What is the definition of a business partner?
The definition of a business partner includes any contractual, exclusive bond between parties that represents a commercial alliance. The two parties may be individuals who agree to work together to create and manage a business. The parties may also be separate teams, groups, or businesses that agree to cooperate and work together for a mutually beneficial common purpose.
What does it mean to be a strategic business partner?
A strategic business partner is a leader who is included in conversations about the future, mission, goals, and overall strategy of a company or organization. A strategic business partner, while not a member of the C-suite or executive leadership team, has a voice in their HR conversations. A strategic business partner is a consultant whose opinions and ideas are valued. The HR business partner is generally considered to be a strategic business partner that can offer recommendations, make decisions, and carry out goals.
To be valued as a strategic business partner and merit an invitation to conversations about the organization’s future, a human resources professional must have a certain set of skills and knowledge. This professional must understand all areas and departments of the business, and how HR can benefit these aspects. The individual is skilled in listening to problems and ideas, and in clearly articulating solutions.
HR business partner vs. HR manager
An HR business partner and HR manager are separate roles and represent two different models of conducting human resources services within an organization. The HR manager’s work focuses around developing policy and enforcing procedure. This position is accountable for systems such as processing payroll, recruiting, hiring, system administration, and more. The HR manager oversees the HR department.
The HR business partner, on the other hand, does not have administrative responsibilities over a department. Their primary function is to work with the company’s senior leadership team and with department managers to help guide and communicate overall company strategy. HR business partners collaborate with the HR department while consulting the executive team on HR issues and initiatives. They may have a hand in developing HR initiative and strategy that affects the whole organization.