Blog | 03.16.20

What Is the Difference Between an HR Manager and an HR Business Partner?

As corporations continue to grow in size and complexity, human resources operations are also evolving—in part due to HR leaders playing a more strategic role within these organizations. HR professionals have become key players in aligning employees with business goals over the years.


One of the most significant changes we’ve seen recently is the rise of the HR business partner position. This role differs significantly from the role of an HR manager, although they are both important positions for an organization in need of HR services. Let’s take a look at some of the responsibilities of both an HR business partner and HR manager. We’ll also discuss why your company might actually need both—and how to recruit talented HR professionals.


What Are the Duties of HR Business Partners?

An HR business partner is an experienced human resources professional who works directly with business units or an organization’s senior leadership to develop and implement an HR plan that aligns with the organization’s goals. This role represents a shift away from traditional ways of running HR operations in favor of a more strategic position that works closely with senior leadership. The main benefit of an HR business partner is that the role is more focused on the development of organizational and business strategy. Breaking free from the conventional system of human resources departments, the HR business partner model is a modern way to drive growth and profitability for an organization.


An HR business partner works closely with managers and employees in order to initiate employee development programs, provide individual development or counseling, implement training and growth programs, and much more. This role in an organization provides data-driven insights to leadership in order to help create and guide strategies that enable growth and influence organizational culture.


The primary goal of the HR business partner model is to add substantial value to an organization by incorporating HR into all aspects of business operations and strategic planning. Human resources professionals are experts on the interpersonal aspect of a business—making them best equipped to determine how employees fit into an organization’s goals and place each employee in a position to produce positive results. An organization’s investment in human capital should always deliver a strong ROI, and the HR business partner model is there to ensure success in that aspect.


The HR business partner plays a pivotal role in talent acquisition. However, they are also responsible for making sure current employees are placed in the right roles. The HR business partner model promotes an organization’s success by putting a focus on employee satisfaction and the success of individuals. HR partners add value by helping senior leadership determine how employees fit into short and long-term goals, while also implementing a course of action for accomplishing these goals and identifying potential problem areas along the way.


HR Business Partner vs. HR Manager

What is the difference between an HR business partner and an HR manager? While these roles might seem similar at first glance, they are actually quite different. An HR manager typically oversees the HR department, focusing on developing policy, enforcing procedures, recruiting, system administration, and more. On the other hand, an HR business partner will not oversee the department, but instead will work as a liaison between senior leadership and department managers to help communicate and guide the organizational strategy. The right role for your company will depend on whether you need internal support within your HR department or external communication with your senior leadership team.


Recruiting Top HR Managers

Hiring for one of these specialized positions can be quite challenging. Applications may flood in once you post a job description—but that doesn’t guarantee that those candidates are qualified. To find top talent who can make an immediate impact on your organization, you may need some outside assistance. An HR staffing and recruiting firm can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table and allow your HR team to focus on tasks other than sourcing candidates.

At HR Personnel Services, we take the time to develop relationships with our corporate clients by learning their industry, history, culture, and vision. When you choose to work with us, you are opening up your organization to a larger pool of promising prospects. We only recommend talented candidates who will be successful strategic partners at your company. Whether you’re looking for an HR manager or an HR business partner, our team of dedicated recruiters will use their extensive network of HR professionals to source the right candidate the first time.

We have successfully sourced and placed HR professionals in companies of all sizes, and we look forward to finding the perfect candidate for your company. Our seasoned team is committed to sourcing HR professionals who will exceed your expectations. If you’re ready to find your ideal HR manager or business partner, contact us today.

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