Looking to become a human resources business partner and learn the mandatory skills for the role? You are at the right place to benefit yourself with a step-by-step guide on becoming an HR business partner with the right skills.
Today, the graph of HR business partner’s demand in businesses has been inclining positively. This role is a career aspiration for many of you.
In the HR business partner’s role, you get to dive into real-world business issues. You serve as a middleman between business leaders and hiring recruiters to ensure whether the selected talent’s skills resonate with the business goals or not. In addition to that, as an HR business partner, you ensure whether the acquired talent is suitable for passive business growth.
Furthermore, according to Zippia, the average annual income of HR business partners is approximately $101k, with a 7% growth rate of jobs. Multiple renowned companies are actively recruiting candidates as human resources business partners.
In this article, we are providing a detailed guide on how to become an HR business partner. Without wasting any time further, let’s jump right into the step-by-step guide.
A human resource business partner is a highly dynamic, and sensitive role. You must make such HR policies that not just align with the business’s objectives, but also result in hunting the right talent.
Follow this guide here to learn the procedure to become a human resources strategic business partner:
Step 1: Become a Certified HR Business Partner
There are no schools, colleges, or universities with specific courses as human resource business partners. But, to secure the job, how do you acquire the necessary skills?
Multiple renowned online resources offer detailed courses for this business partner role. Acquiring a valid certification is a kickstart to your dream of becoming an HR business partner.
Online courses allow you to gain the fundamental knowledge of communicating with HR managers, and business executives to carry out the job properly.
You must acquire a solid understanding of the technical skills required for an HR strategic business partner’s role. In addition to that, you must understand the tactics of efficient workforce planning. Below are mentioned the terms you must familiarize yourself with before applying for a job as an HR business partner:
- Business strategy
- Human resources rules
- Strategic planning
- Business partnering
- Organizational development
- Business leadership
- Executive communication skills
- Human resource management
If you read the above terms with a little more focus once again, you can get the idea of what the role looks like, and what are the mandatory business terms you should be well-versed in.
Our human resources generalist and management courses allow you to enhance your technical skills as an HR business partner.
Step 2: Master the Fundamentals of Human Resources and Business Partnership
The human resource business partner’s role is highly strategic and dynamic. Apart from knowing the technical terms, you are often required to collaborate and communicate with business leaders, stakeholders, and enterprise holders. Thus, you must have a sound understanding of the fundamentals of human resources business management and business partnership.
Here are listed some fundamentals you must know as a human resources business partner:
- Proficiency with required software products and digital tools
- Data analysis skills
- Business strategies
- Cross-culture competencies
- Ability to drive good results through comparison analysis
- Monitoring the HR activities and redistribution of finances
As an HR business partner, you must know how to drive business growth. This is why HR business partners are assigned with looking after long-run business targets with the help of the HR director through the right talent acquisition.
In addition to that, you must have the ability to differentiate long term and short-term strategic goals. It is crucial since it will be your responsibility to transfer the information to HR managers and other HR professionals so they acquire the right talent that can drive more leads to a business.
Furthermore, effective HR business partners know the tactics of hiring and appropriately screening candidates according to the job description. On top of that, it is fundamental to understand the redistribution of the HR budget to senior management and high priority roles.
Step 3: Develop Critical Thinking
You must develop critical thinking because it allows you to think rationally, logically, and empathetically. This skill is crucial for you to become an HR business professional, and to think out of the box for the good of the business.
Thus, learning tactics to develop a critical mindset allows you to have a diversified mindset with which you can think of even better strategies, even better solutions that are unbiased and in the favor of your team as well as the whole organization.
In addition to that, once you acquire a sound understanding of comprehending a company, and human resources rules with critical thinking, you will ultimately get insights into how to do strategic planning for organizational development. In addition to that, diversity in knowledge is crucial for better leadership skills. Moreover, only good communication skills will allow you to properly disperse the business goals towards an employee relations specialist for the sake of the right talent acquisition and employee engagement.
Step 4: Develop Business Acumen
Business acumen is the ability to understand the core principles, operations, HR processes, and business goals. For the HR business partner’s role, business acumen is mandatory to understand the technical processes and generic operations that go regularly in an HR department but affects the most. Keep in mind that, strong business acumen allows you to tailor HR policies and activities that best resonate with the business goals. Thus, having such a mindset then leads to increased business revenue and profit, and allows to develop a critical mindset with a much better thought process.
Step 5: Learn Stakeholder Management
You must have a complete understanding of external as well as internal stakeholders. External stakeholders are your clients, business partners, agencies, and government industries. While, internal stakeholders are business employees, executives, and directors whose influence is crucial for correct business management. As productivity directly relies on how stakeholders communicate and work for the business goals. Thus, to develop good stakeholder management skills, you must learn first who the stakeholders, Are and then identify them. Then, know your purpose in managing and interacting with the stakeholders. For effective management, the right communication tool is mandatory. So, familiarity with digital tools is crucial for good management and effective communication with business stakeholders.
Step 6: Learn to Negotiate
For productivity, negotiation is a must-have skill for an HR business partner. If you’re looking to become an HR business partner, then you must learn negotiation skills. Good negotiation skills sometimes bring the best productivity from the same employees and even the stakeholders without even spending additional costs. Thus, you must learn how to avoid the win and lose mindset.
Good negotiation is possible only if you understand the opposite party, and thus understand and know your stakeholders and employees. In addition to that, keep emotions in check as business strategies that overcome emotion serve to be the best sometimes.
Step 7: Develop a Complete Understanding of HR Business Partnership
Acquiring a certificate, and learning the fundamentals is not enough to start practicing the HR business partner’s role. A thorough understanding of the smallest details is a mandatory requirement too.
With an “Agile” working structure, businesses allow themselves to quickly adapt to changes as the global/local markets keep on changing. This challenge sometimes becomes tricky for companies to continuously upskill their business, adapt to changes and hire suitable talent according to the dilemma’s needs.
This is why the role of HR business partnership arose quickly recently. An HR business partner is responsible to communicate with the senior HR professionals and junior HR managers. But, the work is not as easy as it seems.
To completely understand an HR business partner role, consider a scenario where a company wants to change its strategic planning and working infrastructure according to the latest market trends. It is the duty of an HR business partner who must implement this change into the organizations’ work environment through agile and dynamic working.
In addition to that, keep in mind that the HR business partner role is different for all organizations. For example, when a business hires a candidate for this business partner role, they might hire a person with good talent acquisition skills, but for some other businesses hiring for the same position, they may seek an employee with good strategic and financial management skills.
Thus, it is mandatory for you to critically analyze and understand what an HR business partner is responsible for in an organization.
Step 8: Get at Least a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
Even if the roles are different according to each business’s needs, still you must possess some general competencies to successfully secure this seat.
One of the most basic core competencies is to have at least a bachelor's level degree preferably in business or human resources. While for the higher roles, like Executive HR business partner, organizations prefer a bachelor's degree in human resources management, and a specialized degree in business strategies.
Again, know that the least requirement is to have at least a four-year bachelor's degree to be able to apply to a job.
Along with that, specializations and certifications can complement your job application. Above, we have already discussed in detail the certifications.
Step 9: Practice Business Partnership Skills and Gain Experience (Optional)
You must be confused about what should you do if you don’t have valid experience as an HR business partner. Don’t worry. Experience also has categories, and it does not mean you must work with some company or organization.
As the main goal is to cross-check whether the skills you have works fine for you or not? You can do so by searching for a relevant task on the internet and working on it to match the results.
In addition to that, freelance jobs and paid/non-paid internships are great options to practice your skills as well. Although this is not necessary, some organizations hire freshers and train them on their own according to their business strategies. But, is highly recommended to practice your skills for higher selection chances.
This step sometimes is helpful in the career progression of a good business partner role. Prior experience as an HR manager and HR generalist is also beneficial for good career progression.
We hope that the above-mentioned guidelines provide you with all the necessary details on how to become an HR business partner.
How to Become an HR Business Partner at Your Organization?
If you’re already serving in the HR department in a junior position, you should work on securing the HR business partner’s seat. After all, employees are promoted based on their work portfolio, and passion for learning, thus developing such a mindset is crucial.
Here are some steps that you may follow to become an HR business partner at your organization:
1. Find a Project That You Can Take Over Voluntarily at Work
Willingness to learn matters the most, thus if you’re looking to progress towards this senior HR professional’s seat then you must become willing to learn how they tackle the projects.
You can either request a senior HR business professional to assign you the task, or you can just voluntarily work on a task as a side project to practice the skills and learn the process.
This way, you will not just practice the skills required to become an HR business partner, but you’re also building a portfolio to showcase your skills when the right time arrives.
2. Voluntarily Participate to Solve Problems
Again, voluntarily taking over the projects, and doing efforts to solve issues reflects your willingness to learn more and become a better professional. Thus, you may work and suggest solutions to technical problems your seniors face in their day-to-day activities. This way, you will help yourself get noticed, and your chances for promotion increase.
3. Develop a Portfolio and Build a Track Record With Proof of Your Skills
Make sure that the projects you do or the issues you solve voluntarily are being recorded in your portfolio, so that when the right time to apply for the seat arrives, you can present it to your recruiters. This way, they will know with these projects as proof that you have worked, and such practices reflect your passion and interest. A great portfolio and word record nourishes your skills and complements your HR professional job application.
4. Apply to an HR Business Partner Job Opening at Your Organization
When you think that you have developed the mandatory skills, and the right time has arrived, then you may proceed to progress in your career. Submitting a job application for an HR business partner’s seat along with a proven work record, and a great portfolio will increase your chances of selection. Not just because you’re experienced and have the desired skills, but also because you have proved in real-time to your seniors that you are capable to learn more, thus delivering more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are insights provided by our experts to some of the most asked queries regarding an HR business partner’s role:
1. Do HR Business Partners Recruit?
In short, the answer is no. But, in true essence, the recruited candidates are selected based on the information delivered by the HR business partner.
Let’s define the role of an HR business partner again in the context of this question. An HR business partner communicates with business executives and transfers the company's strategy. In addition to that, they provide workforce hunting techniques to the recruiters and human resources managers.
This way, a hiring manager drafts a job description for a vacancy according to the information transferred by the HR business partner and recruits the right candidate. When a candidate is recruited, again comes the duty of an HR business partner. They ensure whether the selected talent and their skills align with the business objectives and goals or not.
Thus, an human resources business partner is directly not responsible for recruiting duties. But, it is also not wrong to say that they are associated with recruitment just to ensure the right talent hunt.
2. Is HR Business Partner (HRBP) a Good Job?
According to Glassdoor, an human resources business partner has an average salary of $101k per year.
Do you know what it means? That means $8.4k per month, $2124k per week, and $53.1 per hour. The figures are much higher than what an average person earns annually in the United States.
The mentioned average salary includes base pay of $83k, while it counts to $101k with additional $18k extra incentives.
The majority of human resources business partners make between $58k-$182k, with a median salary of $101k. While Glassdoor has also received salary information from an HR business partner who is earning $311k per year.
Amazon company has a salary range of their HR business partners somewhere between $58k-$112k according to 51 salary estimates received by Glassdoor. In addition to that, Verizon has a $91k-$116k salary range for their HR business partners.
On the other hand, the average salary of a Google human resources business partner is $170k per year with a salary range of $130k-291k. Know that the results are estimated according to 9 employees working as HR business partners in Google.
Hence, it is undoubtedly correct that the human resources business partner role is rewarding in financial terms and is a good job.
If you have an adequate interest in becoming a human resources business partner, then go through the provided step-by-step guide on how to become an HR business partner.
Familiarize yourself with the skills required to become a human resources business partner. Develop a sound understanding of terms like business strategy development, business partnering, human resourcing, talent acquisition, executive communication, and business leadership.
In addition to that, you must know what comparison analysis is, and how to drive business leads. Furthermore, you should also know the tactics behind uplifting a business according to market trends and organizational needs.
For analyses, a good familiarity with software and tools for advanced services is also crucial.
We can say that a human resources business partner is a good role, that is rewarding in financial and experiential aspects.
Note that, an HR business partner does not recruit employees. Instead, they play a major role in helping the hiring managers to seek and hire the right talent. They communicate with the HR director, HR generalist, HR manager, and other human resources roles for HR projects and the hiring process.
Once you fulfill the above-mentioned steps, you can start applying to the HR roles to land your dream career.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR Business Partner position, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after HR Business Partner job.
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He’s a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.