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Human Resources Business Partner Duties and Responsibilities

Rather than simply managing HR duties, the human resources business partner makes complex decisions to improve how human resources departments manage personnel and how HR departments can help organizations become more effective. Core responsibilities include:

Develop and Initiate Human Resources Programs Human resources business partners develop and enact HR policies that support business objectives. They analyze trends related to hiring, employee morale and retention, and employee relations with management and executives to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, aligning HR efforts with company goals related to profitability, efficiency, and performance.

Consult with Executives and Managers As part of developing new HR strategies, human resources business partners spend a significant amount of time consulting with management personnel ranging from department heads to company executives. The human resources business partner may meet with high-level decision-makers to outline the organization's HR goals, identify opportunities to improve processes, and provide recommendations to improve employee morale and boost performance.

Coordinate HR Efforts between Departments In addition to conferring with executives and management, human resources business partners also work closely with individual departments and business lines to coordinate human resources initiatives including training, employee feedback, and personnel changes. They gather data and feedback from department heads or individual personnel and uses it to guide future HR initiatives.

Prepare Contracts and Training Materials Human resources business partners develop contracts for new hires, promotions, and department transfers. They take an active role in crafting these contracts as these hires and transfers directly impact and support company-wide or departmental HR efforts to enhance business performance. Human resources business partners also develop training materials and presentations, which they provide to other departments.

Address Employee Concerns While human resources business partners are not as actively involved with day-to-day HR tasks, such as resolving employee grievances and overseeing personnel management, they do spend a fair amount of time directly interacting with employees. These one-on-one conversations provide vital information about employee concerns and potential areas of improvement, which can influence new HR initiatives.

Advise HR Personnel Human resources business partners collaborate directly with HR department managers and personnel to gather data, introduce new programs, and oversee the administration of all aspects of HR and personnel management. In a large organization, the human resources business partner is responsible for directing and managing HR departments in several locations, ensuring that programs and processes are consistent and aligned with business goals.


Human Resources Business Partner Skills and Qualifications

Human resources business partners balance consulting and strategic direction with implementing and evaluating HR processes. Companies typically hire individuals with extensive HR experience, a bachelor's degree, and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification, along with the following skills:
  • Strategy development and execution -a solid grasp of organizational development and strategic direction guide efforts to align HR efforts with business goals
  • Process analysis - successfully examining and analyzing internal processes are essential to identify what is working within an organization's HR structure and which areas need improvement
  • Human resources management - extensive experience in human resources management, including employee evaluations, contract negotiations, and conflict resolution are vital in this position
  • Team coordination - because they frequently communicate with upper management, department managers, and HR personnel, human resources business partners are skilled at building and coordinating cross-functional teams
  • Communication and presentation - communication is key as human resources business partners present new initiatives and training materials across all levels of an organization

Human Resources Business Partner Education and Training

In general, human resources business partners have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field such as business administration or human resources. Many also possess advanced degrees in related fields; an MBA can open up more opportunities for advancement. Additionally, most companies look for human resources business partners who have received Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. This is a position that many companies seek to hire from within. Human resources professionals who show an aptitude for big-picture, strategic thinking and want to have a greater impact on their companies' overall performance and growth often become human resources business partners after they have worked in HR for several years.

Human Resources Business Partner Salary and Outlook

Glassdoor reports that the average annual salary for human resources business partners is $65,806 per year based on over 2,000 reported salaries. PayScale reports an average salary of $73,632 based on 4,300 reports. It's worth noting that Glassdoor's estimate does not include annual an additional cash compensation of $7,846, which would bring its average close to PayScale's estimates. The position human resources business partner only emerged in the 1990s, but companies are increasingly moving toward this model of aligning HR and organizational efforts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that HR careers will see steady growth between 2016 and 2026.

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