Business partner definition and competencies of an HR Business Partner

What is Business Partner?

In this article we will provide you the definition of Business partner and competencies of an HR Business Partner.

An experienced human resources professional who works directly with an organization’s leadership to develop and direct the strategic HR agenda in support of organizational goals. 

This HR business partner concept is important. This is because it helps to understand that instead of working primarily as part of the internal human resources department, the HR business partner works closely with senior leadership. This can be done in conjunction with the board of directors or in regular collaboration with company directors and other executives. In other wordsthe business partner combines the business strategy with the people management strategy.

Placing a human resources professional in close contact with executive leadership makes HR a key part of organizational strategy. Not coincidentally, the business partner model for human resources is becoming increasingly popular among companies, in parallel with the new demand for Business Intelligence.

What types of partners exist?

Commonly, entrepreneurs who are looking for some type of partnership do so with the aim of incorporating a capitalist partner or an expert partner; Both profiles contribute to the business in different ways:

  • Equity partner. A capitalist partner is one who joins the company as a person who provides the resources that the business needs to grow. The most common thing is that this type of partner gives cash, with a view to having an economic return as an investment. Companies may know the path to growth, but without the necessary capital they cannot grow; That is why they require this type of partners. Not all capitalist partners require contributing cash, as they can participate with other types of assets such as a piece of land or some type of machinery.
  • Expert partner. These are those who collaborate with the success of a company by providing knowledge on specific topics, since they have extensive experience in a sector or industry and can even contribute to closing new businesses with some key contacts. Sometimes, having this type of partner allows a company to take off, since there are industries so closed that they only admit certain people because of their track record.

What does the HR Business Partner do in practice?

In practice, the business partner makes the bridge between people management and the company’s results happen. In this way, it allows the two to walk in parallel. But what exactly does that mean? Business partner definition

Let’s look at some practical examples. 

  • Let’s say a Business Partner works in the sales area, collaborating directly with the commercial director:

In this hypothetical scenario, the company in question is simply not meeting the projected sales result for that year. This despite having hired more sales executives and investing in training programs. Where is the problem?

Would the hired professionals be unqualified? Or do they need more time to hit the targets set? Are the professionals with the longest tenure performing at the height? Are the courses offered by the company fulfilling their objective? Or is there another learning gap needed to drive sales?

In this case, both data about the sales cycle and the sales funnel as well as individual performance numbers will help diagnose the root of the problem. Business partner definition

Example 2

  • In another example, let’s say there is a problem with the fulfillment area leadership .

Employee performance is low, turnover is very high and the team’s assessment of managers plummets every quarter.

In this case, the business partner will investigate whether:

  1. There are communication failures
  2. The proportion between the number of employees for each manager is adequate or is it beyond the recommended
  3. These managers need more training
  4. The expected level of delivery is consistent with the seniority level of the team or if the professionals are too junior

As you can see, it is difficult to imagine the business partner’s performance without concrete information. The business partner needs access to data such as productivity indicators and other HR metrics to reach conclusions about how human resources should be better distributed. There is no business partner without People Analytics.

What are the competencies of an HR Business Partner?

Traditionally, the Business Partner HR is a professional with a very generalist profile . More than a specialization and a complete mastery of a certain area of ​​HR, such as recruitment or compensation and benefits, this professional has a comprehensive and systemic view of the organization.

The professional who works in this area must also understand finance, people and working together with other areas of the company. Some soft skills are important to support and advise strategic and operational decision making.

Below, we list the main competencies and skills required of an HR business partner.

1) Understand administration and finance

As you can see, the role of the HR business partner goes far beyond HR management. It also involves various financial aspects of the business.

Although increasing the efficiency of teams is directly related to the company’s profitability, there are many other aspects of its performance that are not limited to objectives in terms of direct profit.

Therefore, in order to obtain a deep knowledge of the business, it is essential that the professional has notions of financial management and administration.

2) Have experience with People Management

The strategic planning developed by the HR business partner must always take into account the needs and demands of employees. Despite working with the company’s leadership, this professional should never fail to exercise his active voice with the employees. For this, it is important to know the organizational culture .

Therefore, it is recommended that this professional already has extensive experience leading teams. In addition, it is necessary to have a sensitivity to the management of people within an organization. Understanding the particular routines and tasks of the Human Resources sector is also essential.

3) Master resources and tools

Another necessary differential for those who want to work in this area is to master the resources traditionally used for the strategic planning of an organization.

This involves the knowledge and application of methodologies, techniques, indicators and metrics that help in analysis, mapping and decision making.

We can mention some key planning points that the professional must master: 

  • Organizational development;
  • Recruitment and selection indicators;
  • Training of employees and leadership;
  • Performance evaluation methodologies;
  • Level of satisfaction, individual and collective.

4) Have a strategic vision

The ability to develop efficient plans, with a comprehensive view and a clear understanding of the company’s objectives, is the main competence expected of a business partner. 

This professional must not only have a strategic view, but also know how to define the short, medium and long term steps, anticipating possible failures and correcting the course when necessary. The prioritization skill is also paramount.

5) Know how to communicate

Professionals in the role of HR business partner must know how to persuade and negotiate with high-level leaders or collaborators. In addition, it is important to coordinate actions to promote alignment among the entire team. In this process, they need to influence people and build relationships. Therefore, the ability to communicate effectively is essential.

In order to act as both a consultant and a mediator, these professionals must develop attentive listening, maintain an empathic attitude and always be on the lookout for new forms of collaboration.

Differences between Business Partner and HR Manager

An HR business partner and an HR manager are two distinct roles and represent different models of conducting human resources services within an organization.

The HR manager‘s job focuses on the development of policies and compliance with the company’s procedures. This professional is responsible for ensuring payroll processing, recruitment and hiring processes, training and development program oversight, personnel administration and labor and union relations, and much more. In short, the HR manager oversees the HR department.

The HR business partner , on the other hand, has no administrative responsibilities over this department. His main role is to work directly with the company’s senior leadership team and the managers of other departments. The main objective of the HR business partner is to guide and align the company’s overall strategy for its employees.

HR business partners collaborate with HR professionals as they consult with the executive team on issues relating to the management of the company’s human capital. They are often the starting point for developing HR initiatives and strategies that affect the entire organization.

How to choose business partners?

Maybe you want to follow the stories of successful businesses that started as a venture of two or more partners and are thinking about going into business with your brother, an old roommate, a friend, a former co-worker, or a brilliant guy you just met. . But first you must know: What makes a good business partner? What should you look for in it? 

Selecting a business partner is a very important decision, as you are trusting another person with your financial investments, goals, time and future. This implies that choosing a partner goes beyond finding a person who has earned your trust; It is important to select someone who can continue following the objectives in the long term, but who is also a loyal person and shares the vision with which you started the venture.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button