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Written by
Kalina Pasternak

Kalina Pasternak

Bespoke HR Business Partner

When I joined Objectivity my friends working in HR started asking questions. Obviously they wanted to know more about the company – which is standard – but the most important question was: “What are your responsibilities?”

I told them that I have to keep employees satisfied in the workplace and the way I am going to achieve my goal is in my hands. Right after this statement the person whom I was talking would stare at me and ask: “Don’t you have any regular tasks or metrics you have to follow?” In which I would reply, “To be honest with you, I don’t.”

Maybe it is the right time to clarify one thing: being HR Business Partner (HRBP) in a large, global corporation and holding the same job title in Objectivity are two different things.

As an HRBP in a corporation you look after hundreds or even thousands of employees. You have direct contact only with a small percentage of people in the organisation, focusing mainly on cooperation with the business leaders and you are likely to not know everyone – as in my case. You are responsible for implementation of global policies and rules, work with numbers and KPI’s, as reports are the only way to track changes, prove results on investment or simply help to clarify your point of view with management. You cooperate with management and the board, which equals in gaining hundreds of approvals before implementing your idea. You support processes of annual employees’ evaluations, salary reviews and calibration in the company – whatever it means. You analyse data on attrition and absences. You are at least partly responsible for workforce planning. You are responsible for talent programs & training. You deal with day to day problems, disciplinary procedures and dismissals. In some companies you may also support the implementation of projects and legal compliance – plus much more!
In summary: you have to focus on many tasks and daily challenges. Your role would be placed under the “Quantity HR” umbrella. And that’s OK – each corporation has its own needs and goals and it happens that quality is not one of them.

The Role of an HRBP in Objectivity is about a different approach. First of all you do everything you have learned in the past in order to make people both happy and effective. You work within the HR team on new initiatives, you come up with ideas for trainings and workshops. You help to integrate teams. There are no bright new ideas coming from the board in programmes- the stage is yours and it is up to you how you will act. You have to feel the HR pulse: look for best practices in HR magazines, portals and books to help you and the company grow. You challenge the present situation. You have to be ready to admit when you make mistakes, and you have to be ready to learn from them.

But the biggest part of the role is talking. You talk constantly. During one-to-one meetings with leaders you learn more about team members, talents, new joiners and their induction. You are the one to ask about the teams’ needs and problems. You gather the feedback on their first months in the company, you work with employees on possible ways of development and internal role changes. You help to highlight future leaders. Where an employee leaves the company you conduct an exit interview which is analysed instead of being kept in the system. And the most important part – you know each and every employee in the project you look after. Because it is not about crisis management: an HRBP role in Objectivity is all about the quality of HR.

If you are thinking about your development in HR or in the company an HRBP role is an area of interest, please consider all of the above.. The role is not the same everywhere and applying for it in a specific company means that they will have a specific approach. Let us know if you like ours – maybe this should be your plan for the future?

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2 thoughts in Comments

  1. Marta

    It’s great to hear that there are companies, like Objectivity, highly appreciating human value – not to treat humans as resources but to develop unique resources in humans.

    Apart from Gallup Strenghts Finder approach, you might find both useful and inspiring features in:

    The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley:
    http://www.tenfacesofinnovation.com/tenfaces/index.htm
    http://www.slideshare.net/hblowers/ten-faces-of-innovation

    ..and share your company values as well as have a real impact outside the organization. Quoting H. Ford: “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business” 😉
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2014/12/08/the-companies-with-the-best-csr-reputations/
    Take care!

    Reply

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