what is an HR business partner?

As an HR business partner, you are a senior human resource professional. You leverage your human resource capabilities to support your organisational goals. You develop and manage the company's talents to support business objectives. Many companies hire HR business partners to incorporate human resource functions into the company strategy. As an HR business partner, you collaborate with the company's senior leadership. While it is a new HR structure, HR business partners are instrumental in improving employee engagement, maximising staff retention and improving company performance.

The work of an HR business partner is purely strategic. You do not handle operational issues in the human resource departments, like managing personnel or addressing employees’ daily activities. HR business partners are advisers and consultants for senior business leaders, helping them decide on long-term human resource strategies. For instance, you improve the talent acquisition policy to attract better talent. You also interpret the role of employees in achieving business outcomes.

As an HR business partner, you require proficiency in digital tools to keep track of spending and improve communication strategies. Since you work in large companies or multinationals, you require cross-cultural competence to understand various regions' business practices, compensation structures and labour laws.

Would working as an HR business partner suit your strategic planning skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an HR business partner role.

HR business partner jobs

average HR business partner salary

According to ONS, an HR business partner earns a salary of £45,000 per year. The salary may be higher or lower depending on your experience and the size of your company. When you are new in the role or working as a junior HR business partner, your earnings start at £38,312 yearly. The most experienced HR business partners take home a compensation package of £60,563 annually.

what factors improve the salary of an HR business partner?

As an HR business partner, your compensation package depends on your experience. When you are a senior HR business partner, you earn a higher salary due to your expertise and qualifications. Junior HR business partners perform minimal tasks in the company and are likely to earn less. The size of the company also determines your salary. When you work for a large company with unlimited resources, you are likely to earn more. Multinationals and large companies are likely to pay more due to the complexity of the work and the additional qualifications required. The location of the company can also increase or reduce your earnings. Working in large cities improves earning prospects due to the high demand for the role.

female and male having a conversation at the office
female and male having a conversation at the office

types of HR business partners

Some of the types of HR business partners include:

  • junior HR business partners: as a junior HR business partner, you analyse and evaluate the human resources functions of an organisation. You determine the metrics that guide decision-making in the company. You also assess the HR policies to ensure compliance with employment standards.
  • senior HR business partners: as a senior HR business partner, you work with business leaders to align the company goals with human resource strategies. You advise senior leaders on strategic decisions in human resource management.

working as an HR business partner

As an HR business partner, your primary role is aligning company strategies with organisational goals. If you are interested in the role, explore the tasks, duties and work schedules of HR business partners.


education and skills

Some of the qualifications of an HR business partner include:

  • bachelor’s degree: pursue a relevant undergraduate degree to learn the basic principles of becoming a human resource manager. You can pursue courses like human resources or business management. Consider completing a master’s degree in business administration or business management. Getting a certification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is also important.
  • experience: gain experience through an internship in an HR position and entry-level positions. HR business partners require experience in managing personnel. Hence, working in human resource positions is valuable. Most employers require experience of over four years with supervisory expertise before you become a junior HR business partner.

HR business partner skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an HR business partner include the following:

  • business knowledge: as an HR business partner, your job requires an in-depth understanding of finance, risks and business outcomes. Your industry-specific knowledge helps you develop strategies that help the organisation acquire talent that drive company growth.
  • communication skills: as an HR business partner, you communicate with business leaders and provide them with key information on human resource strategies. You also relay feedback from board-level executives to junior employees. Your communication skills are also useful in preparing reports.
  • interpersonal skills: as an HR business partner, you collaborate with others and form trusting relationships with employees. You work with employees at different company levels, and interpersonal skills like friendliness, patience, and active listening help you build productive working relationships.
  • adaptability: the human resource environment is constantly changing, and you handle unexpected matters like employee conflicts. It is important to be adaptable to the changing work environment. Adaptability helps you resolve problems at hand and avoid conflicts.
  • leadership skills: as an HR business partner, you are the company's most senior human resource professional. Since you are an authority figure, you require leadership skills to lead the organisation. Leadership skills make you dependable and an inspirational figure in the company.
seated woman holding folder
seated woman holding folder

FAQs about working as an HR business partner

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an HR business partner.

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