What Does a Senior HR Business Partner Do?

Do you want to know what a senior HR business partner does? Then, this is the right article to guide you.

A senior HR business partner aligns human resources goals with organizational goals. Gartner report says that effective HRBPs increase employee retention by 24%, improve employee performance by 22%, boost profitability by 9%, and enhance revenue by 7%. It is hard to deny the importance of senior human resources business partners in improving the efficiency of the human resources department.

A senior HR business partner works together and aligns business units with HR functions. In this article, you can find out what a senior human resources business partner does to meet organizational and HR objectives. If you’re interested in learning more via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

Senior HR Business Partner Role

A senior human resources business partner (HRBP) is a strategic liaison between the business and the human resources department. The senior human resources business partners are in contact with line managers to understand the business, process, and challenges. This knowledge helps the human resources department to set realistic goals and priorities.

Senior HRBP is a diverse role that requires human resources skills, industry sector knowledge, and strong business acumen. The senior HR business partner’s base salary ranges between $101,000 to $154,000 per year. They’re responsible for developing and shaping an HR agenda that aligns with the company’s long-term objectives.

For example, let’s consider a training program initiated by HR to train employees in the operations department. This training program fails if HR doesn’t understand the program’s operations, how it works, the challenges the operations team will face, and what type of skills and training they need for its successful implementation.

The job of the HR business partners is to collaborate with the management to understand their work and requirements. Multiple HR business partners work with different business units in large multinational organizations. After that, they report the progress to a senior human resource business partner who works with the decision-makers for strategic alignment between HR and business objectives.

HR managers are the main data source for senior HR business partners and that’s how they develop a link between management and HR.

Types of Senior HR Business Partners

Senior HR business partners have two main types depending on their roles and responsibilities. Know that the job titles in both types remain the same but job responsibilities are different:

  1. The most common type of senior human resources business partner is the one with great education and experience. They hold years of experience serving as an HR business partner. Companies prefer hiring an experienced senior human resources business partner since these are experts in the subject matter.
  2. Large-scale companies hire a senior HRBP to manage HR business partners to streamline the process.
    Here is an example job posting for this type of senior HRBP:
    In this case, the demanded person manages other HR business partners and HR professionals.

HR business partner career path

Large organizations with massive workforces, such as the manufacturing industry use this senior HRBP role. These organizations hire a person who exhibits skills more than a regular HR business partner so they can also manage different HR sections and business units.

Senior HR Business Partner Responsibilities

Gartner identifies 4 key duties that an HR business partner must perform. A senior HR business partner, irrespective of its type, must perform these roles:

  1. Strategic partner
  2. Operations manager
  3. Emergency responder
  4. Employee mediator

These roles come with great responsibilities and are challenging and complex. This makes the senior HR business partner’s job difficult. Let’s explore these HRBP sub-roles and their responsibilities:

1. Strategic Partner

This role requires a strategic partner to address business challenges and key issues within the organization. They must exhibit a clear understanding of the business units and HR knowledge for developing and implementing the business strategy.

Strategic partnering of business with human resources management is also a key responsibility of the senior HR business partner. Here is a list of duties of a senior HR business partner for this role:

  • Understanding the strategic needs of the company
  • Tweaking and aligning HR strategy to meet business needs
  • Working with business leaders
  • Identifying talent needs for different business units and creating an appropriate strategy to meet talent requirements
  • Representing business units and senior leaders throughout the organization as their representative
  • Focusing on HR performance management processes

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2. Operations Manager

This is a monitoring role where a senior HR business partner acts as an operation manager. HRBPs in this role communicate with the employees and monitor and collaborate with them on their challenges to try to fix them. The following are the key responsibilities of an operations manager:

  • Working with operation managers to understand how the business operates
  • Understanding and tracking employee behaviors
  • Identifying operational challenges faced by employees
  • Communicating and collaborating with employees
  • Sharing organizational policies and procedures with employees
  • Guiding employees on HR initiatives to address their operational issues
  • Creating human resources programs that align with business culture and operations
  • Collaborating with the human resources team to improve financial outcomes and employee engagement
  • Understanding employment laws to maintain the company’s position as an equal opportunity employer

3. Emergency Responder

This is an important role where the senior HR business partner provides immediate solutions to challenges that managers and employees face. This includes dealing with both HR and non-HR severe challenges that demand instant resolution. In case of such emergencies, the associated senior HR business partner is the first responder to contact.


Here are the key duties of an emergency responder:

  • Addressing and answering queries of the managers and employees
  • Understanding and responding to the immediate needs of managers and employees
  • Having a contingency plan of action for emergency
  • Preparing managers for all types of complex situations
  • Defining SOPs for handling emergency issues
  • Creating a long-term strategic solution for these issues so they do not repeat

4. Employee Mediator

Not all the challenges in the workplace are operational or organizational. A majority of employee challenges are conflicts between two or more individuals. The responsibility of the senior HR business partner is to act as an employee mediator to address employee concerns and resolve their conflicts.

Conflicts, whether personal or work-related, impact company culture and performance management processes, and the HRBPs must address them. The main roles and responsibilities of an employee mediator are:

  • Working as a mediator to solve conflicts
  • Managing and resolving employee and management conflicts
  • Understanding employee personalities for better management of the workforce
  • Addressing political challenges
  • Identifying and fixing negative politics that ruin productivity and damage organizational culture

Qualifications, Experience, & Skills – Senior HR Business Partner Role

Similar to other important HR roles, the qualifications, skills, and work experience are the determining factors of senior HR business partners’ ability to excel in their roles. This section contains preferred qualifications, required work experience, and skills to become a successful senior HR business partner.

Senior HR Business Partner Qualifications

As it is a crucial and high leadership position, senior HR business partners must have impressive education. Here are the preferred qualifications for the senior HR business partner role:

  • At least a Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, psychology, or any related field of study with a certification in HRBP. A Master’s degree is also preferable
  • Appropriate people management qualifications, such as CIPD Level 5, SHRM-SCP, SHRM-CP, SPHR or PHR

Senior Human Resources Business Partner Experience

Work experience is important for senior HR business partners as they guide and support managers and other staff members by offering people management and development support. Here is how much experience a senior HR business partner must hold:

  • Maximum 5 years of experience as an HR business partner
  • At least 6 years of relevant experience in human resources in a leadership position, like an HR manager

Senior HR Business Partner Skills

Senior HR business partners must possess a set of skills, such as:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to build solid connections with key stakeholders and influence major decision-makers
  • Proficiency in the use of MS Suite
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to think both logically and at the level of detail
  • Thorough understanding of the industry and company for working with minimal supervision in a visible role
  • Ability to align human resources strategies with business goals to boost organizational success
  • Understanding of HR processes, business structure, and industry-related knowledge

Best Tips for New Senior HR Business Partners

Working for all four roles for new senior HR business partners is never easy. They do strategic planning and execution for the human resources department and the organization, in addition to resolving day-to-day employee issues and acting as a mediator. Such diverse roles require some serious planning and skills. Here are some practical tips that will help you in your career development:

1. Get Acquainted with the Organization

After joining a new company as a senior HR business partner, the first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the organization’s system. This includes business goals, HR functions, hiring process, and workforce plans. The more you know about the company and how it works, the better.

2. Evaluate Strategy and Metrics

Senior HR business partner is a strategic role so try to evaluate and review organizational and HR strategies. Check metrics and handle performance management. Understand company objectives to figure out where the company wants to go. A clear understanding of the strategy and metrics is essential to succeed in this role.

3. Meet More People

The role involves dealing and interacting with people, including business leaders, managers, and employees across all levels. So, keep interacting to understand employee relations, needs, and challenges. This also helps develop training programs for addressing company challenges and enhancing employee engagement.

Conduct early meetings and collaboration with the workforce to identify loopholes, behaviors, and political involvement. This information proves handy in cases of employee mediation.

4. Join Hands with Line Managers

Managers are the most valuable asset for any senior HR business partner as they provide you with firsthand data on operations and challenges. A senior HR business partner lacks this interaction and linkage with the manager. So, surround yourself with managers, allow them to contact you in case of issues, and start understanding how they work.

5. Take Risks

Senior HR business partner jobs require a risk-taking mindset. In your early days, try accepting challenges and taking steps that can lead to a fruitful outcome.

For example, tweaking HR strategy, closing HR programs that aren’t performing well, creating a new system for handling emergencies in operations, and addressing employee conflicts that were unheard of for ages. Look after anything that ruins the alignment between the organization and HR strategy.

Final Remarks

Senior HR business partner is a challenging role mainly because of two reasons. First, it isn’t easy to switch between different roles now and then. One day you are sitting in the board meeting on strategic planning and the next day you are resolving a personal conflict between two employees.

Second, aligning business and HR and bridging the gap between leadership and employees has always been tough. Know that the value a senior HR business partner brings to the table is matchless. If you love challenges, the senior HRBP role is the ideal career choice for you.


The following are the most frequently asked questions and answers about senior human resources business partner:

What is an HR business partner role?

An HR business partner is a human resources professional who integrates the business strategy with people management activities. In contrast to managing day-to-day HR operations, such as talent management, payroll processing, and record management, a human resources business partner focuses on the company’s big picture by building HR strategies and coaching the HR department.

What skills does an HR business partner need?

A human resources business partner must have a set of skills, that include talent acquisition, workforce planning, business acumen, employee relations management, risk management, succession planning, people advocacy, cultural intelligence, change management, and interpersonal communication skills.

What is the difference between an HR business partner and an HR manager?

The human resources business partner focuses on strategic alignment with specific business objectives, whereas an HR manager performs administrative duties, like recruitment and benefits administration. On the whole, HR business partners work with different department managers, while HR managers manage the staff of HR employees.

Is HRBP a senior role?

An HR business partner (HRBP) is a senior HR professional who works with business leaders and the HR team to offer strategic and functional HR leadership and services to assigned units, including the planning and implementation of HR processes, strategies, and policies.


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