There’s no denying that the HR business partner role has evolved and grown in recent years. This is good news for you! It means that there are more opportunities than ever before to land your dream job as an HR business partner.
I’ve been working with companies and organizations around the world for over 20 years now, helping them navigate their journey through this change. Here are my top tips for how you can become an HRBP superstar:
Be A Brand Ambassador
A brand ambassador is someone who knows the company and its mission. A company’s brand is its reputation, the impression people have of it in the marketplace.
Brand ambassadors are the ones who help build this reputation by promoting and supporting their employer’s values and goals.
A good human resources business partner has a strong sense of her own brand, so she can be an effective promoter for her employer.
She knows what makes her unique and special, how she can contribute beyond performing specific tasks or meeting certain requirements and targets, and how to communicate this effectively in interviews and on resumes (more on that later).
You probably already know that you need to be open-minded and willing to adapt your style, approach and attitude in order to succeed in business.
But you might not realize how important it is that you also be flexible when it comes to what technology works for you and which ones don’t.
A common example of this is using a laptop instead of a desktop computer at home or within the office.
Some people prefer laptops because they are more portable; others prefer them because they seem more “mobile” than their bulky desks with all the wires attached (and who wants those?).
However, if your job requires heavy document editing and/or graphic design work then having a laptop may not cut it you may find yourself spending too much time waiting on updates and transfers instead of working productively!
On the other hand, if your job doesn’t require any heavy-duty computing power then maybe going with the laptop would be best after all…
Be The Ultimate Change Champion
If you’re the ultimate change champion, then you have experience in implementing change management and leading initiatives to transform your organization. You understand that people resist change and need to be trained and motivated before they can embrace it.
As a result, a new HRBP will have an easier time winning over employees when she’s already established herself as someone who makes things happen.
Being an agent of change also means knowing how to get things done without having direct authority over others. And just like it takes more than one person to make something happen, there are several ways for an HRBP to do so:
- She can be a leader (of her team) by making decisions based on the best interests of both parties involved;
- She can play the role of catalyst by taking charge of projects from start-to-finish;
- She might even want to consider becoming an expert at something other than HR so she has knowledge about what’s going on within her company as well as its competitors;
Be An Innovative Problem Solver
One of the most important things you can do to earn your HRBP job is to be an innovative problem solver. An HRBP is a strategic business partner and needs to be able to think on their feet, solve problems, and lead projects.
To do these things well, you need to have an ability to look at problems from different angles, and brainstorm solutions with others in your department and across departments.
See big picture goals through all the details that come up along the way in order for them not to distract from reaching those goals (or even make it worse).
Communicate effectively with both peers and clients so everyone knows where they stand on any given issue or task at hand…and more!
This means being open-minded about new ideas; willing (and excited!) about taking risks; creative enough not only find new ways of solving old problems but also try something new every once in awhile (even if it means failing);
Learning how not just yourself but other people work best when solving problems; accepting criticism as feedback rather than personal attacks against who you are as a person and then using it wisely!
This will help anyone become successful no matter what career path they choose: whether it’s being a consultant specializing one type of project management process like Scrum/Agile methodologies or another such as the Six Sigma technique…
Or working as part of cross-functional team applying Lean Startup principles within manufacturing company’s supply chain operation….the possibilities really are endless!
Be A Consummate Relationship Builder
Building relationships is the key to landing your dream job as a human resource business partner.
To build these relationships, you need to be a consummate relationship builder.
You need to listen, understand and ask questions in order to truly connect with people.
To be a good listener, you must focus on what your audience is saying, not just how they’re saying it or what words they use but why they’re saying them in the first place!
You have to understand where your client base is coming from in order for them to trust you enough for lasting business partnerships.
And by paying attention and asking questions throughout this process of getting to know each other better (and bringing up topics that interest them).
Then passing along information about HRBP career options through networking groups like Women In Human Resources (WIHR) chapters across North America will help build strong relationships between HRBP candidates and employers!
Be A Culture Hero
What does that mean? A culture hero is someone who champions the things they care about and makes them their own.
They are advocates for their company’s culture, values, mission, and vision and they do it in a way that makes people feel good about themselves and each other.
As you begin your career exploration process to find a job as an HR Business Partner or Director of Talent Acquisition at an organization you believe aligns with your values and goals.
Think about which aspects of the company’s culture or mission you would like to become an advocate for by:
- Holding yourself accountable to live out those values every day (e.g., if one of your core values is honesty, make sure that everything you say includes honesty)
- Being open-minded when interacting with others (e.g., if one of your core values is collaboration, consider how you can best collaborate on projects)
Be An All-Star Communicator
You’ve heard it all before: communication is key. Be a good listener and a good communicator, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a human resource business partner who is an all-star at his or her job.
But what does that mean? What does “good” even mean in the context of being a great communicator?
To explore this question further, let’s compare American games with Russian ones.
As you might have guessed from the fact that I’m writing about this topic in English rather than Russian, I’m not much of an expert on Russian games (although if anyone wants to teach me some Russian-language video game titles and their meanings, please do).
However, I know enough about the differences between American games and their counterparts abroad to say with confidence that they don’t offer many useful insights into how best to communicate as a human resource business partner in America and vice versa!
Be An Active Listener
The best way to do this is by being a good listener. In other words, listen with your ears and avoid the temptation to think about what you’re going to say next or what your own response will be.
When listening, remember:
Focus on what the other person is saying and not on yourself or your own thoughts or feelings. If you find yourself thinking about something else while someone else is talking, try focusing on their body language instead (e.g., are they smiling? Do they seem relaxed?).
Use appropriate questions when needed so that the conversation stays focused and doesn’t go off track.
For example, if someone seems uncertain about something they said earlier in a conversation but hasn’t asked for clarification yet that’s usually a sign that they need some help from you in understanding their own point of view better!
Try asking them things like: How does that make sense? Did I understand correctly? Can you give an example? What exactly did happen? Did anyone react differently?”
Be A Broker Of Strengths, Passions, And Purpose
People are more likely to trust you when they know that you’re an expert in your field. But how do you prove it? By showing them what makes YOU uniquely qualified for the job.
This does not mean that you need to be an expert at everything it’s okay if there are things about your job that aren’t necessarily all that interesting to YOU, as long as you understand how they benefit the organization’s goals.
Instead of trying (and failing) to be perfect at everything, focus on being good at one or two things and then use those skills in such a way that benefits everyone around you!
Be A Great Coach, Consultant, And Facilitator
It goes without saying that you need to be a great coach, consultant and facilitator. You can’t lead an organization if you’re not able to help its members reach their goals.
The first step in being successful as a coach, consultant or facilitator is taking the time to learn about your team members’ specific interests, skills and concerns. For example:
- Do they have any technical skills? How strong are they at their job?
- What are their personal aspirations for their career development? Are there ways for you to help them achieve those goals?
- Why did this person choose your company over others? How do they feel about the work environment here so far and what would make it better for them personally going forward (for example, more opportunities for advancement)?
Be A Strategic Planner Who Can See The Big Picture
In order to land your dream job as a human resource business partner, you need to be able to see the big picture. You need to know how to think strategically, plan strategically, and execute your plans so that you can measure the results of your strategic planning process.
This means that before you begin your search for new jobs or apply for positions at different companies, you should sit back and think about where their needs are right now compared with their long-term goals.
If they have an immediate problem on their hands (e.g., they need someone who can help increase productivity across all departments), then this is where you would focus all of your attention (and energy).
If there’s been some recent turnover in leadership roles within this particular company or if there is no clear path forward with regard to succession planning then this could present another opportunity for which it makes sense for them to attract top talent like yourself!
Be A People Analytics Superstar
If you want to be a people analytics superstar, you’ll need to be able to understand the business strategy and how it affects the workforce.
You’ll also need to be able to understand the workforce and how it affects the business. And finally, you’ll need to understand data the data itself, and its impact on both people and businesses.
However! Your job isn’t just about understanding these things; it’s also about seeing where they intersect with one another. In fact, there are three different aspects of HR that have an enormous impact on one another:
People Analytics (understanding how all of this affects us), Talent Management (managing teams based on data) and Employee Engagement (connecting employees’ interests with company goals).
Be An Expert On The Ins-And-Outs Of The Business You Support
To be a good HR business partner, you need to know the ins-and-outs of the business you support. You should know:
- The company’s history and culture.
- Its products and services.
- Its goals, objectives, and strategies for achieving them.
- Who your customers are and what they want from their relationship with you—and from their interactions with your company as a whole.
This kind of knowledge is essential in order to create an effective HR strategy that will help your company succeed by attracting great employees at all levels while also supporting existing employees in their work efforts.
As we’ve seen, HR business partners have to be the ultimate all-star. They have to be strategic thinkers and analyzers of data, but also nimble and flexible enough to respond quickly to new challenges.
They must be communicators who can build relationships both internally and externally, while being experts in whatever business they support whether it’s finance or marketing.
And they must be able to bring out the best in people while inspiring them toward personal growth and career fulfillment.