Increasingly, I’m seeing companies listing job openings for business partners in both the HR and IT areas. While there are advantages to bringing fresh talent to any organization, in this particular role, it is far better to develop your own candidates. Here are the reasons:
- Consistency. — HR business partners need strong consulting and coaching capabilities. IT business partners need strong consulting capabilities. Both of these disciplines are different to assess in the interview process. Further, your should want both the consulting and the coaching done in a consistent way that fits with your organization’s business style. Finally, these skills are easily taught in workshops that apply a simulation approach: explanation, demonstration and supervised role-playing.
- Business acumen. — When business partners will come from within your organization, they understand your business. In fact, it is often desirable to train line professionals, rather than HR or IT professionals, as business partners. This can very successful, particularly where they can get subject matter support from strong HR or IT centers of expertise.
- Cultural fit. — Business partners from within are assured to fit the company’s culture, an essential ingredient for them to be successful with their internal clients.
- Time & cost savings. — Internal development is quick. Four-day workshops followed by some reinforcement coaching will do the trick if the right candidates are selected. It is also far less expensive than external recruiting.
- Engagement. — It sends a very positive message to your people when they are given the opportunity for a new role. This is especially true with HR business partners since the HR team which, in part, owns employee engagement.