The Role of the HR Business Partner
The Human Resources (HR) as a domain is unfortunately still not very clear even to CEOs, employees, and hiring managers from a perspective in terms of its role in the overall business, compliance, and from an employee perspective. In other words, HR has a major PR problem in terms of its branding and communication owing to the various complexities associated with the industry. The reason for this complexity is due to having its roots in various zones such as administration, personnel, documentation, and compliance of an organisation. The department in itself evolved out of sheer necessity when government requirements, employment laws, and other related employee documentation became relatively more complex with the importance shifting to proper creation and storage of employee data, hiring and onboarding process of new hires, policy formulation, payroll processing and filing etc.
HR as a Business Partner
As HR grew as a department, so did its complexity by becoming more involved in establishing business ROI, business forecasting, and executing progress which tied back to the current and future business success scenario. This led to the HR professional evolving into the role of business partner. As a strategic business partner, HR started getting involved in the core business of the organization over and above the previous roles which they were already performing. It evolved as a highly interesting and challenging career path where one got to juggle between various responsibilities, job titles, business involvement and a lot of other factors.
What is a HR Business Partner
HR Business Partner – This role is an exempt level position which is relatively less of a manager and more of a consultant. HR business partners cater to clients within the organisation by providing resources and building relationships with the focus towards the objectives and missions set forth by the organisation. They are relatively much less focussed on administration and compliance. Nowadays organizations typically have a centralized HR Services Centre which provides support in the form of benefits and compensation and policy development and enforcement. The role of HR Business Partner is more of an operational and strategic resource for the regions or under their jurisdiction.
HR Job Descriptions and Responsibilities
As HR evolved as a domain, the HR investment scale suggests that the more complex the strategies, the more strategic the role in an organization. Let’s try to glance at the various roles and responsibilities within the HR department.
Global Head Of HR
Based on the size of the organisation, the vice president of human resources is an exempt level position who reports directly either to the CEO or the COO of an organization. Also based on the organizational structure and size, the VP of HR functions closely with the executive team to discuss various business objectives. They review the financials in order to understand how the various programs and services are helping to drive the organizational revenue. The VP of HR is responsible for integrating people into the full scope of business operations by evaluating the impact of human capital benefits on the overall organization. This position focuses primarily on reporting and analytics, and business metrics.
They are often responsible for managing HR teams of two or more regions, a number of locations, and even serve as the highest ranking member of HR within the organisation. HR Directors are often responsible for planning annual budgets and are often involved in decision making when it comes to buying systems, software, and negotiating various benefits offerings for the organization. The responsibilities of HR Directors are less focussed on compliance and policy and more focused towards building relationships with the executive team members in order to drive results for the organization by focussing on human capital and company.
This is typically a salaried position where they may or may not supervise and oversee a staff of employees. These HR managers need to often do a bit of everything which includes right from compensation, benefits, recruiting and handing employee relations issues on a day to day basis. Their responsibilities are quite huge which even include recruiting and interviewing, location forecasting and budgeting, compliance to overseeing various types of investigations and claims. They are also sometimes involved in payroll processing but from a relatively less administrative perspective as compared to a coordinator or a specialist. HR Managers are often individuals who are cross-trained in the administrative tasks in times of emergencies.
This role is typically help by individuals who have around 1-3 years of experience of working in the HR department. This role focuses on payroll processing, administration, and a couple of other related tasks. Being in this role helps the HR specialists to gain additional working experience on certain speciality projects, training, employee orientation, and pre-screen interviewing. These specialists have a basic knowledge of the employment laws. They are also hourly non-exempt workers and act as a direct point of contact for managers and employees alike.
This is an out and out administrative position. An HR coordinator is responsible for maintaining reports, processing payroll, filing, and scheduling interviews etc. The role also needs an HR Coordinator to even plan and organize various organizational events, participate in inter-office communication within the department and the company, and even develop email content for newsletters. This role helps to focus on administration and offers a valuable service to the organization by maintaining a system and order for everything. They can be considered to be hourly non-exempt workers.