The complexities of the HR industry are elusive in understanding to many, including top management, hiring managers and even employees. From administrating, policy writing, payroll processing, to recruiting and retaining, HR has its roots buried deeply in important processes in an organization.
Over the past decades, HR function has undergone a process of rapid transformation. Acknowledging the crucial linkage between talent management and business success, business leaders now realize the critical role of HR in achieving business goals and objectives. In response to this, HR departments in many organizations across the world have implemented a transformational approach termed as the HR Business Partner Model.
An HR Business Partner is an experienced professional, who works closely with the management and senior executives in the company. They have a deep understanding of the organization’s business model and streamline all HR functions in sync to its organizations goals and objectives. The HR business partner model focusses on relieving the pressure from management, honing the job skills of employees, improving overall efficiency and productivity.
As organizations become people-focused, HR business partner mission gets more popular. Business leaders can see the value in aligning agendas toward a common goal. Today, businesses depend more than ever on agendas such as talent and organizational capabilities. The central responsibility of HR professionals is providing the right people with the right skills for the right role at the right time. In our expanding global economy, the war on talent rages. Hence, HR professionals coordinate with managers to identify and create aptitudes that encourage innovation, collaboration, rapid transformation, leadership, and management. These less tangible business activities now have a direct impact on shareholders and thus, are becoming a top priority among CEOs and managers.
Under the business partner model, HR professionals not only work with business leaders to draft strategies, but also focus and collaborate on how to implement those strategies. As business leaders closely coordinate with HR professionals, they are better attuned to the importance of talent and organization, and this helps turn aspirations into actions, and strategic intent into business results.
What does an HR Business Partner do?
The business partner model is designed to positively impact the business at all levels, over time. From recruitment, training and development to strategic planning, the role of HR is undeniable and of paramount importance. The recruitment carefully hires resources who are best suited for a particular role. The process of training and development has also gone a level up, it is no more a regular task for everyone. The HR rather identifies employees that need a particular training and then ensure its implementation. This also works in benefit for the employees as they get to invest time in their interests and learning. Since the HR now work closely with the senior management, they are thorough with the scenario in the organization on the whole and inside specific teams too. This leads to a highly productive outcome, especially in terms of employee-manager placement.
Also, since an HR Business Partner possesses an in-depth knowledge of the business, they effectively communicate with the top management to deliver the right notes at the right point of time. A Business Partner always follows a rational approach to meet business objectives. They have the ability to adapt in all situations and manage work pressure. They strategically measure multiple parameters to deliver best results, following an analytical and problem solving approach.
HR Business Partners play a role of a strategic manager wherein their deep knowledge about the clients is combined with their understanding of how to get services and solutions delivered. They act as tactical allies for business plans, allowing employees to excel via innovative and competitive methods.
Human resource business partner personnel are also responsible for analyzing employee data. This allows HR to recognize employee strengths, which they put into use to place employees at the right position; and weaknesses, which they may improve with trainings or disciplinary actions.
In this model, HR Business Partners form vertical ‘go to market’ account management teams, with ‘Center of Expertise’ forming the horizontal specialist teams. Overlaying this, organizations are developing strategic capability areas. Companies typically begin to explore HR shared services model as it improves quality of service, reduces the cost of delivery and leverages technology effectively, while improving overall employee lifecycle and process efficiency.
Challenges faced by HR Business Partners
An HR Business Partner has to create a mindset shift. This is a revolution in the culture of an organization. In this scenario, moving already comfortable line managers in the new way of working is crucial. In a global organization there is a need to manage a complex virtual network, with business partners, who are allied to different business groups spanning the globe, and operational HR working on specified country basis. Influencing senior executives and being seen as credible and knowledgeable is a major challenge.
HR Business Partners have to focus on clients and their needs and expectations, manage internal administration, tackle manager’s concerns/skepticism, and yet work in favor of the organization on a 360degree basis. Ideas, People, Products as well as Services – everything goes through the business partner’s eyes and is collaborated well for a wholesome organizational success.
Why Businesses should shift to an HR business model
Change is the primary reason why increasing number of businesses are implementing this model. In order to grow, a change in the business paradigm in often necessary and recommended. In today’s cut-throat competitive environment, businesses need to adapt, to gain an edge in the market, to increase productivity, efficiency and proactively solve problems. Here, HR business model plays its part by managing the necessary changes and embracing developments through their investment in “human capital”. An efficient HR partner model focusses on both the needs of the individual and the company.
Anything that transforms the working of an organization in a positive manner, contributes efficiently to the daily operations, leads to higher productivity and a better satisfied workforce, must surely be given a fair chance.
Opportunities for an HR Business Partner
In early 2000s, there was a lot of dissatisfaction in many organizations with HR’s contribution to reforms and mergers. This disillusion led to the reduction in cost of HR and saw harder measures of outcomes, whilst increasing HR’s flexibility and business focus. However, the outlook is now changing. HR business partnering is becoming more popular as business leaders now see how talent and organizational capabilities add value to businesses, creating a direct and deep impact on growth.
HR Business Partnering Model is implemented as a service offering solution to specific business needs, effectively addressing the underlying issues of an organization. The model accommodates different skill sets in each element. In the end, it’s all about gauging the right opportunities to contribute and being ready to respond quickly.
HR business partnering is not just another HR whim; it is the future of Human Resource. Other professional functions are following the league. As the working ecosystem is intensifying and changing with a lot of youngsters joining this league, there is a crucial need to scrutinize, identify and groom the right person for the right role. Hence, to accommodate and hone the upcoming generation, it is imperative that we develop and adopt right HR business strategies.
The millennials are already following it with all the zest and the business partner model is continuing to develop and lay its own rules and procedures. It has become a vital part of everyday operations amongst all areas of an organization and it will be interesting to witness it move to an inevitable role for all businesses – big and small!