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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HR Business Partner (Operations)

Are you a HR Business Partner in search of a new challenge? Our client is a Global manufacturing company based in Gelderland for the Dutch market. We are looking for an experienced Dutch speaking HR Business Partner to coach and be part of the production team. You will be responsible for all aspects of HR […]
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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 […]
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  • Financial Services

Employee Relations VP

We are excited to partner exclusively with a reputable Financial Services organization to support a new Employee Relations hire. As a reputable firm with a sizeable base in Asia and globally, this is a great opportunity for candidates with existing Employee Relations experience within Financial Services or MNC environments. As the first dedicated Employee Relations […]
  • Salary SGD160000 – SGD180000 per annum
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  • Financial Services

Technology Talent Acquisition Lead – Trading

Our client is a FinTech market leader with a dynamic and fast-paced culture that requires an energetic, ambitious and strategic Recruiter. You will be part of a high-performance working environment, partnering with the brightest minds in the business. As Senior Technology Recruiter, you will report into the APAC Head of Talent Acquisition and partner closely […]
  • Salary SGD200000 – SGD220000 per annum
  • Posted 14 uur geleden geplaatst
  • Professional Services

Talent Acquisition Partner

Talent Acquisition Partner -Corporate Functions Europe £50,000 + 15% bonus + benefits Hybrid – 2 days a week in the office (London – City) Frazer Jones is engaged exclusively on this exciting Talent Acquisition Partner opportunity to join a thriving and rapidly growing global property business. The ideal candidate for this role will come from […]
  • Salary GBP45000 – GBP50000 per annum + 15% bonus
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  • Professional Services

Resource Manager

My client is a world-leading professional services firm. They now have a need for a dedicated resource and talent management manager to support a growing and dynamic service line. The organisation is dedicated to supporting employee career development, and driving commercial success. Subsequently, they have a dedicated and passionate professional development and staffing team that […]
  • Salary GBP70000 – GBP75000 per annum + bonus + benefits
  • Posted 1 dag geleden geplaatst
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Associate Director, HR Business Partner

Our client, a global specialty chemicals business, located in Conley, GA is looking for an Associate Director, HR Business Partner who will be integral in maintaining a strong culture, guiding all people related matters, providing coaching and supporting line managers on employee relations, organizational effectiveness, change management, talent and performance management, etc. as well as […]
  • Salary USD150000 – USD185000 per annum
  • Posted 5 dagen geleden geplaatst
  • Financial Services

Senior HR Business Partner, Americas

Our client, an award-winning, independent, investment data company, is looking to bring a Sr. HR Business Partner onto the Americas team based in New York. This role will be responsible for acting as a strategic business partner, overseeing key HR operations across the US, supporting the employee experience integrating new employees in the Dallas office […]
  • Salary USD150000 – USD180000 per annum
  • Posted 5 dagen geleden geplaatst
  • Oil/Energy/Renewables/Utilities

Senior C&B Professional m/f/x

Our client is a well known and globally operating company that is currently redesigning its C&B offering, looking for highly experienced specialists in this field. Senior C&B Professional m/f/xDüsseldorf area Tasks You will design modern and sustainable Compensation & Benefits solutions and policies for a globally growing company in the midst of a challenging transformation. […]
  • Salary EUR110000 – EUR130000 per annum
  • Posted 5 dagen geleden geplaatst
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Strategic HR Business Partner

Our client, a privately held manufacturing organization, with about 10,000 employees globally is seeking a Strategic HR Business Partner to support their Medical Products division in either of their Arizona locations (Flagstaff or Phoenix) or Newark, DE location. They are looking for someone with 10+ years of HR Business Partnering capabilities with strengths in organizational […]
  • Salary USD175000 – USD175001 per annum
  • Posted 5 dagen geleden geplaatst
  • Engineering/Manufacturing/Industrial

Strategic HR Business Partner

Our client, a privately held manufacturing organization, with about 10,000 employees globally is seeking a Strategic HR Business Partner to support their Medical Products division in either of their Arizona locations (Flagstaff or Phoenix) or Newark, DE location. They are looking for someone with 10+ years of HR Business Partnering capabilities with strengths in organizational […]
  • Salary USD175000 – USD175001 per annum
  • Posted 5 dagen geleden geplaatst
  • Financial Services

VP HR Business Partner – Banking

We are partnering with one of the most reputable Financial Services firms globally, in their search for a Vice President, HR Business Partner to take responsibility for People Strategy across Front Office and Corporate Functions client groups on a regional basis. Your key responsibilities will include: Embedding the people strategy for Front Office and Corporate […]
  • Salary SGD180000 – SGD240000 per annum
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