HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

HR Business Partner

What is a HR Business Partner?

A human resources business partner works to align business strategy with people management. Typically integrated with senior leadership, a HR business partner focuses on operations and strategy rather than administration. 

An HR business partner determines the objectives of the human resource department and aligns it with the company’s goals and objectives rather than implementing the actual policy or working on people issues. The role is collaborative in nature and typically involves interaction with company senior leadership and management teams.

Job description for HR business partner

While the job description for a HR business partner can vary, general job duties consist of: 

  • Consulting and collaborating with management to provide guidance and uncover opportunities for training and development
  • Analyzing trends and metrics within the organization to identify solutions or policy improvements
  • A deep understanding of legal requirements to reduce risk and increase compliance across the organization
  • Provides guidance on company restructuring, succession planning, and workforce planning
  • Evaluates training programs to measure success and effectiveness 
  • Identifies opportunities for executive coaching and business unit training needs

Salary for HR business partner

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a HR business partner is $85,000 per year. Alternatively, PayScale reports the average salary is $75,000 so it’s important to keep in mind that salaries can vary by location and industry. 

HR business partner vs HR manager

The HR manager and the HR business partner play two very distinct roles within an organization. An HR manager oversees the HR department and focuses on the development, implementation, and enforcement of policies. The HR manager may oversee tasks such as payroll, recruitment, and onboarding. Rather than administration, the HR business partner focuses on HR strategies and initiatives in collaboration with senior leadership. Not all organizations have two separate roles for these responsibilities.

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