All Duties and Responsibilities of HR Business Partners
All HR and Workplace

Duties and Responsibilities of HR Business Partners

Author: Ravijojla Novakovic Last updated: February 27, 2024 Reading time: 13 minutes

HR Business Partner is becoming one of the most important HR functions in the workplace. Find out how HRBPs are helping their companies thrive.

HR Business Partner is a role we often see as one of the top HR functions within companies. LinkedIn says more than a million professionals are working in this role worldwide.

As the HR team started being recognized as one of the crucial departments for business success, HR Business Partners became sought-after specialists.

In this article, you will find out how HR Business Partners help their companies thrive, why their function will be more important in the future, and what to look for in individuals you want to employ in this role.

Check out what questions employees ask themselves when evaluating their experience with their current employer.

What Is an HR Business Partner? 

Although an HR Business Partner (HRBP) is a senior position within the Human Resources department, a person in this role cooperates very closely with the company’s leadership.

HR Business Partner is responsible for using HR capabilities to support organizational goals. In other words, this HR professional develops and manages an HR agenda to support the company’s business objectives. 

More specifically, this means that an HR Business Partner should have strong business knowledge, a comprehensive understanding of the HR business partner responsibilities, and specific experience within the company’s business sector.

HR Business Partner is a role that is more strategic than other HR functions, and professionals in this role do not focus on compliance or administration.

What Is the HRBP definition?

Have you ever wondered about HRBP meaning?

HRBP is an abbreviation that stands for Human Resources Business Partner.

It is a position within human resource business and in HR departments in enterprise and mid-sized companies. In comparison with other HR roles that are often focused on day-to-day employee issues, HRBP is a more strategic role.

HRBP or HR Business Partner’s goals are to help achieve business goals through people initiatives. Some of their usual KPIs include optimizing employee retention strategy, improving company culture, enhancing overall employee experience score, and others.

average ratio of hrbp's to employees

What Skills Should an HR Business Partner Have?

In order to be successful, HR Business Partner should possess certain skills. As mentioned before, the prerequisite for this role is having knowledge of three areas – business, company’s business sector, and deep understanding of HR.

Here, we will list some skills found among thriving HR Business Partners. 

1. A Sales mindset 

Apart from their knowledge of how business works – HR Business Partners need to have a sales mindset. They must be able to sell their proposals to seasoned employees and C-level executives.

As professionals in this role often deal with talent growth and management, they need to be able to sell their organization to candidates they want to attract.

Often, an HR Business Partner’s success depends on their ability to persuade key stakeholders that their idea is worth pursuing. 

2. Results-driven 

This important skill goes hand-in-hand with a sales mindset. HR Business partners need to be results-oriented in order to successfully plan and execute strategies of company’s business interest.

For example, if your company is looking to increase profitability, HRBP might suggest implementing an employee recognition program that boosts profitability through certain mechanisms that increase employee engagement. 

3. Project management 

Since HR Business Partners are expected to propose and manage initiatives related to HR services that will result in accomplishing company-wide goals, it is not surprising that they are expected to possess some project management skills.

In other words, your HR Business Partner will thrive if the person in this role can manage teams and time, think critically, and lead projects effectively. This also includes change management skills – since companies often need to take significant steps to achieve their people-oriented goals.

4. Organization 

Organizational skills such as time management and self-discipline are crucial for a successful HR Business Partner. To achieve the optimal outcome of a proposed initiative, one needs to carefully schedule and timely execute the steps of a plan.

Also, organizational skills will help coordinate different personas needed for taking certain actions. 

5. Communication  

The importance of good communication skills cannot be undermined for any role in HR, and especially for HR Business Partner.

As human resources is a “people” department, HR professionals need to be good listeners, communicators, and presenters.

An HR Business Partner symbolizes a bridge between the organization and its employees. Therefore, professionals in this role should be able to convincingly persuade and negotiate with both C-level executives and employees and successfully coordinate different key players’ actions to avoid a lack of alignment in a team.

Not to mention – HR Business Partners should be excellent presenters and be able to get their message across through written, visual, and verbal channels. This goes to show how far fetching their sales skills should be! 

6. Strategic thinking 

Strategic thinking is of utmost importance to an HR Business Partner. As these professionals either sit on the Board of Directors or are in touch with C-level officials in some other way, they are co-creating decisions that shape the company’s business success.

Since their expertise is in the HR area, HR Business Partners are often responsible for pushing the idea that business success starts with people to their superiors.

For example, employee recognition can boost employee engagement, drive employee retention, and improve employee experience, thus saving company resources.

Therefore, a clear example of strategic thinking would be HR Business Partner’s initiative to implement an Employee Recognition Program.  

7. Leadership 

An HR Business Partner is in charge of enterprise-wide strategies and comprehensive projects that include a lot of people, from C-level executives and managers to the rest of the workforce.

This means that you need someone who can lead by example and eliminate the main reasons for disengagement, independent of their management style.

Besides, who can better drive engagement at work than a highly motivated HR business executive?

What Are the Responsibilities of an HR Business Partner? 

1. Strategic planning 

The first thing on the list of HR Business Partner’s duties is strategic planning. Here is where tracking different HR analytics comes into play – knowing the relevant data is key to having a sense of your employee engagement, employee satisfaction or employee retention.

Knowing such data, it becomes easier to define measures of improvement in a certain area.

Furthermore, experience in doing extensive research enables a human resources professional to create and implement strategies around business improvement.  

2. Coaching executives about HR issues 

As we discussed previously, HR Business Partner represents a bridge between the executives and the rest of the employees. Consequently, HRBP often coaches higher-ups on HR issues and emphasizes why and how HR can assist the company in reaching its goals.

3. Driving HR initiatives 

One of the main responsibilities HR Business Partner carries out is driving HR initiatives. For example, company’s goal might be to retain more customers.

Knowing that companies that implemented a recognition program noticed increase in their customer satisfaction, HR Business Partner may suggest implementing an Employee Recognition Program. 

Since employee recognition program has multiple benefits but is a comprehensive undertaking, HR Business Partner is usually the one that drives and oversees the implementation of this initiative. 

4. Developing HR 

Similar to the previous example, the HR Business Partner will suggest initiatives to develop the functioning of the HR department.

For example, HR Business Partner could suggest more regular surveys to check the workforce’s pulse, or driving a continuous feedback practice that would complement regular employee evaluations.

You can use these 5 editable employee evaluation forms to assess your employee’s performance. 

5. Finding and evaluating the best HR Tech 

Since HR is a highly analytical field, HR Business Partners are often tasked with finding the proper tech to advance a certain function or instill a new habit among employees.

Depending on what the company’s goal is, an HR Business Partner might propose implementing a Recognition and Rewards Platform, Employee Communications Software, or an Employee Wellbeing solution.

The possibilities are endless, and HR Business Partners must carefully evaluate which solution would fit their company’s needs best. 

Find out which steps to follow in choosing the right recognition software for your organization, and check out our Employee Success Suite to find a solution for your company. 

How Much Do HR Business Partners Make?

As one would suppose, the salaries of HR Business Partners vary depending on a couple of factors. One of them is previous experience – certainly, an HR manager or Business Partner with a proven success record can negotiate a higher compensation and benefits package than a relative beginner in this area.

Another factor is the actual responsibilities of an HR Business Partner: they vary across companies and industries so that this role can be more or less demanding.

Finally, the most prominent factor in determining an HR Business Partner’s salary is geographical location. As expected, the average HR Business Partners’ salary is the highest in the US.

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for an HR Business Partner’s compensation ranges from $64K to $125K in the US. Average base pay is $71K for professionals with less than 1 years of experience in this role, while experts with more than 15 years of experience earn $104K on average.

You can see how much HR Business Partners earn in several other countries below.

How Does an HR Department Train Professionals To Become HR Business Partners?

A HR professional isn’t turned into a senior HR business partner overnight. Recognizing that the the traditional HR is undergoing a transformative shift, organizations are now determined to cultivate HR professionals today into the strategic business partners of tomorrow.

In 2023, we’ve already seen the rise of Future of Work departments that will be the bridge between emerging tech and current HR landscape.

The paradigm change begins when corporate leadership fits modern HR as a core pillar of its overall business strategy. This means integrating Future of Work trends into it’s current HR and evolving functions into sub-departments.

As it stands, the current trends are:

  • Implementing generative AI into company HR practices
  • Creating learning initiatives and AI-backed skills taxonomies
  • Using HR tech to manage the company’s Employee Experience
  • Change management towards more flexible ways of work and supporting it with technology

What Is the Future of HR Business Partners? 

As HR functions continue to develop, and HR is recognized as one of the main departments driving business success, HR Business Partner role is growing popular. C-level executives with a strong business acumen are already involving HR business partners in Future of Work initiatives.

According to PWC, the average ratio of HR Business Partners to employees in companies of all sizes is 1:1016.

However, we already see companies having one HRBP per 250 employees such as in Royal Bank of Scotland – a favorable trend that will probably catch on as HR Business Partner Models shows great efficiency.

In the future, the role of HRBP as a connector between executives, the HR teams, line management, and employees will intensify. They will become strategic partners in implementing HR software and novel HR practices that will transform the workforce.

As an example, we see more and more HR Business Partners implementing various employee recognition ideas – because this has proven to be a successful way to improve a company’s business results.

HR Business Partners are a natural choice regarding talent growth or change initiatives. That’s why we expect to see more of them taking charge of HR initiatives concerning starting employee appreciation programs or inciting better employee feedback practices.

As a result, this will create more interest in HR Tech that can help organizations accomplish their goals.

Business Partner's Area of Knowledge

What Is the HR Business Partner Job Description? 

In case you’re looking for an HR Business Partner to join your organization, feel free to use this job description and adjust it to your company’s information and objectives. 

HR business partner job opening example

[Company name] is looking for an HR Business Partner that will align business objectives with management and employees in certain operational units. An HRBP will serve as a consultant on HR-related issues to the management, as well as a change agent. 

HRBP needs to assess and forecast HR-related needs and proactively communicate with senior leadership, business management and HR department. Often, HRBP will need to develop an/or seek for integrated solutions. Overall, a successful HRBP will form partnerships across the company to deliver value-added service to senior management and employees that reflect the [company name]’s business goals.

What are the main responsibilities of an HR business partner? 

  • Consulting executives on human resources needs 
  • Proposing HR initiatives in line with business objectives to the Board of Directors 
  • Providing support to HR thought partnership 
  • Providing or suggesting coaching to groups of employees or individual employees 
  • Facilitating organizational design and development 
  • Managing leadership coaching and team building that support growth and change in line with business objectives 
  • Proactively assessing team and manager development needs, recommending and implement relevant solutions 
  • Performing data analysis and reporting solutions based on business needs 
  • Implementing talent management strategies  
  • Implementing employee engagement business strategy 
  • Integrating with coworkers in other departments to help scale the business 
  • Partnering with regional Human Resource business partners on global business strategy  
  • Working closely with the rest of the HR community as an integral member 


  • 5+ years’ experience in an HR-related function 
  • Familiarity with HR best practices
  • Problem solving skills 
  • Project management 
  • Performance management 
  • Data-driven analysis of HR processes and adept understanding of HR metrics
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills 
  • Business knowledge 
  • Knowledge of [company name]’s business area 
  • Past experience in auditing HR processes and drafting HR strategies
  • Understanding of key performance indicators for the workforce and how they translate into business outcomes

 Preferred education and experience  

  • Bachelor’s degree for an HR professional role required , ideally a talent manager or HR director
  • Advanced degree in Human Resources Management, Organization Development or Business will be considered an advantage 
  • Experience in transforming company culture
  • Track record of successful HR interventions and employee engagement initiatives
  • Past experience as a strategic HR advisor, HR manager or a HR operations manager
  • Experienced in development of training programs and consistent implementation of HR processes
  • Experience in adoption of HR software and change management

Additional qualifications  

  • SHRM Certification or similar 
  • Additional certification of competency for a senior Human Resources business partner role

Useful Resources for HR Business Partners

As discussed, HR Business Partners are tasked with various responsibilities that will help business growth and prosperity. This is why they often assist or even lead employee recognition initiatives, as recognition helps to decrease employee turnover, spark employee engagement, and generate more profits.

Here are some resources that HRBPs might find useful if they want to support senior leaders and their companies with strategic, people-oriented campaigns.

Employee appreciation letters

Employee appreciation quotes

Employee recognition playbook

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