Looking around at the Hunter Adams website, you may notice that we use the term ‘Commercial HR’ meaning HR services with a commercial approach. But what does that actually mean? If you’re not heavily involved in the HR industry then you may not understand the difference between traditional HR techniques and commercial HR – but there is a big difference.
A commercial HR partner will work closely with a business to help it achieve its strategic goals through the HR function. Traditionally, HR teams have been criticised for working to their own ends. With a business orientated approach, commercial HR is a way of improving the organisation and improving the bottom line.
Understanding commercial outcomes
A commercial HR professional is valuable because they understand the commercial costs and outcomes of their policies, strategies and methods. What impact does HR have on the business? It’s all well and good boasting about new hires and increased employee satisfaction or implementing new training procedures, but it’s important to understand the commercial outcome of these actions first and foremost.
A commercially focused HR team should collaborate closely with management and business owners to understand business strategy and aims. HR is there to support the business, so they need to be kept in the loop. They can then develop interventions and policies which are relevant to the current business goals and be a valuable asset to the company. An HR strategy is created to ensure the business meets its goals in collaboration with the business leaders.
A commercial HR strategy will focus on helping the business succeed and flourish. Business owners are often surprised to hear that HR practices can increase profit margins and encourage growth – but when HR works seamlessly with the business to achieve common goals, this is possible. Collaboration and a commercial understanding of HR is the key to business growth.
It’s time to stop thinking about what HR has achieved, but how it has benefited the business. Every action the HR department takes should have a business goal behind it – which is usually profitability but not in all cases. Success in traditional HR is defined as having a low staff turnover, increasing training opportunities, evaluating performance etc. Success in commercial HR is defined as adding value to the business by increasing the bottom line and meeting business goals.