HR Strategist: Purpose, Role and Personality

The HR Strategist sets the vision for Human Resources how to build a different people management practices. They want the practices and policies to be incorporated into the business strategy. It is the employee who can think strategically. She connects different visions and innovates current practices. They engage others into the development of the HR Strategy. Most companies do not employ the specialist in the team; they just assign the role to the HR Leader’s job description. Her leadership skills could support the team in finding the right strategic approach for the company.

The HR Strategy does not work on its own; it needs to be related to other documents in the company. Most organizations do not link or incorporate the plan of Human Resources into the strategic business planning procedures. They lose the potential to build the competitive advantage. They do not utilize the full potential of employees. They see the internal conflict, and they do not engage fully. It is the role of the HR Strategy to propose and build one picture that fits all requirements and visions.

HR Strategist’s Definition

The official definition of the strategist is simple – it is the person able to prepare strategic plans to achieve the mission. However, such a definition does not describe the HR Strategist in a full scope. The HR Strategy is not just a plan how to reach defined goals.

The more accurate definition of the HR Strategist is the following one: the HR Strategist gathers available information, identifies key stakeholders in the organization, finds other employees impacting the business strategy, designs strategic models, designs solutions teams, presents and approves proposals and agrees next steps and projects.

The HR Strategist prepares the strategic planning framework. She sets up the team responsible for the design of the initial proposal. She leads the group during the first phase and makes sure the project team finishes all required task. During sessions, the strategist acts as the subject matter expert.

On a daily basis, the HR Strategist analyzes the current status of the organization and modern trends visible in the market. Based on the analysis, the strategist formulates the innovative HR Ideas. These ideas combine the strategic business plans with possible changes in the corporate culture and people management practices. They can be incorporated into the HR Vision and HR Strategy when successfully tested.

The HR Strategist is a huge help for the HR Leader. The top executive can focus on the tactical management of the organization and important influencing negotiations with peers in the leadership team; the strategist can concentrate on the development of the long-term vision. In a close cooperation of the two they can introduce a significant change to the people management practices.

HR Strategist’s Role

The HR Strategist has an ambiguous role in the organization. She needs to bring the new or updated HR Strategy that fits with all other strategic business plans. She needs to deliver the vision and mission for Human Resources that engages the team and inspires managers in the company.

It is not the role of the pure analyst. The person has to collect and gather available information, but she has to build a strong supporting network in the organization. No strategy cannot be changed without the positive influence on the primary stakeholders. They must agree to a severe change; they have to support the new strategic HR plan.

The HR Strategist has to decompose the current business strategy and identify all HR elements required to succeed in the implementation. The critical success components are highly important as stakeholders will measure the accomplishments against them. Most organization forget to attach HR processes, procedures and initiatives to general business projects. Leaders forget to include employees. They just do not know how. They need help from the HR Strategist.

The HR Strategist has to define critical success factors for the implementation of the new HR Strategy. She has to influence another opinion makers in other departments to build a healthy and robust team behind new ideas.

First, the HR Strategist has to formulate the bold HR Vision. It can be turned into the actionable HR Strategy later. However, a vision is required to engage the HR Team. They do not want to see actionable items. They want to understand how the final stage of development looks like. They want to share it with friends in the business. They wish to draw a bright future.

Second, the HR Strategy has to design the basic organization design plan. It is about setting rules for the job design and how new job positions should be established. It makes the organization clear and increases the satisfaction of employees and the leadership team. Most HR Teams forget to set up the rules for the organizational development. They just leave the company growing as it wants to. However, they should manage the growth. They should manage opportunities and costs. Without proper planning, the firm loses the lot of the potential.

Third, the HR Strategist has to recognize the potential in the area of the talent acquisition, remuneration and performance management. The innovative approaches can improve the empowerment and engagement of employees significantly. Human Resources tends to be a control freak. However, it should empower managers to decide about their teams.

Last, the HR Strategist has to connect all bits and pieces and define strategic HR Processes. These processes will act as a solid foundation for the differentiation. Just by being different the company can build the unique competitive advantage. This benefit will be difficult to follow and copy.

HR Strategist’s Job Description and Personality

There is not a generic job description of the HR Strategist. All strategists share the same goals. They should deliver a new or updated strategy. However, the environments are different. They have to find the best ways how they plan to reach goals and objectives. On the other hand, they share common skills and competencies that help them achieve mission goals.

They have courage like the first ingredient. They love to introduce new things. They like to innovate current practices to improve the performance and satisfaction. They like to analyze available data to identify gaps in practices and processes. On the other hand, they like to negotiate with other employees in the organization. They like to obtain feedback and incorporate it into a solution.

They share a desire to change. They want to introduce a significant change that will help to improve the business performance. They wish to design the HR Strategy that will shine. They want employees to be proud of the organization. They just want to hunt top talents on the job market for the business.