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

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Senior Benefits Advisor

Frazer Jones are partnering with a leading consultancy business based in the heart of London. This is a global business that even during the pandemic, have been experiencing impressive successful growth. To help with the extra work that has been created from that growth, they are looking to a hire a new Senior Benefits Advisor […]
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  • Retail/e-Commerce

Senior HR Business Partner

Are you a Senior HR Business Partner looking to join a fast-moving, ever-evolving organisation in Hertfordshire (hybrid working) which truly invests in its people? This role is a vital element in those people plans, whereby you will be the major driver of this cultural and organisational change. This is a true Business Partnering role where […]
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Recruitment Advisor – Early Careers

Recruitment Advisor – Ealy Careers We are delighted to be partnering with a global law firm in the search for an Early Careers Recruitment Advisor to join their high performing team. Reporting into the Early Careers Manager you will manage the graduate program for the Melbourne office including the annual recruitment process, on boarding and […]
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  • Professional Services

APAC HR Business Partner – Professional Services

We are delighted to be partnering with a PE backed Professional Services firm with significant investment that are growing their presence in the region. This is a senior level HR Business Partner role, playing a key part in the People strategy post acquisition as well as the expansion of the business into new locations regionally. […]
  • Salary SGD160000 – SGD180000 per annum
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  • FinTech

Global People Director – FinTech start-up

Frazer Jones are partnering with a fast- growing FinTech start up in their search for a People Director. The organisation is planning to double in size over the next 12 months, whilst also expanding into new countries and regions. The People Director will be critical in supporting the organisation’s growth plans, establishing and refining policies […]
  • Salary SGD180000 – SGD220000 per annum
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  • Asset Management
  • Financial Services

HR Business Partner (APAC) – Global Markets

We are partnering exclusively with a top tier global investment bank, to appoint a strategic and forward-thinking HR Business Partner VP (APAC) based in the Singapore office, to lead, shape and develop the people strategy, HR projects, and delivery for the international business for the Global Markets business, working directly with the leadership team in […]
  • Posted Posted 18 hours ago
  • Technology

HR Business Partner

HR Business Partner, Based in Southampton, permanent position. Up to £47,000 + £5,700 car allowance. Hybrid working on offer. I am delighted to have partnered with a rapidly growing and well-established organisation based in Southampton to help them recruit a passionate and proactive HR Business Partner. My client is a market leading organisation, who pride […]
  • Salary GBP45000 – GBP47000 per annum + + car allowance
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(Senior) HR Business Partner

Voor een toonaangevende leverancier van telecommunicatie en IT en marktleider in Nederland zijn wij op zoek naar een (Senior) HR Business Partner voor hun Tech-divisie (IT), standplaats Amsterdam. Met hun vaste en mobiele netwerken voor telefonie, data en televisie bedienen ze klanten in binnen- en buitenland. De organisatie richt zich op zowel particuliere klanten als […]
  • Posted Posted 24 hours ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Senior HR Business Partner London

Frazer Jones is partnering with an amazing Manufacturing & Retail business that has gone through a long period of growth globally, as they continuously push consumer experience with affordable products that bring innovation to life. We are looking to hire a Senior HR Business Partner, reporting into the VP of HR. Please note, this role […]
  • Salary GBP85000 – GBP95000 per annum
  • Posted Posted 1 day ago
  • FMCG/Consumer goods

Senior HRBP

I am delighted to be exclusively partnering with a global consumer business enjoying rapid growth in the UK and Europe. As part of the growth and expansion of the People team, and the building of a European Centre of Excellence, we are looking to hire a best in class Senior HR Business Partner. You will […]
  • Salary GBP80000 – GBP85000 per annum + 15% bonus
  • Posted Posted 1 day ago
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial
  • Logistics/Supply Chain
  • Staffing/Recruiting

HR Business Partner

As HR Manager based near Leeds, you will be responsible for HR for the site with a small team reporting in. You will provide a professional and value-add service to your customers and play a pivotal role on the site SLT. Key areas of responsibility include: – Providing a proactive HR service including involvement in […]
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  • Posted Posted 2 days ago
  • Aerospace/Defence

Regional People Partner

Regional People Partner. Based in Kent. Permanent position. Up to £55,000. Hybrid working on offer. I am delighted to have partnered on an exclusive basis with a rapidly growing and well-established organisation based in Kent to help them recruit a Regional People Partner. My client is a market leading organisation who believe that their people […]
  • Salary GBP50000 – GBP55000 per annum + + Benefits
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