The role of human resources is changing. The growing influence of automation and the need to deliver measurable value has transformed HR’s responsibilities.
In the traditional model, HR departments were responsible for recruiting and hiring employees, administering payroll and benefits, and handling employee relations. Automated HR technology now handles many of those tasks, often freeing up bandwidth for HR to take on new responsibilities. The result? Many companies are now looking at HR as a business partner—one that plays a vital role in driving growth and profitability.
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The goal of the HR business partner model is to add tangible value to the company by integrating HR into all aspects of strategic planning and business operations. As the experts on the human aspect of the business, HR is best equipped to identify how each employee fits into the organization’s goals and to put each employee in position to deliver positive results. Essentially, HR works to ensure that the company’s investment in human capital delivers a strong ROI.
An HR business partner not only plays a pivotal role in acquiring top new talent, but also must verify that current employees are placed in the right position, with the right managers and teammates, and have access to necessary training opportunities that will allow for long-term advancement. By promoting individual success and employee satisfaction, an HR partner helps to promote business success.
Where are the areas in which the HR business partner model adds the most value? While that answer will vary slightly from company to company, the best HR partners work closely with the senior management team to identify the organization’s short- and long-term goals. Then, they’ll develop strategies for accomplishing these goals and examine the organizational structure to identify problem areas.
Areas of Influence
During the recruiting process, HR will identify individuals best equipped to fill the company’s strategic needs. By assessing past experience, personalities, strengths and weaknesses, they’ll match individuals with managers and teams that will allow them to thrive—they should fit like a puzzle piece. HR partners will also analyze employee reviews and performance data to pinpoint strengths, which can be developed into potential leadership positions, as well as weaknesses. They’ll provide the necessary training to correct those weaknesses, while also grooming high-performing employees to advance up the ranks. After all, developing and retaining top in-house talent is the best way to guarantee a positive ROI on the human capital investment.
HR business partners are also best equipped to track employee morale, advocate for new benefits and perks that will provide a competitive advantage, and build a strong company culture from the newest employee to the longest-tenured veteran.
To measure an HR partner’s value, businesses need to focus on results instead of process. For example, rather than simply changing the performance review process, HR professionals need to measure and assess the impact of those changes. There are a number of trackable HR metrics that companies can use to measure results.
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For the HR business partner model to succeed, HR professionals need to become familiar with every facet of the business. This will likely require automating or outsourcing more administrative tasks to free professionals up to focus on big-picture outcomes.