HR Business Partner vs. HR Manager

Once, HR was a department solely focused on the administrative tasks and compliance issues involved in the recruitment, hiring, management and termination of employees. While HR managers continue to focus on these critical issues, an HR business partner has a different role.

They are typically involved with individual units within an organization, rather than just overall administrative duties. They work with department managers on developing a plan to hire the right people with the skills needed specifically for a job opening in that area.

By working closely with department managers on a hiring strategy, an HR business partner has a better idea of the context surrounding each job opening. Rather than listing a generic job opening for an accountant, they understand the specific job duties as well as the goals a manager has for that position.

Their work is directly related to current and future business success. They are concerned less with administration and compliance issues and more on how a strategic plan for employee recruitment and retention can improve the effectiveness of a business unit.

In short, rather than being an administrative support position on employee issues, the HR business partner is an operational and strategic resource position.

It’s important to note that the lines between an HR manager and HR business partner can be blurred depending on the organization. Not all businesses have individual people in these separate roles.

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