Who is an HR Business Partner?
The HR Business Partner is an experienced HR professional working as a strategic liaison between HR and the business. As senior HR professionals, they integrate the people-focused HR functions with the business side of the organization, to help them accomplish their business goals.
They work closely with leadership, have a direct line of contact with line managers, and collaborate regularly with the C-suite. Being placed in such close contact with executive leaderships, they are involved in the design of HR strategy, and ensure that all HR activities are aligned with business objectives.
Roles and responsibilities of an HR Business Partner
The role of the HR Business Partner is of continuous improvement. They play a significant role in preparing the organization for the future of work, and undertake the planning of strategic HR activities such a resklling & upskilling, technology adaptation, strategic workforce planning, refocusing business culture to occupy a digital workforce, and concentrating on the employee experience.
1. Being coach and consultant
The HR Business Partner needs to have an understanding of how current and future challenges affects the people operations at work. They must stay up to date, communicate effectively with leaders and other key stakeholders, and provide advice and coaching to them.
2. Connect business challenges to HR activities
For the HR Business Partner, possessing a business acumen is an indispensable asset. They must be keen and quick in understanding and dealing with a business risk or opportunity. The HR Business Partner connects business to HR to guide the organisation in tackling these challenges.
3. Building a competitive organization
HR Business Partners help organizations strategize, train, and adapt to improve their processes, talent management, and develop the services the organization has to offer. Therefore, understanding people, finance and operations are a must to build a competitive organization.
4. Data-backed decision making
An HR Business Partner should use data from KPIs and other sources to make decisions that drive performance. Data is a crucial way to measure whether their activities are on track. Making decisions also requires a strong understanding of the business as well as the local and cultural contexts relevant to the regions the organization is active in.
5. Strengthen company culture and employee experience
Studying people and the impact of cultural transformation on achieving organisational goals are the core responsibilities of HR Business Partners. They are work on the continuous improve of employee experience which is crucial for the success of the organization.
HR Business Partner vs. HR Manager
The roles of HR Business Partner and HR Manager hold few similarities. Both function in the HR space, usually fall on the senior section of the HR population, and on an average, tend to have 10+ years of experience in the field.
In their day-to-day roles, there are differences. The HR Manager manages the HR department and is also responsible for the overview of activities like recruitment, benefits and payroll administration, and government reports.
The HR Business Partner doesn’t usually have a management responsibility. They are generally individual contributors that directly support the business. They run by data-driven methodologies and operate as advisors and consultants. They’re focused on strategic functions and not administrative ones.
As the digital age engulfs HR processes with its transformations, the role and responsibilities of the HR Business Partner becomes more and more strategic. HR Business Partners undertakes some key responsibilities on behalf of the company’s leadership teams by thinking strategically, planning for the future, and helping to integrate technology into the workflow.