Five Skills an HR Business Partner Should Have

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An HR business partner is a person who works closely with senior members of an organisation, normally to provide strategic input on business growth from a human resources perspective.

Being successful in an HR business partner role requires a number of key skills – we’ve listed what we feel are 5 of the most important ones below:


1. Identifying External Influences

Fostering business growth from an HR standpoint is not just about what’s going on within your workforce – a lot of it is to do with how you identify and handle external threats and opportunities that might affect your human capital. Examples of external threats and opportunities that an HR business partner should know to look out for might include:

  • Changes to employment legislation
  • New job openings from close competitors
  • Mass redundancies within your industry


2. Managing Talent

‘We’re Recruiting!’ – this is a great indicator that a company is going through a growth spurt, but effective workforce expansion requires much more than just ‘getting more bottoms onto seats’ – it requires a keen eye for the kind of talent your company really needs; the ability to find and attract that talent; and a great talent retention strategy to ensure business continuity.


3. Creating Company Culture

Creating a strong organisational culture is another vital part of your role as an HR business partner. Your company culture will narrate the direction of your organisation, as it will heavily influence how your people behave and perform. As such, it’s important you get it right.

Aspects of creating a great company culture include:

  • Understanding and meeting the needs of employees
  • Implementing professional development plans that increase skillsets while helping your people feel valued
  • Helping your people to really feel connected with your company’s values and goals

Don’t be afraid of pushing for a budget to support your culture-building efforts – the benefits of a strong company culture can provide an exceptional return on investment.


4. Professional Networking

An HR business partner should not be shy about creating external partnerships that benefit the company. Just because human resources are often seen as quite an ‘internal’ part of the business doesn’t mean you should shy away from the outside world – be confident, get out there, and strike up new relationships that benefit your workforce and your company’s goals. It’s a great way of gaining external credibility.


5. Being Accessible & Approachable

There is no better way to keep your finger on the pulse of your business than by keeping yourself actively involved in your company’s day-to-day affairs.

Making yourself accessible and approachable to the people you’re representing will give you a level of company knowledge that cannot be found on monthly performance reports or attendance sheets.


What Other Skills Does an HR Business Partner Need?

Have we missed something you feel is really crucial? Let us know what your top nomination is for HR business partner skills, by adding a comment below.