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Are you wondering what role an HR business partner plays in the success of today’s organisations?
Historically, HR has been viewed as nothing more than an administrative function. But in 2023, it’s more strategic than ever. An HR business partner is at the forefront of this strategic shift, playing a key role in business growth and transformation.
In this blog, we’ll cover exactly what an HR business partner is, what they do, and how embracing this role can deliver business benefits and improved function.
What is an HR Business Partner?
An HR business partner (HRBP) is an experienced HR professional who works closely with senior leaders to develop an HR strategy. They can be an internal member of the team, likely at the executive level, or they could be an external HR consultant. They have a comprehensive understanding of how the HR function can make a function of business within a company successful and can therefore provide a strategy that closely supports the overall aims of the business.
It’s important to understand how the role of an HR business partner differs from the traditional, transactional view of HR. While 57% of C-suite executives view HR as a largely administrative function, a HRBP’s role is less focused on operational activities (such as handling daily employee paperwork and admin). Instead, it requires time and space to look at the bigger picture.
A good HR business partner acts as a strategic advisor, with their services focused on senior business leader objectives and line manager priorities to drive impact. They have a deep understanding of the business and are data-driven problem solvers, helping to shape HR policies that enable the business to thrive.
What does an HR Business Partner do?
The day-to-day of an HR business partner can cover a range of responsibilities. Gartner identified four key components a HRBP may balance, including the following examples:
- Strategic partner – Developing the next generation of leaders, refocusing organisational structure on strategic objectives, identifying new business strategies and understanding talent needs.
- Operations manager – Communicating organisational structure to employees, tracking trends in employee behaviours and designing HR programmes to support organisational culture.
- Emergency responder – Quickly responding to line manager questions and needs.
- Employee mediator – Managing competing personalities in an organisation, managing conflict and resolving political problems in the execution of business plans.
It is important to note the role of an HR business partner is ever-changing, and the future needs of many companies point towards it becoming an increasingly significant strategic role.
When the role is embraced by a company in a high-level strategic form (and not bogged down by administrative tasks), research shows that a high-performing HRBP can improve employee performance by up to 22%, employee retention by up to 24%, revenue by up to 7% and profit by 9%.
It may be that the skills of an HR business partner are not present in your company or have yet to be empowered, which is where outsourced HR can help.
For many businesses, an in-house HR team provides a service for all employees, helping to build purpose, efficiency and good work culture. An HR business partner, however, is less likely to be in contact with entry-level employees and instead provides guidance for senior team members.
An HR business partner works alongside an in-house HR team, complementing their services and interacting with a company by:
- Being a consultant – an HRBP can provide knowledgeable advice for key stakeholders, using business acumen to connect business challenges to HR activities and outcomes.
- Making data-driven decisions – A good HR business partner is well-versed in data interpretation, collection and creation. They’ll use this intel to track KPIs, provide decision making and drive performance.
- Empowering leaders – HR should be seen as a backup for an emergency, not the first port of call. An HR business partner can help empower leaders to better handle employee relations independently, using excellent stakeholder management and communication skills.
Find Your HR Business Partner Now
In summary, it’s time to stop thinking of HR as just HR. At HumanX HR, we know the value an HR business partner can provide to a company, and how an HR strategy can create an impact in the marketplace – not just internally. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our HR consultants today for strategic support tailored to your business goals.