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What is an HR Business Partner?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2012, 05:35 PM
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Default What is an HR Business Partner?

I, like many others in the HR field, am curious about the roles of an HR Business Partner.

Below are the roles extracted from What is an HR Business Partner? for discussion purpose.

Hope current HR Business Partners can chip in on the reality of the role locally.


Strategic Partner

Aligning HR and business strategy: ‘organisational diagnosis’

In many cases, this is the only hr business partner role HR people think of. The person “at the table.”While important, this is no larger than the other HR business partner roles.

This HR professional understands business strategy, and that strategy is about trade-offs, and choices. They also have a significant understanding of how their organization operates and how the firm generates value.

They help provide perspective to business changes, and evaluate the business case for impacts to employees (good and bad). How changes to talent management can help in achieving business objectives.


Administrative Expert

Reengineering organisation processes: ‘shared services’

McKinsey once wrote that “re-designing and organization is one of the best uses of a CEO’s time.”

Bain & Co studies 57 restructurings and found that the common element to successful restructuring was improving the ability to make decisions.

Having an HR professional with skills in designing organizational structures, processes, and the jobs within them can greatly improve productivity giving your organization a competitive advantage.


Employee Champion

Listening and responding to employees: ‘providing resources to employees’

This isn’t just listening to employees.This is actively working to improve employee engagement and to develop key talent.

My favourite definition of employee engagement is a measure of employee’s discretionary effort. Engaged employees are more productive. In modern business, this means efficiency and competitiveness.

However, discretionary effort alone won’t help your organization succeed. This is where talent development is key. HR professionals in the employee champion role help maintain employee engagement, and ensure that the right employees are developing the right skills that the organization will need to remain competitive.

This can be management and leadership skills in a large organization, or customer-service skill development, or even instilling a culture of continuous improvement within your organization.

Productive skilled employees are the backbone to an organizations success, and this role is critical to accomplishing that.


Change Agent

Managing transformation and change: ‘ensuring capacity for change’

Anywhere from 50-70% of organizational changes fail, and many times they fail because the people don’t change. Systems or tools get successfully created, but are never used.

Getting the people to change is one of the most difficult things to accomplish within an organization (in fact, my employer PwC has an entire group just called People and Change who support organizations undergoing changes).

Successful change is vital to an organizations ability to adapt and compete, and having HR professionals who understand this, and are involved in organizational changes can make a significant difference.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2012, 12:44 AM
dips
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I am a generalist Training Manager supporting mostly local ops. But I did get a chance to report into a generalist "HR Director" (inflated title) and then later to a HRBP when she came in & replace the Director who was asked to leave.

This is just base on my observation, so maybe a BP can correct me. To me the biggest difference is a normal HR manager is like a office support while a BP is more of a GM who has a focus on manpower related issues.

My previous boss the HR Director was a very typical HR person, a late 40s nice lady who rose from the ranks and started out as a HR Officer. She knows recruitment process, employment law issues, done payroll before & knows a bit of training stuff.

She tend to play a support role like when GM say hire 50 operator, she will instruct us to kick start the hiring and conduct interviews, run road shows. If staff complain about welfare, she will look into it and make changes to benefits. When come to performance appraisal, her main job is to make sure everyone submit on time and bonus paid out accordingly. Whatever corp reporting need to do, she will fill up the templates and get us to compile data.

When my new boss the HRBP came, things were very different. New boss was a very energetic and driven young lady in her mid 30s, but paid nearly twice my old boss. Big difference is within a short time she know a lot about the business. Each SKU we produce, margins of our brand portfolio, capacity expansion plans over the next 3 years, our supply chain vendor mgt framework, sales distro model etc. She also hired 1 analyst who churned out a lot of HR analytics like efficiency ratios, productivity, turnover trends, training costs, succession pipelines etc. I had a hard time adapting to her style at first.

I also notice new boss is more politically savvy compared to my old boss who is like friendly to everyone. She know how to play politics, influence stakeholders, maintain good relations with powerful people in RHQ. She also tend to be able to challenge GM on best practices, the assumptions they put in the planning and budgets, organization structure and always debating with the Finance Director over costs & performance measurement. In a nutshell, she was much more pro-active & powerful in the business compared to old boss who basically take instruction from top and make sure her own HR department is run well.

Old boss was a more pleasant person to work with, but I learn more from new boss. Anyway I told her recently I want to move into a specialist role in Learning & Development and she is quite supportive and try to talk to the RHQ team to consider my transfer, but in the end didn't get it, they say I didn't have relevant experience.

This is my 2c, hope this helps.



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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-06-2012, 04:16 PM
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why it matter what is a business partner? important thing is how much you make in your job.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dips View Post
I am a generalist Training Manager supporting mostly local ops. But I did get a chance to report into a generalist "HR Director" (inflated title) and then later to a HRBP when she came in & replace the Director who was asked to leave.

This is just base on my observation, so maybe a BP can correct me. To me the biggest difference is a normal HR manager is like a office support while a BP is more of a GM who has a focus on manpower related issues.

My previous boss the HR Director was a very typical HR person, a late 40s nice lady who rose from the ranks and started out as a HR Officer. She knows recruitment process, employment law issues, done payroll before & knows a bit of training stuff.

She tend to play a support role like when GM say hire 50 operator, she will instruct us to kick start the hiring and conduct interviews, run road shows. If staff complain about welfare, she will look into it and make changes to benefits. When come to performance appraisal, her main job is to make sure everyone submit on time and bonus paid out accordingly. Whatever corp reporting need to do, she will fill up the templates and get us to compile data.

When my new boss the HRBP came, things were very different. New boss was a very energetic and driven young lady in her mid 30s, but paid nearly twice my old boss. Big difference is within a short time she know a lot about the business. Each SKU we produce, margins of our brand portfolio, capacity expansion plans over the next 3 years, our supply chain vendor mgt framework, sales distro model etc. She also hired 1 analyst who churned out a lot of HR analytics like efficiency ratios, productivity, turnover trends, training costs, succession pipelines etc. I had a hard time adapting to her style at first.

I also notice new boss is more politically savvy compared to my old boss who is like friendly to everyone. She know how to play politics, influence stakeholders, maintain good relations with powerful people in RHQ. She also tend to be able to challenge GM on best practices, the assumptions they put in the planning and budgets, organization structure and always debating with the Finance Director over costs & performance measurement. In a nutshell, she was much more pro-active & powerful in the business compared to old boss who basically take instruction from top and make sure her own HR department is run well.

Old boss was a more pleasant person to work with, but I learn more from new boss. Anyway I told her recently I want to move into a specialist role in Learning & Development and she is quite supportive and try to talk to the RHQ team to consider my transfer, but in the end didn't get it, they say I didn't have relevant experience.

This is my 2c, hope this helps.

I wan to rise up to ranks too but with an engineering degree in honours and 2 years project mgt..
to switch into HR is so hard because i am not even called up for a HR assistant position...

Last year into my 1st year was still abit lucky that keppel and few engineering firm called me up for interiew but i rejected as I wanna stay longer in my current company..

Do you all think I still stand any chance for interview for Human resource executive role with degree in any discipline..of cos willing to get a paycut... I hope by entering an engineering firm give me a chance to understand HR and with my backgrounnd i noe how engineering company works as a whole..

who can give me a chance? I am sick of engineering
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:11 PM
dips
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I wan to rise up to ranks too but with an engineering degree in honours and 2 years project mgt..
to switch into HR is so hard because i am not even called up for a HR assistant position...

Last year into my 1st year was still abit lucky that keppel and few engineering firm called me up for interiew but i rejected as I wanna stay longer in my current company..

Do you all think I still stand any chance for interview for Human resource executive role with degree in any discipline..of cos willing to get a paycut... I hope by entering an engineering firm give me a chance to understand HR and with my backgrounnd i noe how engineering company works as a whole..

who can give me a chance? I am sick of engineering
You better think twice before jumping honestly, dun just humtum hr because you dont like engineering.

1) HR generalist in engineering / mfg environment is thankless job, a lot of rubbish things you have to handle like AWOL, discipline issues, complains over stupid things like vending machine, boots, bus, dispute over OT, organize gathering, training records etc.

2) Career progression for generalist ops really is CMI, I am currently trying to get out of it and finding it very hard. I already close to 10 yrs exp in 3 companies and only just reach 4.6k, increment & bonus also much lower than my peers.

To answer ur question, yes I think u still have a decent chance. The work is just mostly admin & dun need hr degree (i major marketing) Just try to sound as team player and people oriented as possible, tone down on all that engineering "I know the biz" rhetoric, they are not looking for that kind of stuff for a hr exec.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dips View Post
You better think twice before jumping honestly, dun just humtum hr because you dont like engineering.

1) HR generalist in engineering / mfg environment is thankless job, a lot of rubbish things you have to handle like AWOL, discipline issues, complains over stupid things like vending machine, boots, bus, dispute over OT, organize gathering, training records etc.

2) Career progression for generalist ops really is CMI, I am currently trying to get out of it and finding it very hard. I already close to 10 yrs exp in 3 companies and only just reach 4.6k, increment & bonus also much lower than my peers.

To answer ur question, yes I think u still have a decent chance. The work is just mostly admin & dun need hr degree (i major marketing) Just try to sound as team player and people oriented as possible, tone down on all that engineering "I know the biz" rhetoric, they are not looking for that kind of stuff for a hr exec.
any recommendation for HR generalist as a stepping stone>?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haiz2006 View Post
any recommendation for HR generalist as a stepping stone>?
first time I heard of people want to become HR generalist for stepping stone...

how an engineer take up administrator job is considered career advancement is beyond me :rollingeyes:
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by haiz2006 View Post
any recommendation for HR generalist as a stepping stone>?
I feel Engineering grads should venture into L&D and minimally be a stand-up trainer for soft-skills e.g. customer service. You can also be seen as a consultant to help employees customise and conduct in-house training courses, so that staff are well-trained and uphold certain KPIs like customer service.

Get an ACTA (Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment) cert where you can be a WDA-certified trainer, to teach WSQ courses. You may retire as a freelance trainer eventually.

Importantly you must go to a company with good spectrum of in-house courses where you can conduct, so that it can be a good learning ground for you.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by waterbottle View Post
I feel Engineering grads should venture into L&D and minimally be a stand-up trainer for soft-skills e.g. customer service. You can also be seen as a consultant to help employees customise and conduct in-house training courses, so that staff are well-trained and uphold certain KPIs like customer service.

Get an ACTA (Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment) cert where you can be a WDA-certified trainer, to teach WSQ courses. You may retire as a freelance trainer eventually.

Importantly you must go to a company with good spectrum of in-house courses where you can conduct, so that it can be a good learning ground for you.
Possible but pay & career wise the prospects are not bright for such freelance / inhouse generic trainers.

The supply is overflooded because any guy who has some work experience just gets a few basic certs and starts offering general training. You can't make much by teaching generic subjects like customer service, team building, communication skills for low level workers, same for inhouse trainer as well.

If he really interested in L&D, the best route is to join a related engineering consultancy, gain a few years of broad based indstrial knowledge and imparting expertise then switch to in house or set up own consultancy spcializing in a certain niche of technical training. But again, this will require him to stay in engineering which he want to get out.


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