Why HR Is More Than A Department – It’s A Business Partner

Why HR Is More Than A Department – It’s A Business Partner

On the surface, a Human Resources Department is just another administrative arm of a business. But increasingly, HR is being seen as something much more significant. In fact, many see it as a business partner whose potential can help lead a business to the next level.

The old Human Resources model was very administration-focused, with detailed files on current and past employees stored in sturdy filing cabinets. As employment laws became more complex with universal employee rights, employment standards and governmental requirements, a huge amount of attention had to be reserved for personnel management.

But many industry experts refer to a new model that empowers HR to play a greater role in business and recruitment strategies, and in compliance planning. It’s one that recognizes HR as a business partner, not a simple department.

In 2015, CareerBuilder carried out a survey of 88 executives working for major corporations ($50m+ in annual revenue) and learned that 65% of them agreed the opinions of HR leaders now carry more weight than ever, and 73% have used data from HR leaders in their business strategies.

But why is business now seeing HR in such a different light? Does HR now offer something more than was previously seen?


HR Spreading Its Wings

In recent years, HR has spread its wings considerably. The fact that there is a dedicated position on offer in most departments – the HR Business Partner – is a bit of a giveaway. Human Resources is now recognised as a major player in the development of strategic business planning.

In fact, according to a 2015 survey carried out by US-based BLR, a third (33.3%) of business management teams view human resources as a strategic partner, with a quarter (25.6%) considering it a ‘credible business partner’.

Of the 920 participating managers, 25.7% confirmed that HR played ‘a major role’ in their companies’ strategic planning, and 27.9% ‘a minor role’.  Just 7.7% said HR played no part in their strategic planning (down from 12.4% 2 years earlier).

Some of the areas that HR has become involved in recent years are performance management design and implementation, coaching management, employee engagement initiatives, and in driving culture. Newer areas include workspace design and organization knowledge retention.


3 Ways HR Makes The Ideal Business Partner

    1. HR Knows The Significance of the Skills Gap

Keeping a business competitive is heavily reliant on narrowing the skills gap, and HR has to wrangle with this challenge continuously. It’s their bread and butter. It mainly comes down to effective talent recruitment, but talent development and knowing where to find the right talent at the right time are key parts too.

    1. HR Can Boost Human Capital Efficiency

With employee engagement so critical to a business, especially in terms of productivity, it’s important to be able to enhance employee satisfaction. It’s about boosting Human Capital Efficiency, but it’s not something just anyone can do. HR is perfectly positioned to keep their finger on the pulse. With their insight, management is better able to get the most out of their employees and reduce staff turnover rates.

    1. HR Can Help Recruitment Run Smoother

CareerBuilder revealed in their survey that 48% of participating CEOs lost money because their recruiting strategy didn’t go according to plan. But with HR now making use of software to analyze recruitment performances, it can provide invaluable data to ensure the most effective recruitment strategies possible. Data-driven recruitment campaigns are more successful, but the data also helps to make the whole recruitment process run more smoothly and faster.


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About the Author

AnnualLeave is a leading employee leave management tool on the market, lifting the HR headache by cutting request processing times, monitoring leave trends, and maintaining company compliance all with one user-friendly, affordable self-service app. For more information you can get in touch with one of our team via our online form or email at sales@annualleave.com.

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