Traditionally the Human Resources Department was viewed and considered as a support function by every business. HR was mostly involved in personnel management, making payrolls, managing employee leaves and executing other similar administrative tasks. With the inclusion of HR personnel in strategy formulation and execution, the role of HR today has transformed radically, leading to introduction of the term “HR Business Partner”.
Modern day businesses view HR as a core function, rather than just a support function. This trend is even more popular in industries involved in providing services to customers, such as the hospitality industry, education industry, health industry, etc. Director HR or the Head of HR today is known as the HR Business Partner, which means that they will be a part of the top management and will be included in business meetings, board meetings, etc.
HR as a Core Business Function
HR has much to contribute in a business’s success, as a core function. This is because whatever strategy the CEO has formulated for the business, HR has an important role to play in ensuring that the strategy is implemented by the business’s employees. A mapped view of how HR contributes in businesses as a strategic partner is as below:
Study External Environment
According to the strategy the CEO has formulated for the business, the HR function will study the external business environment and determine how feasible the external conditions are for execution of the business strategy.
Let us say that the CEO of a popular hotel chain decides to grow the business by opening four new branches in four different regions. As a business partner, HR will study the external environment and determine the impact of the cultural differences in the regions the CEO wants to expand. They will also study the demographic trends of the regions and estimate the availability of labor in these regions.
Study Internal Environment
The HR will study the existing manpower and determine whether the hotel can expand into the four new regions with existing labor or whether new manpower is required. In case new labor needs to be hired for successfully expanding in four new regions, HR will calculate the number and the category of people required.
Prepare HR Strategy for the Business
For the new employment that needs to be carried out for expanding to four new regions, HR will also determine whether existing HR practices will suffice or new ones have to be designed. For example, the existing compensation packages may not be feasible for employees of other regions in which the hotel wants to enter. Also, a different recruitment strategy may need to be followed to attract talent from the new regions for the hotel; new job descriptions will have to be designed.
Prepare HR Personnel for Implementation of HR Strategy
The next thing HR will do is determine whether the current HR personnel are competent enough to implement the new HR strategy that has been identified in the previous step. If not, HR will either hire new people in their department or put them on training so they are better equipped to handle the newly devised HR needs of the business.
For example, if you feel that referral employment will be the recruitment strategy that will allow you to get good people for the new hotel branch being opened in new regions, do your HR employees know how to design and employment a referral program? If not, you can send them for training on the subject or hire someone who is experienced in such recruitment strategy.
Ensure HR Practices
At the end, HR will ensure that HR practices are being implemented as designed so that the hotel is successfully able to enter the four new regions as it has planned.
Since a business is made up of people and people work to get results for the business, a strong HR undoubtedly plays an essential role in contributing towards a business’s success by becoming its strategic partner!