HR Business Partner Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An HR Business Partner, or People Business Partner develops and implements a business’ human resources (HR) strategies and policies. Their duties include organisational development, succession planning and coaching Supervisors and Managers to motivate and lead their teams.

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HR Business Partner duties and responsibilities

The duties of HR Business Partners vary depending on their area of focus and the size of their business. In small to medium businesses, the work of HR Business Partners often overlaps with HR Generalists. However, commonly their main duties include:

  • Discussing business strategies, HR challenges and HR plans that can help the business with senior management and key stakeholders
  • Working with management in their business area to make sure employees have the skills and resources they need to achieve their objectives
  • Developing plans for recruitment, training, restructuring and succession and helping relevant staff implement them
  • Coaching Line Managers on ways to motivate their employees and lead more effectively
  • Analysing human resource metrics and comparing results to key performance indicators
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What does an HR Business Partner do?

An HR Business Partner works closely with a business to develop human resources systems that support their overall goals. They also help to implement human resources policies by supporting Line Managers. They regularly review data to determine whether their policies meet key performance indicators and may suggest changes to improve results. Most HR Business Partners work in a specific area of their business. For example, HR Business Partners aligned to sales help their business create a culture that drives more sales.

HR Business Partner skills and qualifications

HR Business Partners use a variety of hard and soft skills to help businesses improve their human resources strategies and meet their goals. A successful HR Business Partner will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:  

  • Relationship management, especially at managerial and stakeholder levels
  • Business management, including financial management and strategic planning
  • Verbal and written communication, including active listening, for determining business goals and suggesting ways to achieve them through human resource initiatives
  • Logic, analytics and problem-solving for evaluating business metrics and determining ways to improve results
  • Comprehensive understanding of employment laws, including inclusion and diversity programmes
  • Comprehensive understanding of the industry, focus area and business trends

HR Business Partner experience requirements

HR Business Partners must have in-depth experience working in a senior human resources role. Most HR Business Partners have worked as HR Generalists, HR Specialists and other client-facing roles. These positions give people experience working with senior leaders and managing relationships with stakeholders and Line Managers.

HR Business Partner education and training requirements

Most businesses ask for candidates with relevant CIPD certified qualifications. The CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in HR Management or CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in HR Management are some of the most common qualifications for HR Business Partners. Many HR Business Partners also have foundation degrees, higher national diplomas or standard degrees in related topics, such as human resources management or business management and human resources.

HR Business Partner salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an HR Business Partner in the UK is £46, 230 per year. Salaries may vary depending on an HR Business Partner’s education, location, employer and business sector.

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HR Business Partner job description FAQs

What should you look for in an HR Business Partner CV?

Look for candidates with extensive experience working in human resources. Experience working within your industry is beneficial, as these candidates will have the best understanding of sector trends and how businesses like yours work. Look for CIPD members, as membership shows a commitment to working within human resources and growing professionally.

What is the difference between an HR Business Partner and an HR Manager?

HR Business Partners focus on human resources strategies and how they help businesses achieve their goals. They work with senior management, Line Managers and key stakeholders. HR Managers oversee the HR department. Their work has a much narrower focus on their own department rather than departments throughout the organisation. HR Managers also work with human resource employees below the managerial level, unlike HR Business Partners.

What qualities do successful HR Business Partners have?

HR Business Partners are well-organised individuals who are excellent at managing their time and prioritising their tasks. They are empathetic people who understand the needs of employees at all levels of their business, even if they do not work closely with them. They have pleasant, approachable personalities and work well as part of a team. Their positive personalities help them have more productive meetings with managers and stakeholders.

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