What Does a Human Resources Business Partner Do?

HR Business Partner | Human Resources Generalists and Human Resources Manager

What is a human resources business partner?  Any person who works in HR as a Business Partner is responsible for developing and directing the Human Resources policy of an organization.  

The human resources business partner also known as HR business partner is part of the senior leadership team of the organization. And their role as a business partner brings benefits to employees and the organization.

If you’ve ever wondered what is human resources business partner, keep reading to understand everything about this role. 

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Human Resources Business Partner?

The responsibilities of the Human Resources Business Partner are much more complex. A business partner has an exclusive attachment to specific company departments.

An HR business partner deals with matters on employees in the company department. As well as advising the organization on its Human Resources agenda.

They put in place HR policies to address the company’s business requirements and people’s needs.

So, the role of the HR business partner is both people and company-centric.  It particularly deals with issues relating to employee relations, training, and development, benefits, compensation, creating a talent pipeline, succession planning, training, and development. 

Business Partnering in HR

In the simplest terms, HR business partners align the human resources of the organization with its business objectives. They do this by extensively working with the senior members of the organization for ideating and rolling out an agenda that supports the company’s business goals.

That is one of the many reasons they focus on a specific business unit as opposed to the general HR function.

As a human resources business partner, you need to assess a situation clearly and communicate it the right way to the people working in the company. You should also serve as the voice of the senior leadership to the individuals who serve relatively lower roles in the workplace.

A business partner needs to evaluate the tone and mode of the message received from the senior management and make sure that it is understandable to all people within the company department.

That said, HR business professionals aren’t usually given an automatic allocation to the budget. Instead, they are required to use and avail of their existing resources. They need to use these resources to develop business cases for their intended goals.

That is yet another reason, these professionals are required to understand both general business and their own areas of focus.  This further helps them secure maximum funding for their department.

Human Resources Business Partner Requirements

The business partner needs to consistently deliver the best services beyond the company’s expectations. Also, the person has to ensure that all employees in the workplace offer some value and are productive in their respective roles.

Being a successful HR Business partner may not be as easy as it appears. You need to have the core HR attributes including people and leadership skills.

You must also know how to deal with goal planning and development, succession preparation, remuneration structure, employee performance, employee relationships, workplace rules, and employee safety.

So, if you want to know more about human resources business partner requirements and attributes, here’s a list to help you out:

  • A University Degree in Human Resources Management
  • Excellent leadership abilities
  • Great communication abilities
  • A strong idea of analytics
  • Proactive attitude
  • Inherent problem-solving abilities
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Well organized
  • Proper attention to details

Once an individual meets each of these parameters, they are a step closer to be an HR business partner. But since the role is complex, it is especially important for someone to have the key skills to succeed.

Top HR Business Partner Skills

People Skills: As previously mentioned, this is one of the defining skills when it comes to becoming a human resources business partner. As an HR Business Partner, you will need to garner the trust of the management and the leadership team. That is why you need to be both likable as well as highly approachable.

At the end of the day, people should be comfortable interacting with you. They should rely on you when it comes to forwarding requirements or seeking advice. The bottom line: you should be competent enough to work with staff at every level across your business.

Analytical Expertise: To work in this position, you should be able to gather and interpret information, raw data, the data from documentation, all in a bid to draw proper recommendations.

Once they have the information in place, the Human resources business partner should envision, create and successfully implement strategies and methods that’ll address the most difficult business issues in the long run.

In addition to this, they should also be able to assess the performance of the current management programs across the business and recommend alterations every time there’s a need for improvement.

They should also recommend and suggest newer approaches for improving the performance of the organization’s business and services.

Conflict Resolution: This is another key quality of a human resources business professional. The individual in question should have enough communication skills for resolving conflicts in the correct order.

The final result should be such where solutions are effectively expressed to the concerned parties across different segments of the business. This, in turn, will prevent the possibility of similar issues in the long run.

These are some of the most important human resources business partner skills. Once you have these skills, it’ll be much easier for you to ace this role and complete your responsibilities.

How to Become a Human Resources Business Partner?

You need to be self-driven and confident to communicate the company’s overall business objectives and requirements. You should also have the zeal to meet and interact with people and understand their problems.

To become a business partner, you should have at least a minimum of two years’ experience working in a junior HR role – where they’ve extensively worked as support personnel in the business department.

Another defining quality for someone with an interest in a human resources business partner role is the ability in handling several human resource jobs like employee relations, diagnosis of internal organization, performance management, staffing, and more.

 You need to be familiar with the area of employment laws and best practices in the HR industry. This is especially important in the areas of recruitment, training, and remuneration. In addition, you need some experience in implementing organizational changes as and when requested by the senior management team.

Once you meet these parameters, you’re fit to be a human resources business partner.

Difference Between HR Business Partner and Generalist

The difference between a human resources business partner and a generalist lies in the area of responsibilities. As a generalist, you are responsible for handling some general HR operations functions of the company.

Additionally, you are expected to ideate, create and roll out the administration policies, and organizational procedures.  Human resources generalist is one of the most vital HR roles in every organization,

The role of a human resources business partner, however, is entirely different. The person regularly consults and communicates company senior leadership. 

Unlike the HR generalists who do not communicate with the upper management and the leadership team, the HR business partner is expected to relay proper communication across all segments of the business.

The HR business partners have a set of internal clients who help with providing resources and building the right organizational relationships aligned with the goals and objectives set by the company. The focus is more on the business side and less on the administration.

 HR business partners are also responsible for extending their support with policy development, policy enforcement, compensation enforcement and more. Their role is highly operational and strategic for the area they are supporting.

Note that this is also an exempt level position that is only awarded to people holding niche skills.

Human Resources Business Partner Job Description

Here is a lowdown on the most important human resources business partner job description and responsibilities:

  • Discuss, consult, and implement relevant initiatives with the leadership and the management team. These initiatives might include associate engagement program, employee recognition program, employee development program and more.
  • Design and roll out relevant training programs for successful unit management. This should be in complete compliance with the policies and regulations of the human resources department.
  • Ideate and implement various workforce strategies including but not limited to talent management programs, hierarchy management programs, mentoring programs, reward programs, and so on.
  • Coach the senior business team on the effectiveness of leadership, proper personal development and assimilate various succession planning methods.

Bottom Line

As previously mentioned, a human resources business partner plays a major role in ensuring organizational success. By collaborating with both the employees and the senior members of the organization, HR business partners get to understand and work towards the tangible goals of the company.

To be successful in this role, one needs to have excellent communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and an inherent drive to seek nothing but the best.

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