What is an HR business partner

An HR Business Partner (HRBPs) can best be described as a people-focused professional who works with businesses to develop an effective human resources (HR) agenda in order to attain commercial success. HR business partners work closely with businesses to build their people capability and to plan and manage talent. They often act as a point of people expertise for the business area and may implement specific people approaches which have previously been designed by a central people team or centre of expertise.

The job description and responsibilities of an HR business partner (HRBP)

HR business partners are responsible for helping organisations to improve performance and implement business strategies. They understand the needs of the business, and how to influence others to make changes that will benefit everyone. They are skilled at developing relationships and influencing others. They know what information is useful and what isn't. They can use data, metrics, and research to inform decisions and drive change. HRBPs can also work in smaller organisations, and focus on human resources management. They help employees achieve goals and objectives. Their main role is to manage the workforce and ensure that the company meets its targets. They also monitor the performance of managers and employees.

Unlike an HR agency which is an external party that provides HR services to other companies on a contractual basis, an HR business partner is an internal HR professional who collaborates closely with an organisation's leadership to align HR activities with the overall organisational strategy. They act as strategic advisors, offering tailored personnel solutions while working alongside business executives and managers. This role represents a shift towards a more strategic approach to HR.

People challenges are always present within an organisation. For a human resources business partner, their role is to guide and support the business in delivering its strategy. The main focus should be on helping the business to solve people problems. There is a need to ensure that the organisation is following best practices in relation to people management. An HR business partner also needs to challenge other senior managers to achieve this. This is often a coaching role that helps people get better at what they do by giving them advice and helping them understand how to improve. Coaches make sure that the right information gets to the right people at the right time.

Data-driven HR starts by implementing relevant human resources metrics. An HR business partner is usually present in large businesses. They have a wide range of responsibilities within an organisation. A great HR leader needs to be a change agent and a focused partner to business leaders. Both parties need to work closely together to make sure that the company succeeds.

Every HR Business Partner should understand the business and try to help shape HR policies in a manner that helps the company. Learning and development specialists understand the business they work in and know how to align their efforts with the business needs. They also know how to make an impact on the business. They often utilise a Human Resources Management Plan (HRMP), which is a strategic document outlining how an organisation will accomplish its goals. An HRMP is sometimes written by a team of people who understand the business culture, values and mission. 

A human resources business partner is often responsible for ensuring that the company's strategies for acquiring talent and maintaining employees align with overall business objectives, so being an effective people person is a must. These professionals use their skills and experience to work with executives to implement strategies and manage the day-to-day operations of the organisation. In addition to developing strategies, HR business partners will immerse themselves in the principles of recruiting, employee management, and employee support. Human Resource Business Partner is a job title sometimes used by companies to describe a position that combines two different roles: HR generalist and business partner. This combination allows HR managers to focus on the day-to-day operations of human resources while also taking part in strategic planning and decision-making that benefits all relevant key stakeholders.

Skills required for HR business partnering

HR business partners have a wide variety of software products available to them to help create and communicate HR strategies, manage individual employees, develop skills, and track spending. These include business intelligence, decision support systems, data visualisation tools, and online communities that enable information sharing. These resources can help to facilitate candidate evaluation, identify staffing requirements, monitor productivity metrics, and more. Strategic planning aimed at achieving business goals is a hugely important aspect of this leadership role.

HR business partnering is gaining popularity among businesses due to its proven benefits. It helps them recruit the right people and motivate them to perform better in their daily operations. This means that the HR department is, therefore, recruiting suitable staff while also looking into the future. In recent years, this has led to a dovetailing of the HR operations with the overall goals of both the business leader and the company itself. More than ever before, those who provide HR services really are proving to be so much more than a strategic partner.

The HR business partner should know about employment law, financial and human capital, training and development, compensation and benefits, and the rewards that a successful strategic role can bring. As the process has evolved, HR business partners have moved away from their traditional role and moved on to become effective and efficient drivers of the business itself. Forward-thinking companies are fully aware of the fact that modern HR practices bear very little resemblance to what we once used to know as a personnel department.

It's also worth noting that many of the skills needed for a successful HR business partner role can be transferred relatively easily from one business sector to another. Those who excel in fields such as talent acquisition, and who can implement an effective people strategy for one company can also do the same for another.

Kickstart your career as an HR business partner with Michael Page

Are you in search of HR business partner jobs? At Michael Page, we offer a wide range of job opportunities for HR professionals. Whether your goals involve becoming an HR business partner, a talent acquisition specialist, an HR consultant, or pursuing other HR-related positions, we offer exceptional choices tailored to your aspirations.

Try our job search tool, which simplifies the process of finding your ideal job. Stay informed about new roles by setting up a job alert. If you would like to learn more about the average salary of HRBP or other human resource positions, check out our salary comparison tool and salary guide to gain valuable insights into the salary ranges of your roles.