The most obvious trend with companies seeking HR Business Partners is the shifting of typical generalist responsibilities to now encompass a higher ratio of Talent Management responsibility in the role. Lower margins, more external competition and tighter economies, have turned companies focus inward to ensure that they are nurturing and developing their internal talent in line with business objectives. The growing trend of companies to set up HR operations/ shared services functions has further reduced the need for traditional HR generalists. Thus, hiring HR Business Partner /Talent Management Specialists is becoming more common. As the title suggests this person is a true commercial business partner who is ensuing that the business requirements are aligned with the people agenda.

The key attributes of this modern HR professional are strong relational skills that can be applied across a business: adaptability, business acumen, integrity, ability to coach, strategic and tactical delivery skills. As companies are tightening their belts and hiring less, they are seeking to make the most of the people they have within. Companies who are getting it right are placing the people agenda above all other priorities, or at least as an integral part of any decision relating to the business. The development of human capital has become necessary to ensure the sustainability of business success.

The financial services sector is no exception to the above trend. Interestingly, there is still a demand for top quality Human Resources talent in the Asia Pacific region. Talent Management Business Partners that are required by the banking and financial services sectors need to apply their trade in environments which can be volatile and dynamic. The financial services sector is reviewing examples of best practice HR organisations in different vertical markets and seeking to build into their structures HR business partners who are highly versatile and can apply best practice talent management methodologies into their organisations.

With an uptick in most major economies expected towards the end of 2012, it is a key priority for companies to develop best practice talent management methodologies in their organisations to ensure that their talent pool is ready to launch as more favorable economic conditions return. It is an exciting time of change for the HR Business Partner as they are more often getting a seat at the table with senior business management, playing a key part in organisational strategic decision making.