In this Article
The role of Human Resource Business Partners (HRBP) has significantly changed with the evolution of the business model. Otherwise advocated as HR profession or Human Resource professionals, Human resource business partners play a scientific role in the transition of Finance and Marketing. In this article, we will discuss what is an HR business partner and their roles in defining business and organizational strategies.
What is a Human Resource Business Partner?
An HR business partner is a professional who establishes a closer relationship between various departments, improving efficiency to manage the enterprise and transfer cost into profit.
Traditionally, Human Resource business partner meaning is synthesized to focus on modules of business focusing on selecting, training, and developing internal employees. The HR business partner refines management objectives, processes, content, and methods, represents ideas to the business management on behalf of the entire staff.
Rather than focusing primarily, the business partner works closely with senior leaders, collaborating with C-suite, and defining organization strategy.
The HR business partner definition dates back to 1990, and is specifically outlined in the book by Dave Ulrich –“HR Champions”. The book very well defines a Human Resource business partner meaning as a professional who has comprehensive knowledge and expertise in aligning business objectives with the staff and management to make a company successful.
HR Business Partner Definition
The HR business partner is not an HR manager, but a professional whose job description includes contractual, exclusive bond between the business and its staff members. According to Dave Ulrich, Human resource business partners are strategic positioners, capability builder, HR innovators and integrators, and technology proponent to impact business results.
What Does an HR Business Partner Do?
HR business partner contributes to the functioning of the entire HR system. The professionals' expertise in both functioning of human resources and management-related practices by getting closer to business and advocating mutual integration of multiple roles.
According to Professor Ulrich, the framework of HR business partner in 1996 is redefined into three important roles- Strategic partners Change Agent, Functional Agent, and Employee Champion. In his book the “HR Champions”, Ulrich has revised the model into five more specific roles which we will discuss further in this article.
An HRBP adds value to corporations. This is further enhanced by accomplishing effective talent management, change management, and influencing strategy by hosting value-added activities. The person in concern focuses on developing strategy rather than implementing policy. An HR business partner is responsible to utilize resources and win the marketplace by creating value for the business and its employees.
The average human resources business partner salary differs largely depending upon the hr business partner job description.
Below are a few examples of HR business partner job description that sets human resources business partner salary;
• Consult with HR management, line managers and offer appropriate guidance
• Analyzes trends and metrics with the department leaders for problem-solving, developing policies, and programming.
• Manages complex employee relations issues. Conducts thorough investigation and offering effective solutions
• Provides day-to-day performance management guidance on counselling, coaching, disciplinary actions, and career development
• Develops and offers HR policy guidance and interpretation
• Participates effectively in evolution and monitoring training programs to ensure company success
• Upholds in-depth legal knowledge related to day-to-day business management. This further ensures reducing legal risks.
• Assists international business staffs with HR related matters
• Works closely with lead managers to improve work relationships, increase productivity, build morale
Simply put, an HR business partner is nor a manager neither a vice president, instead he is more of a consultant who builds relationships, provides resources to the departments, and makes sure than human resource policy and procedures are observed throughout the organization. His role is to focus more on achieving goals and developing business strategies.
What is the Difference Between an HR Manager and an HR Business Partner?
HR Business Partner VS HR Manager
Although the roles of HR managers and Human resource business partners are similar, they differ in responsibilities towards connecting the HR department with business management. HR business professionals may rank higher than the HR managers, however, the latter is no less accountable. Subtly, one of the major topics of difference lies between the HR manager job description and human resources business partner job description.
HR Manager Job Description
An HR manager is responsible for the smooth running of the business through talent acquisition and policy implementation. The job description includes developing employee productivity, taking disciplinary procedures, benefits processing, and staff collaboration. The HR manager ensures that new talent is placed at positions to maximize their skills and deliver productivity.
The HR manager has a wider remit of responsibilities ranging from budgeting, change management, recruitment, compliances, rewards, L&D, and system administration. One of the most important functions of an HR manager is to meet up with top executives, segregate important tasks, and link efficient employees with management.
The following are the responsibilities that are expected to be fulfilled by an HR professional;
• Handle recruiting and hiring the best talent for a company
• Manage discipline for employees
• Ensure regulatory compliance
• Measure employees productivity
• Coordinate between management and special skill staffs
• Implement business strategies
• Focuses on policy implementation
• Accountable for payroll processing, hiring, recruiting, system administration
• Oversees the day-to-day work progress of team members
HR Business Partner Job Descriptions
An HRBP is a counsellor, coordinator, and a professional with a comprehensive understanding of business policies and HR functions. The business partner is ranked higher than an HR executive as he is the one who assigns responsibilities, coaches them on HR issues, and develops strategies.
The HR business partner analyses talent requirement, and plan recruitment and onboarding process to fulfill company requirements. The main goal of an HR business professional is to collaborate with the HR manager and business management to ensure the smooth functioning of the company.
The basic responsibilities of a human resource business partner are;
• Driving talent or Human resource initiatives
• Developing business strategies
• Support organizational business goals
• Meet company managers and setup business policies
• Looks deeper into the polices and determines what would suit best in the company
• Initiates communication and discusses opinions that work best for the company
Although there are discrepancies in responsibilities, the newly modelled companies are trying to eliminate the line and adopting HRBP. Blurring the line between the two positions is creating confusion for job applicants. HRBP attributes tend to be more strategic, complex, and consultative as compared to HR managers.
The basic HR business partner vs HR manager is that an HR manager prefers to roll up sleeves and involves himself in carrying out HR suites while the former is the developer of such HR suites and policies.
Whatever the case might be, HR professionals are the change companions for a company who has worked for employees' advantages.
How to Become a Human Resources Business Partner?
As most of the businesses are considering Ulrich’s HRBP model, the job has become popular among young aspirants. This attractive career approach has opened up a new arena for higher plans. An HR business partner is a complex yet most promising opportunity for people who have the confidence to influence business in the right way.
One of the first things to consider in becoming an HRBP is educating you. According to a common database, it is possible to apply for an HR business partner job with only a bachelor’s degree. However, approximately 49% of business partners have a master’s degree or professional HR courses.
How to Become a Human Resource Business Partner
• Study Business and Finance management and take HR courses
• Do not hurry. Take small steps towards learning basic skills. An HRBP must understand the underlying flows in the organization.
• Developing networking skills is one of the important parts of becoming and HRBP
• Learning to present yourself online is an advantage for a bright career in Human Resources
• Learn the basics of the administrative job by applying for the HR back office
• Move to CEOs. Try to rotate through various CEOs. Acquiring Talent Acquisition skills, compensation, and benefits will add value to internal clients.
• Start with taking smaller internal HR projects. This will help you in managing upcoming huge HR programs
• Apply for HR Client Support Position. Follow your senior Human Resource business partner and learn how they manage strategic agenda
• Eventually, apply for an HR business partner job
Additionally, here are some skills that take to become an HR business partner. These skills come along with observance and experience;
• Great listening skills
• Strong leadership
• Smart communication skills
• Critical thinking
• Solution articulated
• Analytical decision-making skills
What is the Average Salary For a Human Resources Business Partner?
An HR professionals are well acquainted with employees’ salary, hence undoubtedly, the HR executives know how to negotiate and get compensated for their services! If we do not go after exact figures and try to assume the average competitive compensation, the HR business partner salary may go beyond an impressive six-figure salary for the best specialists.
According to economists and database collected from 1000’s of companies, the average HRBP salary comes out quite promising. To know how much does a human resource business partner make, we set to understand few components that affect the salary, and how the HRBP is valued at each stage of their career;
› Impact of company size
Legitimately, the more established companies usually offer competitive salaries than their smaller counterparts. In general, the HR business partner salary is calculated as 7% of human resources engaged in the business. A smaller business with 100-300 may offer 3% of the HR.
› Impact of expertise
An HRBP who is a well-versed, knowledgeable, expert, and understands the company’s requirement, typically earns more than any other HR executives. Although the education requirement remains similar to that of an HR manager, an HRBP has to obligate a critical understanding of developing policies and the confidence to discuss it with senior management. The HR business partner's salary depends on the set of skills he/she acquires over the period working in the company.
Precisely speaking, HR business partnering is different for each organization. The job is aligned with individual strategies, skills, and business requirements. Hence, it is difficult to conclude how much an HR business partner makes exactly.
What is the HR Business Partner Model?
Human Resource Business Partner is one of the most promising jobs today. With the changing business atmosphere, job requirements are changing as well. Over the period, few examiners have researched on how the HRBP model works with the perspective of HR managers.
Expansively, an HR executive is responsible for recruiting and hiring employees, managing payrolls, and handling employee’s benefits. However, with recognition of a new position like HRBP, came along new roles and responsibilities that are clearly stated in the book “Human Resource Champion” by Dave Ulrich. According to the HR Business Partners models by Ulrich, the executive in position plays four important roles- an HR Business Partner, a Change Agent, an administration expert, and an Employee champion.
HR Business Partner Model Structure
› HR business partner or strategic partner
The role of a strategic partner is to contribute towards framing skeptical business strategies and help the employees in following the same. The strategies include designing HR policies, aligning with the business, and contributing to the business mission, vision, and planning. The HR business partner is the front office HR executive who acts as a salesperson, for the internal as well as external HR clients.
› Change Agent
A change agent is one who participates in HR projects and changes the work culture of the company. The person in position leads the changes in the management process to achieve the company’s goal.
› Administration Expert
Widely recognized the role of a Human Resource business partner model, the executive is responsible for running the administrative process effectively.
› Employee Champion
The executive’s role is to protect the rights and interests of employees working for the company. HR is liable to introduce new policies and strategies to build an attractive workplace for the staff members.
The HR business partner model best practices would have three main roles- HR leadership team with global mobility, Shared service centre that provides customer support, and Business Facing embedded role which includes the HR business partner model.
Aim of the HR business partner model structure
The business partner model aims to help HR professionals integrate thoroughly into the business and align strategies with day-to-day work for better outcomes. Although the topic has been approached with differing perspectives, ultimately, the model focuses on the Human resource executive’s role in creating and maintains capabilities for the organization. The main attributes of an HRBP are providing maintenance to the company to deliver value-added service to the customers, shareholders, staff members, and communities.
Rather than concentrating only on the HR duties like payroll management and employee benefits, HR business partner best practices seek to add value to the company.
What are HR Business Partner Competencies?
The drastic change in the HR business partner model is also a reason behind demanding competencies. Businesses have become demanding and scale business partner skills as per today's’ situation. The HR business partner competencies may differ according to the size and goal of an organization. Not every company has an equally mature HR model, thus aptitudes may not be the same for every business partner.
Here are few Human resource business partner competencies that might remain the same irrespective of the size and requirements of any organization;
› A profound understanding of HR functions
The HR business partner must have a profound knowledge of what is expected of him. The executive must have an understanding of the HR process and activities. This implies providing the business with proper advice and excellent services.
› Ability to connect business with HR functions
In line with the HR business partner competencies 2020, the modern HR functions are well aware of business challenges. However, the business partners must possess the ability to connect business challenges with HR functions and activities. For example, when a company is planning to launch a new product, the HR partner must identify the challenges a business will have to meet in terms of HR issues like overtime issues, employee productivity.
› Ability to analyze data and read dashboard
The HRBP must acquire contextual understanding in analyzing employee data, review them, and present in corporate meetings. Every business plans its future goals based on employee’s availability, stability, and various other territories. An HR professional is the only person contacted to get relevant reports and plan upcoming prospects.
› A better understanding of business prospective
Business acumen or business sense is the attribute that every organization looks for before hiring an HR business partner. The keenness to understand business risks, competitive market, shares, development strategies, and trending technologies are important HR business partner competencies.
› Excellent presentation skills
Among HR business partner competencies 2020, excellent communication, and presentation skills are the most sought-after features in an HRBP. A business partner is a communication bridge between HR managers and business management. Playing a vital role in HRBP, the executive must be able to present HR issues, policies, and employees’ data smartly.
An HRBP is a forward-facing consultant in the business who lives for the business, understands its priorities, and works proactively with leaders. The professional must be competent to recognize workforce challenges and strategies. An HR business partner must have the desire to learn all business aspects, view the attainment of goals, and procure deep caring for the completion of business goals.
HR Business Partner Competencies 2020
• Understanding business financials, connecting financial performances, filling gaps in productivity, and monitoring employee process
• Strategic planning of employees' activities, meet goals without pressurizing company management, and not putting internal clients in danger.
• Ability to buy and make strategic shifts by thinking about internal clients of the business.
• Making decisions affecting the entire company by implementing win-win solutions
• Discovering effective solutions for complex situations
• Acting as a valuable and compatible partner for co-employees
• Ability to facilitate discussions around transformations within the company
• Knows how to speak in “business “language
The role of human resource business partner exists virtually in every company. In smaller companies with workforce head counting less than 100, the vice president plays the role of a business partner. Essentially, an HR business partner is a bridge aligning with business objectives, employees, and management simultaneously. The professional acts as an employee champion, a change agent, and a strategic planner.
To measure the importance of an HR business partner, a business must focus on achieving results instead of an on-going process. Various experts have come up with their perspective on the HR business partner model, but the main objective lies in how the companies accept changes. The HR partner is a counsellor, a thinker, a strategic planner who must acquire skills, evolve into being the best presenter, thinker, and a transformer.