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What is HR?

To support or to partner?  For many years HR professionals have been utilised as a support function and one that helps the business in a time of crisis.  

But is this where HR can add most value?  In an intriguing lecture to 1st year Business and Management students at Bath Spa University, Victoria explored this concept and challenged the students to consider this point.  Surprisingly, the majority of the audience were of the opinion that HR should operate as a support function and respond to business pressures and challenges.  However, Victoria encouraged students to consider the HR function as a strategic business partner to Directors and Business Owners, working together to drive the business forward and prioritise key people issues. 

Considering most businesses spend approximately 80% of their budget on the workforce - with recruitment, induction, training and development, reward and recognition, employee wellbeing and exits, it is imperative that HR processes proactively address the future forces that shape the workforce. 

HR strategy should be built around these forces with a focus on political, economic, demographic and technological change and ensure the business is positioned effectively to deal with employees and associated issues.