What Does an HR Business Partner Do?

An HR business partner (HRBP) is an HR professional who works with an organization’s executives/C-suite to improve their HR functions. They create human resource agendas and lead HR departments with the aim of achieving an organization’s business objectives. Therefore, the HR business partner role is crucial for developing more effective people-management systems.

While they may sound similar, the HR business partner role is significantly different from other positions such as HR generalist or HR analyst. Learning these small differences saves you crucial resources like time and effort as you train to become a skilled HR professional who can train others to become successful HR leaders.

In this article, you’ll learn about an HR business partner’s primary duties, skillset, and their role in transforming an organization. This article dives into the various details about this profession that enable you to fine-tune your job hunting process. Additionally, it discusses quality certifications and courses you should take if you want to achieve an in-demand position like the HR business partner role.

If you’re interested in learning more about what average HR business partner role via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

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What is an HR Business Partner?

An HR business partner (HRBP) is an HR professional who works with an organization’s executives/C-suite to improve their HR functions. They create human resource agendas and lead HR departments with the aim of achieving an organization’s business objectives. Therefore, the HR business partner role is crucial for developing more effective people-management systems.

The business partner role is very significant for the business development of enterprises. So much so, that many companies devote their resources to upskilling their HR professionals into business partners by sponsoring industry-wide accepted certifications like SHRM. Afterward, business partners can progress further to become business managers after they have significant experience in the industry.

The HR Business Partner Role

More than two decades ago, Dave Ulrich introduced an HR competency model called the Ulrich Model. In this model, he compartmentalized all HR functions into four segments.

This model defined the role of HRBP (aka strategic partner) as an entity that works directly with the senior management of an organization, such as the HR coordinator. Their job is to align the organization’s business goals with employee and management goals within the designated business units. The following picture illustrates the model and how it categorizes the different HR business roles within organizations.


Human Resources Business Partner’s Role in Onboarding Business Leaders

Finding talented and skilled individuals with a forward, data-driven, and futuristic approach is the biggest challenge for an HR business partner. They acquire this talent to design training and succession plans that nurture their employees’ skillset and find the right candidates for the positions.

Afterward, these employees are given the roles according to their capabilities, and their training enables them to excel at delivering tasks efficiently and productively. An HR business partner creates programs to use such talent in the best possible way, shaping these employees into world-class HR leaders.

Role of HR Business Partners as a Change Agent

A business partner steers performance management programs that they should design to keep improving an organization’s HR system. Therefore, they need to introduce new HR business policies and laws to shape large-scale organizational change.

However, they have to make sure that the changes are applied without disturbing the organization’s harmony and stay vigilant during the whole transition phase the organization goes through. Therefore, they have to be the agents of change while also monitoring its effective implementation. The business partner role also requires significant stakeholder management skills and ensures their HR business strategies are effective.

HR business partners are the personification of an indomitable spirit who’s willing to take risks for the company’s growth and stand by his/her decisions. Agility must run in their blood since they have to proceed to new tasks and learn through their ongoing experiences to progress further.

If you’re interested in learning more about HR roles such as HR Generalist or HR Managers, then you should check out the carefully crafted HR certifications by HR University.

Human Resources Certifications

HR Manager vs. Human Resources Business Partner

Generally, the responsibilities involved in the role of a manager and a business partner vary widely. Therefore, it is understandable how an HR manager and an HR business partner can have the same level of experience, but the nature of their jobs will differ.

Have a look at the table below to understand how an HR manager job description differs from that of a business partner within the same field:

No.HR Business PartnerHR Manager
1.An HR business partner holds a strategic role in an organization that demands them to develop, implement, and maintain effective HR strategies. They create employment laws for the firm and train executives for all HR issues that (may) arise in the firm.An HR manager enforces the laws created by the HRBP and the HR director and makes sure that the team is practicing the company’s principles.
2.The HRBP is an individual collaborator in an organization who works with the executives.HR managers work with senior HRs, vice presidents of HR, HR generalists, HR directors are a part of the core internal team. Additionally, the HR manager also oversees the employees working in the HR department.
3.The job description of an HRBP entails strategic planning, succession planning, employee training, analyzing talent requirements, recruiting, and onboarding.An HR manager is mainly responsible for creating the company’s disciplinary policies, payroll and benefits processing, coordinating support staff, talent acquisition, ensuring regulatory compliance, and measuring employee productivity.

Why Is an HR Business Partner Important for a Firm?

The business partner model strengthens an organization, relieves pressure from the executives, and provides strategic solutions to problems. With the involvement of an external business partner in an organization, the executives and management can focus on their core responsibilities. Such a role relieves them of worrying about designing strategies and aligning them with the company’s long-term goals.

Additionally, an HR business partner is equipped to assess each employee’s strengths and weaknesses and fully utilize their capabilities to deliver on the company’s goals.

How Much Does do HR Business Partners earn?

Since it’s such a demanding job, all HR business partners are offered enticing packages.

According to Glassdoor, on average, an HR business partner can earn $85,425 per year in the United States. However, that figure varies from location to location (and industry to industry). Therefore, you should look into data relevant to your location and see how the average HR business partner is compensated.


Today, a lot of companies are struggling with the unprecedented COVID-19 situation. They can’t afford to keep their employees, let alone onboard new ones. Organizations can only deal with such human resource management crises if they have skilled business partners on their teams. An HR business partner helps a company effectively strategize its employee relations and ensure the human resources department functions efficiently.

During this time of great need, the HR business partner can shape HR strategies to help organizations survive during this pandemic. Additionally, they play a critical role in supporting their fellow colleagues in the best ways possible. As an aspiring HRBP, this is your time to shine within the HR industry and you have to make it count.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a sought-after HR Business Partner role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you learn how to build your skillset in human resources and build your human resources network.