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HR Business Partner

HR (Human Resources) has a critical role to play in an organization. It can consist of a team of people or just one individual. There are also HR roles that work in other areas of an organization, one of which is an HR Business Partner, or HRBP. 

An HR Business Partner is typically a human resource professional with lots of experience. They generally work directly with the senior leadership of an organization. The goal of an HR Business Partner is to direct and develop a human resource plan that aligns with and supports the organization's goals.

An HR Business Partner tends not to be a working member of the internal human resources department. Instead, an HR Business Partner works more closely with the leaders or the company. They might even sit on the board of directors or collaborate with executive-level managers (C-suite).

By working closely with executive leadership, an HR business partner helps to make HR a part of the business strategy. As a result, this model is becoming more and more popular in today’s business world.

What Does an HRBP Do?

An HR Business Partner is more of a consultant than a manager or vice president of the HR department. They work in human resources but are more involved with building relationships and making sure HR resources are available across an organization. 

The prominent role of an HR Business Partner is to ensure the HR policy and procedures fit the needs, goals, and aims of top leadership and the organization.

The traditional roles of an HR professional, such as training, policy wording, benefits packages, hiring, administration, management, and compliance, are not part of an HR Business Partner’s remit. Instead, their focus is more on the development of an HR strategy rather than its implementation.

Business Partner - A Definition

The business partner definition is inclusive. It includes any kind of exclusive, contractual bond that develops between parties, representing a commercial partnership. 

The parties of the alliance can take different forms. For example, they might be individuals who agree to collaborate in order to create and manage a business. On the other hand, they might also be groups, teams, or a collection of companies that cooperate and work together for a common purpose that’s mutually beneficial.

Strategic Business Partner - What Does It Mean?

A strategic business partner is someone that takes part in conversations about the future of a business or organization. Those conversations will include the organization's mission, goals, and overall company strategy.

They’re not an actual C-suite member or executive leader, but they do have a voice when it comes to conversations about HR. Their role is as a consultant, and as such, their ideas and opinions have value. An HR business partner is, in essence, a strategic business partner, and as such, they can make recommendations, decisions and carry out goals. 

A particular skill set and level of knowledge are essential for any HR professional who wants to be valued as a strategic partner. For example, they must:

  • Understand all departments and areas of a business
  • Understand how HR can be beneficial in such aspects
  • Have good listening skills
  • Be able to listen to problems and ideas
  • Articulate solutions clearly   

HR Business Partner vs. HR Manager - Is There a Difference?

An HR Business Partner and an HR manager may sound like they have similar roles, but they are very separate and different. Each represents a different way of integrating and developing human resources within an organization.

An HR manager focuses their attention on developing policy and ensuring procedures a company follows them. They are also responsible for systems that include recruitment, hiring, payroll, administration of the HR system, and much more. Basically, the HR manager is the overseer of an HR department.

On the other hand, an HR business partner has no administrative responsibilities. Instead, the primary role of an HR Business Partner is working with a company’s senior leaders and department managers. Ultimately, the aim is that they will guide and communicate the company strategy to those who make the major business decisions. 

An HR business partner collaborates with the HR department. In addition, they also consult with executives regarding HR initiatives and issues. Ultimately, they will have an important role to play in the development of an organization’s HR strategy and initiative.