Human Resources Business Partner

What is an HR Business Partner?

The term Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) refers to the shift of human resources toward a greater focus on business results. It’s about increasing the effectiveness of human resources by aligning it closely with the business needs and overall strategic vision.

Typical functions of HR include recruiting, compliance, safety, administration, and payroll. The functions of HRBPs shift to talent management, workforce planning, purposeful culture development, employee engagement, organizational design, leadership development, and specialty expertise. It’s about leveraging people resources for a competitive advantage.

The role of HRBP is separate from that of a traditional HR manager. HR managers focus on developing policies and systems and maintaining enforcement. The HR business partner isn’t as involved in administration duties and instead works closely with senior leaders to guide and communicate the company’s overall strategy.

What Does an HR Business Partner do?

HR business partners provide people a sense of purpose, belonging, and community. They instill the value of teamwork and highlight the company’s vision. Most importantly, they give each individual person and role meaning.

Ultimately, HR business partners help create an organization that wins in the marketplace. Being a business partner means creating value for both the organization and the employee.

To do their job successfully, an HRBP needs full access to the company’s resources and strategic planning sessions. When included in goal-setting and future strategizing, an HRBP can offer guidance, feedback, and help make decisions.

What Skills Does an HR Business Partner Need?

HR business partners wear a lot of hats, so the role requires well-rounded individuals with a baseline understanding of many different skill sets. Understanding how to build a community and keep employees engaged requires thoughtful communication skills and empathy.

Providing ongoing training and leadership development requires a thorough understanding of the company’s values, leadership principles, and content creation.

Finally, performance management, hiring, and termination require a deep understanding of the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and what senior leaders expect from each department in terms of performance.

The day-to-day of an HRBP revolves around connecting with people to ensure they have the support, knowledge, and tools they need to perform their job successfully. Some days that could mean coaching an underperforming rep, while others could be interviewing candidates for a new role that just opened up.


See our full list of over 50 Small Business Terms here


The leading scheduling software designed for hourly employees. Build your work schedule in minutes with ZoomShift.