February 23, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

5 Skills HR Pros Must Sharpen to Be a Strategic Business Partner

4 min read

Today’s business and the workforce are more challenging than ever. These challenges require HR professionals to be more skilled. The traditional generalist human resources or HR role can no longer deliver on expectations.

HR professionals today need to be more active in many areas of a business.

To effectively meet and improve business potential, HR must become more strategic and operational. This requires the completion of advanced HR training courses and the consideration of the HR business partnering model.

What is an HR business partner?

An HR business partnership enables an organization to meet the business challenges of the 21st century. Transforming the HR function through business partnering allows the HR department to take part in strategic business planning.

HR business partners work side by side with management and senior execs. This provides the business with value-added results. HR business partners are better positioned to plan and manage talent, build capabilities, and deliver on expectations.

A strategic HR business partner is a high-performing HR professional, one that delivers a competitive advantage and helps a business meet its present and future goals.

To become a strategic business partner, HR professionals must enhance their expertise with the help of comprehensive HR conferences and corporate training courses. These will empower them to develop and foster the skills needed to be a strategic business partner.

Here are the essential skills an HR professional needs to add value to a company as an HR business partner.

1.     Management skills

An HR business partner takes on a more involved role than the traditional HR professional.

HR business partners do more than just manage talent. They must be culture champions that address coaching, counseling, career development, and employee relations issues.

HR business partners must also take the initiative on other management responsibilities. These new responsibilities include performance management processes, succession planning, and change management.

2.     Consulting agility

As a business partner, HR professionals must be able to govern many responsibilities. Consulting and change management are of greater importance. This requires HR professionals to improve their consulting agility.

Having strong consulting agility allows an HR business partner to work side by side with peer business leaders. This adds strategic value to the business and ensures that the organization achieves positive business outcomes.

HR professionals with strong consulting agility have the ability to access and analyze data analytics and business imperatives. Data analytics informs decision making.

An HR business partner that can analyze workforce data is capable of aligning HR solutions to the decision making process. Using organizational insight to support personnel recommendations adds efficiency and value to positive business outcomes.

3.     Strategic planning

As a business partner, HR will play an important role in strategic business planning. HR must possess the ability to formulate strategic plans that align with business objectives.

Being able to translate business objectives into people-focused strategies is a core component of strategic planning. This means having the strategic capabilities to sense the future and implement change for the better.

HR professionals with strong strategic planning skills are able to effectively manage resources, approach business-critical roles and stakeholders strategically, and provide guidance on workforce planning.

4.     Business fluency

The traditional HR role is not adept at business speak. The lack of access to data analytics makes it difficult for HR personnel to participate in business conversations. This limits their ability to harness emerging opportunities in the talent landscape.

By becoming a business partner, HR is now better able to inform business imperatives and solve talent pressures. The ability to access data analytics creates opportunities for HR to develop their financial acumen and operations knowledge.

This, coupled with HR expertise, ensures the business has the requisite capabilities and competencies to deliver improved business results, all within financial parameters and future growth in mind.

5.     Social knowledge

A key technology proponent of being a strategic business partner is the ability to leverage social media tools. Harnessing the power of social media enables an HR business partner to deliver greater business impact and drive innovation.

Social media can serve to improve the utility of HR operations. It supports internal and external functions, connecting employees with peers and improving social relationships with external stakeholders.

When social media is leveraged with other technology proponents such as data analytics, the business is in a better position to attract, retain, and engage talent while promoting future growth.

Transforming HR into a strategic business partner

The roadmap to transforming HR into a strategic HR business partner starts with these essential skills. Developing and leveraging these skills enables an HR professional to shape positive change that drives long-term business success.

HR professionals that possess these skills are better equipped to manage the challenges present in today’s workforce and the global economy.

With over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, Annick Nuyens first worked in the hospitality service industry and then moved to the knowledge industry. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and inhouse training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.