Hiring Guide

Human Resources Business Partner

Specific duties of a Human Resources Business Partner can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Why you should hire a HR Business Partner

Human Resources Business Partners are responsible for supporting managers and senior leadership to help the business succeed and achieve its strategic goals. They often focus on developing strategy versus implementing policy and will help your business ensure your HR strategy is optimized for organizational success.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great a HR Business Partner.

Top 12 skills for HR Business Partner

Leadership and Navigation

Strategic Thinking
Initiative/Proactivity
Business Acumen

Supporting/Advising Internal Stakeholders

Relationship Management
Conflict Management
Critical/Analytical Thinking

HR Strategy Development and Execution

Program Development
Process Improvement
HR Expertise

Communication

Emotional Intelligence
Verbal/Written Communication
Active Listening

Sample HR Business Partner job description

HR Business Partners are responsible for aligning an organization’s people strategy with its business strategy. Often knowledgeable about business processes, they interact mostly with high-level executives and collaborate with the HR department to ensure that HR functions and initiatives are reflecting business objectives and needs. Their role does not include administrative, compliance and management HR tasks. Rather, HR Business Partners steer and develop HR strategy, coach/consult leadership about HR issues, and leverage company culture and talent expertise to build a competitive organization. Performing this role requires excellent knowledge of business processes and HR functions as well as strategic thinking, relationship management, and communication skills.

Sample questions for HR Business Partners

Question 1

Can you tell me about a time where you disagreed with a request from someone senior to you but implemented it anyway. Why did you follow through with their request, and what impact did it have on you and your work?

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Fiona Tsui
HR Business Partner - 12 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to prioritize relationships and concede when strategic/appropriate

Answer tips

  • Discusses the request and explains why they follow through
  • Notes that sometimes it’s necessary to concede to preserve a relationship 
  • Prioritizes relationships in their role as HRBP to engender trust
  • Did not allow the decision to accommodate their request affect them emotionally or professionally 

Question 2

Tell me about a time where you were involved with improving an HR or business process for a previous company. What role did you contribute to ensure the improvement was successful, and how did it impact the business?

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Lily Trieu
HR Business Partner - 10 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to manage process improvements to HR systems

Answer tips

  • Identifies the primary needs and goals of the improvement initiative 
  • Involves relevant stakeholders in designing the improvements 
  • Considers any potential adverse effects the updates might cause (e.g., learning curves in adoption)
  • Creates a system of communication to inform affected members of the changes 
  • Explains how success was defined and shares examples of how it helped the business

Question 3

Imagine you have just joined our company and are required to design a coaching and mentoring program for our new hires. How would you design the program and what would the most important elements be?

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Hireguide I/O Psych Validated
Alycia Damp, PhD IRHR

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to design a coaching and mentoring program

Answer tips

  • Clarifies the program goals (succession planning, learning, development, etc.)
  • Promotes involvement with the program among existing employees
  • Determines how to assign coaches/mentors to the new hires
  • Determines the structure of the program (when, where, how it will be run, etc.)
  • Identifies metrics to track and validate the program's performance