How to become an HR Business Partner 

Author Charlotte Grimmett
September 7, 2022
A man working from a laptop on a wooden desk with a cup of team.

What is a Human Resources (HR) Business Partner? 

A HR Business Partner is a professional who provides their expertise and experience to support a business. This is usually a specific business area to partner with its leaders, providing people advice and initiatives to aid and improve business objectives.  

This involves working closely with that business to develop and deliver on HR strategies that help drive performance, growth and support business needs and commercial outcomes.  

Most importantly, a HR Business Partner’s responsibility is to understand the business’s people and communicate effectively with them. A business’s most important asset is mainly their people. 

What skills and qualifications should an HR Business Partner offer? 

One of the great things about working in HR is that you rarely need specific qualifications. They help and are nice to have, but they’re not a necessity to succeed. It will depend on the industry and organisation of course, sometimes to get the initial break you need to have a degree, but that is not always the case.  

Most businesses look for someone who’s had at least three to five years of HR generalist experience, ideally partnering closely with a practice area of specific client group and someone that is used to working closely with senior leaders. 

A qualification with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is often highly desirable, but again – not necessary. 

What soft skills does a successful HR Business Partner need? 

The most important skill an HR Business Partner can have is the ability to manage and communicate with stakeholders effectively. This includes working with all levels of the business.  

Excellent interpersonal skills are favoured for this role – attributes such as empathy, resilience and the ability to push back when needed.  

What industries typically employ HR Business Partners? 

HR Business Partners are employed across all industries, but the businesses that typically employ HRBP’s tend to be on the larger side. These usually have various client groups or sub-brands, just like The SR Group.  

These businesses are also often global with reach all across the UK, EU and Asia-Pacific (APAC) although this is not always the case. 

What’s the difference between an HR Business Partner and an HR Manager? 

Smaller companies with 100-300 employees tend to have an HR Manager rather than an HR Business Partner.  

HR Managers are often more operational, while the HR Business Partner is typically more aligned to the specific service lines to add value from a people perspective. 

What role does HR play in a modern-day business? 

HR plays a crucial role in all industries – and this is constantly growing and evolving and will change depending on business, economic and other internal and external factors. 

To be specific, the HR function gives advice and expertise to a business to support its people and commercial objectives. 

In a broader sense, HR is playing a more critical role in the strategic direction and progressiveness of a business. The function now often has a seat at the table and is involved in shaping and driving major decisions.  

What fieldwork or internships should you have if you want to be an HR Business Partner? 

This really depends on the industry, but a route is to join a reasonably sized HR team that has various verticals of HR to broaden your knowledge and expertise, while working somewhere with strong leadership. This should provide a natural opportunity to learn and progress. 

Why should young people pursue an HR Business Partner career path? 

A career in HR is becoming more respected and more in demand.  

There’s been a shift in the perception of HR over the past few years. It’s a division that was historically known as the ‘enemy’ to a people and employee driven function. Some businesses have even changed the titles of HR teams and professionals to reflect its purpose – such as people, culture or talent.  

The pandemic gave employees the power of freedom when it comes to flexibility and work-life balance, giving HR the opportunity to step forward and prove its true value as a function that has its people at its heart.  

How do I find the right HR role? 

If you’re looking to progress your career, have a look at our HR jobs. You can also contact one of our consultants who can talk you through all of our roles, give you career advice and do all they can to get you your dream role! 

HR Jobs

  • Automotive
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial
  • Logistics/Supply Chain

HR Lead – Edinburgh

As HR Lead based in Edinburgh, you will head up a small HRBP team and partner the COO, playing a key role on the SLT and leading the business through large scale transformational change. The role will focus on the following: Driving the people agenda, leading on organisational change, transformation and culture change including the […]
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  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Asset Management
  • Financial Services
  • Professional Services

Global Mobility, Tax & Immigration Advisor

We are currently working with one of the world’s leading and most well know trading and investment corporations to find them a global mobility/expat tax & immigration specialist to join them in their growing London office, in a unique inhouse role. Because of the diverse skillset they require, this opportunity would be perfect for someone […]
  • Salary GBP50000 – GBP55001 per annum + Bonus & benefits
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Professional Services

Reward Manager (12 month FTC)

I am currently working on behalf of small, but growing global professional services firm to find them an experienced Reward Manager to join them ASAP on a 12 month fixed term contract. This would be initially to cover maternity, but they are growing so there is chance that this role could be extended. You will […]
  • Salary GBP70000 – GBP90000 per annum + Bonus & benefits
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

HR Business Partner

I am delighted to work exclusively with a global manufacturing business to recruit an HR Business Partner near Hull. You will play a pivotal role in the continuous improvement and development of this site, building a best-in-class HR service to the business, supporting those on site through a period of organisational change and transformation. The […]
  • Salary GBP45000 – GBP55000 per annum
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  • Technology

Senior Recruiter – Technology

We are delighted to be partnering exclusively with a US software company on a Senior Recruiter opportunity. The current firm employ more than 2000 talented individuals across 12 global offices. Their services are used by more than 5 billion users a month and are committed to delivering exceptional service and growth across their core markets. […]
  • Posted Posted 4 days ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

HR Business Partner – Manufacturing

Our client, a well-established brand name globally, and a leader in the manufacturing industry – is looking for a hands-on HR Business Partner to join the high performing Singapore team. They have over 3,000 employees in Singapore. The current HR team is experienced and highly collaborative, so this will provide a great platform for a […]
  • Salary Up to SGD100000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 4 days ago
  • Legal
  • Professional Services

Employment Relations Manager

Provide expert ER advice, drive the ER strategy and work on change projects Join a high performing & collaborative people team Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane location with hybrid work pattern Full time or part time (4 days per week) This is a newly created opportunity for an experienced ER or HR professional to join a […]
  • Salary AUD140000 – AUD160000 per annum + Super + Bonus
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Professional Services

HR Business Partner

A highly reputable organisation based in West Sussex is seeking a HR Business Partner for a 15-month fixed term contract covering maternity leave. In a continually evolving world our client prides themselves in helping all generations to embrace change through trusted advice, support and guidance. In this role, you will report to the HR Director, […]
  • Salary GBP50000 – GBP60000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Financial Services

HR Business Partner – Investment Management

We are delighted to be partnering with a close client on a HR Manager opportunity to be based in their Singapore office. As a global investment management firm headquartered in the US and with an APAC headquarter in Singapore, their market-let investment strategies and cutting-edge technologies has demonstrated a collaborative and performance-driven culture that has […]
  • Posted Posted 6 days ago
  • Financial Services

Group Learning Senior Manager – Financial Services

We are working with a highly regarded, global Financial Services client with a large leadership presence in Singapore, recruiting into their Group Learning team. You will sit within the Global Learning & Development team, designing the Learning Strategy to be implemented across the Group. This is a fast-paced, global and purpose led matrix environment that […]
  • Salary SGD150000 – SGD180000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 6 days ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Learning & Development Business Partner

I’m partnering with a well-known Facilities business in the UK on their brand new L&D Business Partner role. Salary up to £60,000 (max). 4 days per week in their office with Fridays working from home (non-negotiable). Role profile: The focus of this role will be developing and implementing effective L&D programmes, ensuring a competent and […]
  • Salary GBP50000 – GBP60000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 6 days ago
  • Oil/Energy/Renewables/Utilities

Regional Assistant HR Manager – Renewable Energy

We are delighted to partner exclusively with a leading Renewable Energy company which has displayed a strong YOY performance. This is a progressive business with an impressive track record and an innovative and creative culture. As part of their business expansion plans in APAC, they are looking for a hands-on Assistant HR Manager (Generalist role) […]
  • Salary SGD84000 – SGD85000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 7 days ago

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