HR Business Partnership, it’s an industry that is elusive in understanding to many including your CEO, hiring manager or employees. Just exactly who is HR Business Partner and what do they do for your employee?


HR Business Partners are experienced HR professionals who occupy more senior roles within an organization and as the name suggests partner with a business unit within the firm to perform generalist duties. They act as the primary interface between HR and the business to provide consultative advice to senior stakeholders and assist them in achieving their business goals. Still, a generalist role duties may include but are not limited to recruitment, employee relations, performance and talent management.


  • Conducts weekly meetings with respective business units
  • Consults with line management, providing HR guidance when appropriate.
  • Analyses trends and metrics in partnership with the HR group to develop solutions, programs and policies.
  • Manages and resolves complex employee relations issues. Conducts effective, thorough and objective investigations.
  • Maintains in-depth knowledge of legal requirements relates to day-to-day management of employees, reducing legal risks and ensuring regulatory compliance. Partners with the legal department as needed/required.
  • Provides day-to-day performance management guidance to line management (e.g., coaching, counseling, career development, disciplinary actions).
  • Works closely with management and employees to improve work relationships, build morale, and increase productivity and retention.
  • Develops contract terms for new hires, promotions, and transfers.
  • Assists international employees with expatriate assignments and HR related matters.


In our view, the effectiveness of the HR business partner is determined by their ability to act along three key themes: Strategic Advisor; Service Manager; and Business Catalyst.

  • BE A STRATEGIC HR ADVISOR TO SENIOR MANAGEMENT: understanding the business and its external environment is essential for any HR business partner wanting to develop into a strategic advisor to senior management. We say ‘senior’ because for advice to be strategic, the person receiving it needs to have a planning horizon that exceeds immediate tactical concerns- five years, not 12 months. Knowing the business landscape creates an initial entry into the management team, but continuing to operate with impact is established by showing the appropriate behaviors and acting from the right beliefs and values so that business leaders see their HR people as peers in whom they can confide.
  • ACT AS A CATALYST FOR CONTINUED BUSINESS PERFORMANCE: HR needs share in the responsibility for sustaining and improving business results by ensuring that HR strategies and plans are translated into concrete actions and tangible results. HR business partners should define, prioritize and measure HR’s contribution to business performance as well as monitor and maximize staff effectiveness to business operations.
  • ENSURE THAT OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN HR IS DELIVERED: as a service manager, the HR business partner needs to monitor and provide excellent HR service delivery. Not only should the person in this role fulfill the local demand function of the shared service center and the centers of expertise, but they should also provide specialized HR service delivery when required(i.e. local recruitment