Erik Geerts

Development as HR Business Partner

2 min leestijd

In recent years, the number of companies that have introduced the role of HR Business Partner (HRBP) has increased considerably. If you want to develop as an HR professional in this role, three competences are important: 1) establishing relationships with business leaders; 2) have knowledge of the business; and 3) have comprehensive, functional HR knowledge. This article discusses what elements are crucial in your personal development as a HR professional.

Modernisation of the HR function

Dave Ulrich introduced several concepts to modernize the HR function. HR business partnering (Strategic business Reconciliation), shared service centers (operational support of employees/managers) and HR Centers of Excellence (building in-depth knowledge & support specific HR themes) are examples of this. This makes HR more involved in strategic business issues. It has also provided synergy benefits and increased HR knowledge. However, there are questions to be asked about the effectiveness of this modernisation. For example, HRBPs do not always feel equally valued when the business leaders are working with them.

Necessity of HR business partnering

At the same time, over the years the trend has been rising whereby organisations make their employees’ (wishes and well-being) an increasingly central point of focus. A challenge in which HR expertise cannot be missed. And that’s why HR business partnering has become a necessity in today’s business operations.

3 crucial competences as HRBP

As mentioned above, there are three main competences to develop as HRBP:

  1. Establishing relationships with business leaders: HR has now penetrated to almost all executive committees of most companies. The involvement of HR is also seeped through to other layers. The HRBPs synchronise the HR strategy with the overall business strategy with different management teams. Even though it may be because the demand for HR expertise has increased, in many cases it is possible to establish relationships as competency pretty well developed among HR professionals
  2. Knowledge of the business: this is an essential competence. One with which growth is still possible in many cases. Often, HR professionals can act less from their own HR perspective and more with an overall business rationale. As HR professional you have to have knowledge of the market and industry in which you work. Managing expectations is becoming increasingly important. Today’s HR professional is expected to not only be looking back, but also forward. For example, with data and analyses of recruitment, employee development and productivity. Supporting in making data-driven decisions is therefore a quality that allows you to add absolute value as HRBP.
  3. Have overall HR knowledge: in terms of trends and recent issues in the field of HR is indispensable as HRBP. Reporting & analysis, in-& outsourcing, learning & development, performance management and policy for compensation & benefits are good and recent examples of this. With far-reaching knowledge in the HR-specific knowledge areas, you can definitely make the difference in your role as HRBP.

Continuous development

By applying a continuous focus on your personal development within the three aforementioned competencies as HR Professional, you increase your added value within your organization. It will offer you a place at the business leaders table, where you will be seen as an equal sparring partner. In addition, you will be actively involved in making strategic (business) decisions. Business management cannot be properly performed without close involvement of HR.

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