HR Business Partner vs. Just HR: Which One Do You Want To Be?

August 29, 20191:39 pm16098 views

In an organisation, HR typically holds key roles such as handling employee recruitment, managing payroll, benefits and compensation, training and development, maintaining employee relations, and the list goes on. However, as the business world becomes more complex, HR jobs become wider and heavier than it was. Thereupon, an HR business partner comes into cooperation. 

But what is the difference between HR and HR business partner?  

Let’s start from the surface, HR and HR business partner definitions

Human resources as explained by Human Resources Edu is a contemporary, umbrella term used to describe the management and development of employees in an organisation. General HR is also called as personnel or talent management because they can be involved in various roles such as managing an industry’s human capital.

See also: The Differences between Reskilling and Upskilling

Meanwhile, HR business partner has no exact definition. CIPD argued that the role of an HR business partner is more specific than HR. Only when HR understand about business and business needs, they can be credited as a credible HR business partner. In addition, an HR business partner should be able to align workforce needs and business needs which require good influencing and communication skills.

Their different responsibilities & qualifications

The roles of HR officer and HR business partner in an organisation are quite similar – to develop employees as the company’s asset. Their responsibilities, however, are different. HR focuses more on employees while HR business partner focuses on both the HR department and employees.

Besides different responsibilities, being a trusted and credible HR leader or HR business partner will require different qualifications. Generally, being HR business partner requires more experiences and skills. At the same time, if you want to pursue a lifelong career in the field of human resources, you need qualifications which are no less important than HR business partner qualifications. Generally, they require the same qualifications. The only difference is HR Business Partner should have proven work experience in a certain field and excellent analytical skills. Here is the qualification list of each role to ease your search. 

Salary of HR vs. HR Business Partner 

The last point, how much money can HR and HR business partner earn?

According to PayScale, the average salary of human resources is $58,000/ year. However, depending on your seniority, your salary can be higher or lower than the average. For example, the average HR coordinator wage is $46,431/ year while an HR manager can make more than $67,000/ year.

On the other hand, average HR business partner salary is $74,385/ year according to PayScale data. It also depends on your expertise and seniority, you can make up to $102,000/ year and the lowest salary HR business partner can make is $54,000/ year.


So, are you interested in pursuing a career as an HR business partner or HR officer in general?

Read also: Difference between Human Resources and Human Capital

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