I just started working as an HR business partner:
– How to start a business partner?
– Just help!
How can HR help business?
Establish interaction and customize processes between HR departments (centers of expertise) and the business, ensure consistency of work, and implement strategies.
Optimize solutions for routine tasks related to personnel (recruiting and hiring personnel, working with engagement, retention, motivation, training and development, assessment), automate processes.
Solve non-standard cases together with the business (entering new markets, optimizing functions, launching a new product, crisis situation).
Think for the future, create new opportunities, work for long-term business goals, form a development strategy.
Through the implementation of these approaches, the HR business partner creates added value for the business, HR function, and himself.
If an HR business partner works in all four areas, then we can talk about a harmonious situation in terms of its development. However, depending on the goals of the company and the business unit, as well as the organizational structure of the organization, the focus shifts to one direction.
Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michigan and a writer, forms 4 types of HR partnerships depending on 2 criteria:
- Focus on a process or project.
- Focus on strategic or operational objectives.
It turns out that the HR-business partner mainly works with strategic tasks as with a focus on the process – forms a strategy and plans, negotiates with internal customers, builds the HR function according to business needs, and develops managers. And also with a focus on projects – diagnoses the situation, clarifies the request, leads projects.
How to be a successful HR business partner
The answer lies on the surface: the more sections you go through in the centers of expertise as a trainer, a specialist in benefits and compensation, an assessment and development specialist, a recruiter, an HR specialist, an employer brand specialist, the easier it is to show results in the role of an HR business. -partner.
It’s like traveling, the more roads you have traveled, the better you know the map.
As a conclusion, I would like to emphasize that an HR business partner is not a position, it is an attitude towards an internal client. It doesn’t matter in which department and in what position you work: as a specialist or a leader in a center of expertise, as a consultant or as a strategic business partner, it is important that you understand the business, hear its needs, want to understand them and find the best tool among those that exist in your HR arsenal.