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

  • Construction
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial
  • FMCG/Consumer goods
  • Logistics/Supply Chain
  • Oil/Energy/Renewables/Utilities
  • Pharmaceuticals/Life Sciences

Total Rewards Manager, MNC Solution Provider

Our client, a multinational corporation MNC solution provider renowned for its global business presence and impressive profitability track record, has an exciting opportunity of Total Rewards Manager (Regional) available. The role is regionally focused on the APAC market and entails the development and execution of comprehensive rewards strategies aligned with the company’s business objectives. The […]
  • Salary medical insurance
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Retail/e-Commerce

Senior HR Business Partner

We are partnering with a renowned retail giant, an industry leader known for innovation and exceptional customer service. As a Senior HR Business Partner, you will play a crucial role in shaping our client’s success by attracting top talent, fostering employee engagement, and driving talent management initiatives. Responsibilities: As the Senior HR Business Partner, you […]
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

HR Business Partner – Manufacturing MNC

I am delighted to have partnered with a rapidly growing and well-established manufacturing MNC to help them recruit a HR Business Partner. My client is a market leader who believe that their people make them what they are. This is a pivotal role where you will be part of the business, acting as a true […]
  • Salary Up to SGD78000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Legal

Executive Recruitment Manager

I am proudly partnering with a global leader who are now recruiting for a recruitment manager to focus on the partner population. Forming part of a small, but highly collaborative and passionate team, you will report into the Global Head of Talent Acquisition and drive partner hires globally. Ideally you will have expereince with recruiting […]
  • Salary GBP70000 – GBP90000 per annum + bonus + benefits
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Construction
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial
  • FMCG/Consumer goods
  • Logistics/Supply Chain

Head of C&B & Share Services

Our client is a renowned manufacturer with a strong market presence and a proven track record of success in core business operations and innovative product offerings, is seeking a highly experienced professional for the position of Head of Compensation and Benefits (C&B) and Shared Services. As the Head of C&B and Shared Services, you will […]
  • Posted Posted 3 days ago
  • Asset Management

Senior HR Business Partner

Due to successful growth plans, the firm are continuing to expand. We have a new opportunity for a bilingual German and English HR Business Partner to lead the build-out of HR strategy and functionality across Germany, UK, Luxemburg and Poland. We need someone dedicated and driven to grow, with experience in both UK and German […]
  • Salary EUR90001 – EUR110000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 4 days ago
  • Charity/Non-Profit/Third Sector

People Engagement Director

About our client: Creating a world where every child’s wish matters. Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional […]
  • Salary 25 days holiday
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Pharmaceuticals/Life Sciences

Plant HR Business Partner

We are excited to be partnering a renowned multinational corporation that specializes in pharmaceutical research and innovation. With global footprints that can be traced to all the major regions, our client is famed for their bold inventions that have increased the quality of life for people everywhere. While they have achieved remarkable growth in terms […]
  • Salary SGD180000 – SGD180001 per annum
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Legal

HR Business Partner

I am thrilled to be partnering with a well-established national law firm who are in need of an experienced HR Business Partner on an initial 12-month contract to cover parental leave. Based in Brisbane but reporting to the Head of HR in Melbourne, you will be an integral member of this established HR team, supporting […]
  • Salary AUD110000 – AUD120000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Regional HR Director, Americas

Our client, a global manufacturing and engineering firm, located in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (Orange County) is seeking a Regional HR Director, Americas to join their team. This person will be tasked with understanding their Regional Business Strategy and align the People Strategy to enable the delivery of the Regional Growth Plan. The successful candidate […]
  • Salary USD200000 – USD230000 per annum + plus bonus
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Strategic HR Business Partner Lead

We are looking for an experienced global HR Leader to join our growing team who has a demonstrated track record of success leading a Human Resources team within an innovative, growing, global multinational industrial/technology company. This leader must have experience influencing and ensuring delivery of solutions across key aspects of HR including Recruiting, Talent Management, […]
  • Salary USD180000 – USD200000 per annum + plus bonus
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago
  • Banking

Senior People Manager (m/w/d)

Seien Sie Teil einer bedeutenden Zukunftsbewegung! Unser Partnerunternehmen ist ein führender Akteur im Agrarsektor mit mehr als 400 Mitarbeitenden im Herzen von Frankfurt. In einer Ära des Wandels suchen wir nach einem engagierten People Manager (m/w/d), der sich mit Leidenschaft und Fachwissen in den Transformationsprozess unseres Partners einbringt. Ihre Aufgaben: Gestaltung des People & Culture […]
  • Salary EUR90000 – EUR110000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 5 days ago

Featured Content