What is an HR Strategic Partner? And Why Does Your Business Need One?
When HR departments operate independently and their programs are not aligned with the company’s strategic goals, it is a missed opportunity for both HR and senior leadership.
In fact, 70% of CEOs expect their Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to be a key player in the company’s overall strategy, but only 55% say that their CHRO meets this expectation.
HR is in a unique position to impact key performance indicators, such as company culture and employee engagement. However without a strategic HR partner to guide these efforts, the impact of HR will be limited.
What is HR strategic partner?
A human resources (HR) strategic partner is a senior HR professional who works closely with business leaders to develop and implement HR strategies that support the business’s overall goals. HR strategic partners play a critical role in helping businesses to achieve their financial, operational, and strategic objectives
Strategic HR business partners develop HR policies and methods that help companies achieve their goals. They do this by creating or improving existing policies and procedures, analyzing current practices, and collaborating with managers and senior leadership.
Here are some of the key responsibilities of a strategic HR business partner:
- Developing strategic HR policies: This includes creating new policies and improving existing ones to ensure that they are aligned with the company’s overall goals.
- Analyzing current HR policies and methods: Strategic HR business partners regularly review the company’s HR practices to identify areas for improvement.
- Collaborating with managers: Strategic HR business partners work closely with managers to educate them about new policies and procedures, and to provide support and guidance on HR matters.
- Planning strategic HR initiatives: Strategic HR business partners develop and implement HR initiatives that support the company’s overall goals and improve HR efficiency.
- Developing organizational approaches: Strategic HR business partners develop and implement HR approaches that guide the company’s HR team in their work.
- Meeting with colleagues and C-level executives: Strategic HR business partners are part of the company’s senior leadership team and meet with other members of the team to discuss long-term goals and how to achieve them. This may include meeting with C-level executives, such as the CEO.
In short, strategic HR business partners play a vital role in helping companies achieve their goals by developing and implementing effective HR policies and initiatives.
To be successful in this role, HR strategic partners must have a deep understanding of both HR and business. They must also be excellent communicators and collaborators.
The difference between HR manager & HR strategic partner:
Human resource business partners typically play a more specialized position inside their organizations, whereas human resource managers handle a broader variety of responsibilities. Here are some more areas where a strategic business partner in HR differs from an HR manager:
Specialization between HR manager & HR strategic partner:
Strategic HR business partners have more specialized tasks than HR managers. Their main focus is to develop long-term HR strategies and help achieve company goals. They do this by developing specific policies that allow the company to accomplish its objectives.
HR managers, on the other hand, have a wide range of personnel management-related responsibilities, so their daily duties are more general. For example, they may:
- Hire and interview candidates
- Facilitate compensation
- Manage the budget
- Facilitate benefits
- Manage compliance
- Lead staff training
- Complete administrative tasks
Implementation between HR manager & HR strategic partner:
Strategic HR business partners focus on developing HR strategies that are aligned with the unique business goals of the company. They are typically not responsible for implementing the strategies, but they may work with HR managers to develop implementation plans and provide training.
HR managers are responsible for implementing the HR strategies developed by strategic HR business partners. This may involve developing and conducting training programs, communicating new policies to employees, and providing support to employees during the implementation process.
In other words, strategic HR business partners are responsible for the “why” and “what” of HR, while HR managers are responsible for the “how” and “when.”
Here is an example:
A strategic HR business partner may develop a new HR strategy to improve employee engagement. The strategy may involve implementing a new employee recognition program and providing more opportunities for professional development.
The HR manager would then be responsible for implementing the strategy. This would involve developing a detailed implementation plan, including timelines, resources, and communication materials. The HR manager would also be responsible for conducting training on the new employee recognition program and professional development opportunities.
Both strategic HR business partners and HR managers play important roles in ensuring that the company has a strong and effective HR function. By working together, they can help the company to achieve its business goals.
Goals between HR manager & HR strategic partner:
Strategic HR business partners focus on developing long-term HR strategies that are aligned with the company’s overall goals and objectives. They are responsible for thinking ahead and anticipating the company’s future needs.
HR managers, on the other hand, are more focused on the day-to-day operations of HR. They are responsible for implementing the HR strategies developed by strategic HR business partners, as well as managing the daily needs of employees.
In other words, strategic HR business partners are responsible for the “big picture” of HR, while HR managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations.
Here is an analogy to help illustrate the difference between the two roles:
- Strategic HR business partners are like the architects of HR, while HR managers are like the builders.
- The architect designs the blueprint for the house, while the builder constructs the house according to the architect’s plans.
- Similarly, the strategic HR business partner designs the HR strategy for the company, while the HR manager implements the HR strategy.
- Both roles are important, and they work together to ensure that the company has a strong and effective HR function.
- In short, strategic HR business partners focus on the big picture of HR, while HR managers focus on the day-to-day operations.
How does hr strategic partner benefit the organization?
HR must become a strategic partner for any corporation that wishes to stay competitive in today’s constantly evolving business environment. Companies may develop a more efficient and productive staff by addressing strategic HR, which can lead to enhanced business outcomes.
Here are some of the benefits of having an HR strategic partner:
- Improved employee engagement and productivity: HR strategic partners can help businesses improve employee engagement and productivity by developing and implementing HR policies and programs that create a positive work environment and support employee well-being.
- Reduced turnover and absenteeism: HR strategic partners can help businesses reduce turnover and absenteeism by developing and implementing HR programs and initiatives that support employee development and retention.
- Increased attraction and retention of top talent: HR strategic partners can help businesses attract and retain top talent by developing and implementing a strong employer branding strategy and by offering competitive compensation and benefits packages.
- Improved financial performance: HR strategic partners can help businesses improve their financial performance by reducing costs, such as turnover costs and absenteeism costs, and by improving employee productivity.
- Improved operational efficiency: HR strategic partners can help businesses improve their operational efficiency by developing and implementing efficient HR processes and systems.
- Enhanced strategic agility: HR strategic partners can help businesses enhance their strategic agility by developing and implementing HR strategies that are aligned with the business’s strategic goals, and by providing employees with the skills and knowledge they need to adapt to change.
- Aligning talent with business goals. This can be done through talent reviews, succession planning, organizational design, and other workforce planning activities.
- fostering a culture of lifelong learning, development, and growth. This can be done by building and enabling a culture of learning and development, which benefits both employees and the company’s bottom line.
- Attracting and retaining top talent. This can be done by creating an employer value proposition that is centered around attracting and retaining talent. This is especially important in today’s competitive job market.
In other words, strategic HR can help companies to:
- Employ the best people for the best jobs.
- Develop employees’ skills and knowledge
- Create a positive work environment
- Keep employees engaged and motivated
How to be an HR strategic partner?
- Develop a deep understanding of both HR and the business, and be able to think strategically and develop HR solutions that are aligned with the business’s goals.
- Be a strong communicator and collaborator, and build relationships with business leaders to understand their needs and priorities.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest HR trends and best practices.
In short, to be a successful HR strategic partner, you need to be able to see the big picture, understand how HR can contribute to the business’s success, and be able to communicate and collaborate effectively.
If you’re looking to know how to be strategic partner, check out:
Overall, strategic HR can play a vital role in helping companies achieve their goals and objectives. By partnering with business leaders, HR can help to create a workforce that is aligned with the company’s business goals and that is engaged and productive.