GUIDE 2022

What Does an HR Business Partner Do?

You may be wondering what an HR business partner does. That is a great question. An HR business partner (HRBP) is responsible for making sure that an organization’s people and culture are working at their peak levels.

An HR business partner will need to understand how the company operates on both a macro level and micro level.

HR professionals must know all the ins and outs of the industry in which they work. It allows them to advise on company strategy, how to improve business performance, increase employee engagement, and solve any HR issues and workplace challenges.

HRBPs will need excellent stakeholder management skills, to ensure that they can communicate with a diverse range of interested parties within the organization.

Human Resources Business Partner Roles and Responsibilities

The position or role of HR business partner can involve:

  • Building relationships internally within the organization by understanding how each department operates and what they need from other departments.
  • Hiring new employees or contractors.
  • Leading regular team meetings where all members present goals and objectives for upcoming months.
  • Reviewing metrics on progress made towards achieving set objectives.

For many companies, the position of HR business partner is a critical role. It can transform an organization through improving HR practices and a more strategic approach to HR overall.

What an HR business partner does exactly will depend on the organization they work for and their specific job title.

HR Business Partner Responsibilities

The responsibilities of an HR business partner typically include:

  • Preparing reports
  • Analyzing data
  • Managing projects
  • Developing policies
  • Providing training services and content (internal or external workshops)
  • Advising managers about how to structure departments or business units
  • Maximizing employee performance, overseeing staff turnover, and more.

HR leaders work closely with line managers to resolve any issues that might be preventing employees from performing as they should be.

An HRBP needs to:

  • Understand the different departments
  • Determine how HR can help these departments to improve performance and increase efficiency for business goals
  • Implement a business strategy that will lead to maximum success

More specifically, they need to provide advice on:

  • Workforce planning
  • Talent acquisition
  • Retention of key personnel
  • Compensation management
  • Workplace culture change initiatives (i.e., organizational restructuring)
  • Employee development programs for professional growth

They are also responsible for compliance with laws and regulations governing the employment relationship. For example, through regulatory filings such as Form W-11 or ITA/Fiscal Year Report (FYR) reporting obligations.

In many cases, they will assist in administrative work related to:

  • Labor organization representation elections and collective bargaining negotiations when requested by management.
  • Representing employers at hearings before state administrative agencies dealing with employment law.

What Skills Do HR Business Partners Need?

The skills needed to become an HRBP vary depending on career goals. Typically, they include:

  • Project management experience
  • Leadership skills
  • Strong communication abilities
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Extensive knowledge of employment law (especially federal)
  • Understanding of strategic organizational management

To be effective, HRBPs need to be:

  • Self-motivated
  • Detail-oriented
  • People-oriented, with excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Able to work in teams or independently on large projects
  • Flexible to meet the diverse needs of organizational clients, including management at all levels throughout the organization.

They must also have expertise in dealing with external customers. For example, prospective employees, and current employees seeking assistance from their employer.

The ability to interact effectively with individuals who may hold widely different opinions and points of view is paramount.

HR business partners should be efficient time managers. They need to deal with people analytics, business challenges and identify areas requiring attention and energy where the opportunity cost makes sense.

What is the Difference Between an HR Manager and an HR Business Partner?

An HR manager is a person who directs and coordinates the activities of personnel in an organization or HR department.

But the HR business partner role is broader, with responsibility for assisting business managers with HR strategy and issues related to the best HR practices for human resource management, including staffing needs assessment and analysis, defining job responsibilities, employee relations matters, compensation planning/policy development, benefits administration policy development/administration (e.g., insurance), talent search, job recruitment assistance (i.e., sourcing qualified candidates from external sources).

The responsibilities above may be assigned to one individual or shared by various people working together within the same organizational unit.

What is an HR Business Partner Model?

An HR business partner model includes HR partners within the same organizational unit. Each partner is assigned responsibilities such as developing HR processes, staffing needs assessment, job recruitment assistance (i.e., sourcing qualified candidates from external sources).

What Makes a Good HR Business Partner?

The key traits of a good HR professional are:

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Knowledge of human resources law (e.g., the Family Medical Leave Act).
  • Familiarity with compensation practices for different types of positions within an organization’s hierarchy structure.

They should also have the ability to deal with C suite executives, the board of directors, and possess general business knowledge and business acumen.

Can an HR Business Partner Work in Any Business Sector?

Yes, an HRBP can work in any industry, but it is important to understand the unique needs of each.

HR professionals might choose a specialized role in areas like talent management or compensation and benefits, for example.

The HRBP should be able to understand the organization’s strategy and HR needs regardless of the industry in which the organization functions.

What is the Average HR Business Partner Salary?

The average HR business partner salary is $94,000 annually in the United States. Although individual salaries can vary across states, and from one city to another.

HR roles, job titles, responsibilities, and terms also vary across industries.

How to Become an HR Business Partner

To become an HRBP, you must have at least five years of experience as an HR manager and/or consultant. This might include experience in both generalist and specialist HR areas.

The steps to becoming an HR business partner include:

  • Developing skills that are relevant to the desired role. These could include professional certifications like SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) Certified Professional in Human Resources, from testing sites such as SHRM.
  • Searching for HR business partner jobs.
  • Completing a job application or submitting an online resume and cover letter to the HR manager for a position that interests you.

When applying, you should also make it clear what type of experience you have had related to human resources. For example, management and/or consulting, HR learning, and HR training experience so that recruiters can assess your suitability for their vacancy requirements.

The role of HR business partner is in great demand in today’s ever-changing competitive business landscape. And being an HRBP offers plenty of scope for challenging opportunities and professional development.

How HR business Partners Implement Business Strategies

The HR business partner is responsible for implementing the strategies and tactics needed to achieve company goals efficiently.

To be effective in the role, they must have a high level of analytical skills and knowledge of all aspects of human resources management.

The HR Business Partner will be able to identify staffing needs by analyzing staffing metrics such as labor turnover rates and absenteeism rates.

Some other duties they may have are:

  • Implementing organizational HR initiatives.
  • Providing day-to-day administrative support to other HR professionals in areas including payroll and benefits administration.
  • Assisting managers with recruitment practices, recruiting new employees, or coaching current staff on interviewing best practices.
  • Conducting exit interviews when necessary. In these interviews, they try to understand why the employee is leaving so that they can better prepare team members for the workforce.

How Do HR Business Partners Help Business Leaders Develop Successful Growth Strategies?

HR business partners use strategic thinking and analytical skills to help business leaders develop a successful growth strategy.

HR Business partners are often in charge of implementing the strategies that they create with other HR leaders and other department managers.

These can include:

  • Coaching executives
  • Solving business issues through talent-oriented solutions
  • Recruiting employees for open positions
  • Developing team building activities for existing staff
  • Hiring new professionals to work on your team
  • Understanding how changes will affect departments like human talent or performance management
  • Taking steps to make sure everyone is prepared when change arrives
  • Monitoring metrics such as employee engagement scores, performance results, and retention rates.

Some other HR functions and responsibilities that help in developing growth strategies may be:

  • Understanding company financials
  • Creating budgets based on departmental business objectives
  • Monitoring budget spend against projections, anticipating shortages before they happen.
  • Analyzing labor costs by evaluating staffing levels

How the Right HR Partners Contribute to Business Success

The right HR partner can play a big part in planning how a company or business unit grows while optimizing its human capital resources.

With the right person in the role of HRBP, they can fully develop the human resources department. And guide the organization while adapting to changing business realities.

They are the ones who will come up with strategies and solutions for future challenges. In short, they contribute significantly to a company’s success.

Not surprisingly, many companies want their own HR partner on staff, so they can meet their HR needs internally.

The right HR business partner can enhance HR capabilities, optimize existing human talent, and help a company win greater market share and beat competitors.