Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) has become a hot topic in corporations, thanks to their crucial role in undertaking HR functions and enabling the HR teams to coordinate with the employees and management seamlessly.
In the modern business world, HRBP has become an essential part of the HR department and is vital in ensuring the success of the company. So, what is an HR Business Partner? What roles and responsibilities are handled by an HRBP?
What are the essential skills one should include in the business partner job description when looking for an individual for the role of an HRBP? What are the models for a human resources business to follow for HR business partners?
We will be discussing the answers to these questions in this article and try to understand whether hiring of an HR Business Partner is the ideal choice going forward.
Full Form of HRBP
The Human Resources Business Partner is a critical component to ensure the long-term success of any organization. An HRBP acts as a mediator between the management and the employees and ensures that they are taken care of by their company.
Being a business partner, the HRBP also ensures that the business goals are aligned with employee welfare to safeguard job satisfaction and ensure retention.
What is an HR Business Partner?
An HR Business Partner helps align the employee goals with the organizational objectives minimizing the risk factors associated with the staff.
As a result, they operate closely with the leadership and management to ensure that the company goals and objectives are fulfilled within the prescribed duration.
An HRBP develops and manages the HR and business policies which the employees are required to follow while they are working with the company.
They act as the mediator between the company’s staff members and the business model to ensure the smooth functioning of the company and prolonged success.
HRBP vs HR
The roles and responsibilities of the HRBP are vast compared to an HR. While HR takes care of the administrative responsibilities in the company, an HRBP is required to efficiently collaborate with the leadership teams to help them understand the employee issues in the company and suggest efficient solutions to ensure their engagement with the company.
An HR Business Partner job also requires them to handle compliance with regulatory laws to keep the company from lawsuits. They also handle difficult situations in the company such as layoffs, discrimination, harassment, and conflicts.
While the HR manager is required to handle the numerous clerical tasks and optimize them for cost-effective employee handling, the HRBP undertakes more creative pursuits making them a part of the bigger picture.
Responsibilities of an HRBP
Since the HR Business Partner job plays such a significant role in ensuring the achievement of organizational goals, they have multiple responsibilities which are associated with handling the employees and channeling their productivity to ensure the company’s success.
Their multiple responsibilities ensure the effective handling of company staff while also assuring the leadership of a strategic approach towards fulfilling business objectives.
As a result, the major responsibilities of an HRBP include:
1. Align HR with Business Operations
For an organization to be successful, the employees’ professional goals should align with the company’s objectives. An HR Business Partner enables this alignment by drafting the HR policies to act as a bridge between the HR operations and the business.
They collaborate with the different teams to ensure that the policies are being followed and help the leadership understand the hurdles faced by the teams in undertaking their daily activities.
2. Develop an Engaging Work Culture
Being a mediator between the employee and the management, the Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) possesses the necessary data to actively engage the staff since they understand them better. Hence, they can tweak the company policies to allow for improved engagement.
They can develop specific strategies for enhancing skills, providing rewards and recognition, as well as surveys to understand their pulse. As a result, they can keep them engaged with the company, improving their productivity and retention.
3. Recognize Business Requirements
The HRBP also aligns the HR practices to reflect the business goals and objectives. However, to achieve these objectives, the HR Business Partner should recognize the business requirements, which are established after lengthy discussions with the management team.
To help drive business outcomes, an HR Business Partner develops strategic tactics and tweaks the company policies, which affects the employees. As a result, they need to thread the fine line between having to fulfil their organizational obligations and employee welfare.
4. Reduce HR Risks
Since the HRBP deals closely with the employees, they can recognize and act on employee-related problems quickly.
Since they work in proximity to company management, they can act as the collective voice for the employees to resolve their issues. As a result, they can avoid employee issues before they become difficult to resolve.
Role of the HR Business Partners
Due to the nature of their work, HRBP plays multiple roles in the company. The HRBP role requires them to undertake numerous tasks and effectively balance the thin line between employee demands and management expectations.
Since the role of HRBP is purely strategic in nature, let us understand the various ways they help achieve the organizational objectives:
1. Strategic Planning
HRBP is a strategic planner in the company who analyses the employees in the organization and develops innovative tactics to improve their engagement with the company. As the developer of innovative strategies, the HRBP is required to have a deep understanding of the workforce regarding their performance and workplace ethics.
With such knowledge, they will be able to easily undertake strategic planning of the right tactics in order to improve their performance and overall engagement with the company.
2. Management Coach
Since the HR Business Partner acts as a bridge between the management and the employees, they are in an ideal position to coach the executives about the issues faced by the staff.
They help the management understand the numerous issues as well as provide strategies to resolve them as they work in collaboration with the HR professionals. With such a targeted approach towards issue management, the employees will stay engaged with the company for longer.
3. HR Tech Expert
To fulfil their goals, the HR Business Partner is required to find the best HR technology in the market that can enhance their daily work.
They are tasked with researching and finding a human resources software that will be able to streamline and automate several tasks related to employee management. Hence, they have the potential to drastically overhaul employee management and job satisfaction in the organization.
4. HR Initiatives Driver
There are multiple HR initiatives which the management can undertake with the help of HR professionals to improve employee productivity and satisfaction in the company.
The HRBP is the one responsible for taking initiatives, developing the strategies, and implementing them successfully in companies. They understand the pulse of the organization and hence, are in the ideal position to develop such initiatives to make an impact.
5. HR Enabler
While developing initiatives to help improve employee management, the HRBP also develops schemes for developing the HR department of the company by enhancing its functionalities.
They develop innovative strategies to optimize a human resources team to be more efficient in their daily work. Developing initiatives like pulse surveys and continuous feedback approaches help the HRBP to continually monitor the staff and make changes to their management by developing strategies to enhance the HR teams’ efficacy.
HR Business Partnership Models
Four major HR business partnership models are prevalent in companies which hire an HR business partner to streamline their HR activities.
The HR business partnership model helps the HRBP understand their role in enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the HR teams and the employees. Hence, let us understand the 4 significant HR business partnership models:
➔ Strategic Partnership Model
In the Strategic Partnership Model, the HRBP acts as a planner to develop strategies to align the employees’ professional goals with the organizational goals and objectives.
Hence, the HRBP is required to have an in-depth knowledge of the business domain and help develop innovative strategies to adapt to market changes.
However, a major issue with this model of working is that it can become too focused on pleasing the management if adequate safeguards are not in place.
➔ Consultancy Model
In the Consultancy Model, the HRBP acts like a consultant to help the HR teams understand the shortcomings of the business objectives and develop strategies to counter them effectively.
However, since the HRBP is merely a consultant in this model, they may not have complete access to the employees’ issues, which reduces the effectiveness of this model.
➔ Service Centre Model
In the Service Centre Model, the HR Business Partners ensure that the HR practices align with the organizational goals. Hence, it can be deployed in different companies effectively.
However, its inability to cater to the specific requirements of companies proves to be a shortcoming eventually. On the other hand, this model has the best effectiveness in terms of standardized consistency and efficiency.
➔ Embedded Model
The Embedded Model removes the shortcomings of the Service Centre Model by catering to the specific requirements of the organization where it is deployed.
In this model, the HR Business Partners have greater freedom to experiment since they can work closely with the management and the staff to enhance their overall engagement.
Essential Skills of an HR Business Partner
To undertake their tasks efficiently, HR Business Partners are required to have some essential skills, which prove to be instrumental in the organization’s success.
These skills ensure the success of HRBP in aligning the business goals with the employees’ goals, which is ideal for enhancing their productivity and engagement with the company. Some of the most significant HRBP skills are:
➔ Business Delivery
Since the HRBP exists to align business objectives with employee goals, they are required to effectively translate these goals into strategies which help achieve the company objectives.
Hence, business delivery is an essential skill for an HR Business Partner. To execute their duties well, the HRBP should also have a good understanding of the work environment and develop long-term plans which result in successful outcomes.
Another essential skill for HRBPs is collaboration since their duties require them to collaborate with multiple teams such as the planning committee, the upper management, the HR professionals, and others.
Having a collaborative mindset ensures that they can view the employee issues objectively and concrete solutions for them.
Self-awareness is another major requirement for the HRBP since they are required to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to ensure that the strategies they are developing don’t affect any department negatively while enhancing the functioning of others.
As a result, they need to constantly improve themselves to enable them to tackle any issues as per the changing workplace environment.
➔ Project Management
HRBPs are also required to have good project management skills as it enables them to have the ability to propose and implement people-related strategies.
Since these strategies require the collaboration of different departments, they need to manage the projects effectively to ensure the desired outcomes.
HR Business Partners are indispensable for the long-term success of any organization since they work closely with the HR personnel, the business leaders, and the workforce to gather first-hand experience of the work environment and strategize effective tactics to ensure the fulfilment of the organizational objectives.
At the same time, they are also required to ensure employee engagement, which requires them to find the right balance between employees and the demands of business leaders. Hence, HRBPs are essential for any organization that plans to engage and retain and engage their workforce.