HR Manager Vs HR Business Partner

Both human resources (HR) managers and HR business partners work with leadership to achieve HR goals, but these careers differ in some tasks and levels of expertise. Find out more about these positions and relevant career info.

Comparing HR Managers to HR Business Partners

Human resources (HR) managers and business partners both perform similar roles of connecting the management of an organization to the HR department. They differ in that HR business partners are more focused on business details such as knowing business terminology, and they may rank higher than HR managers. Look below for more about how these careers are similar yet subtly different.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
HR Manager Bachelor's degree $64,354 9%
HR Business Partner Bachelor's degree $73,224 9% (for all human resources managers)

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of HR Managers vs. HR Business Partners

HR managers and HR business partners work closely with the management of organizations to ensure that all HR performance and company-wide interactions remain on target. HR managers are mainly involved with overseeing the HR department to make sure it runs fully. HR business partners are concerned with connecting the HR department to the business goals of the company. Both HR managers and business partners usually work in offices, and perhaps travel to company branches to manage the HR departments there or to attend meetings.

HR Manager

HR managers ensure that new hires are placed to maximize their skill set, among other important employee management tasks. One of their most important functions is to meet with company or organization executives to focus on strategy and planning. Meeting with top executives is useful for their important task of linking management with employees. HR managers also make sure that many important HR tasks are completed, such as managing benefit programs, consulting with managers, and sorting out staff issues.

Job responsibilities of an HR manager include:

  • Coordinating support staff and specialists
  • Handling the recruiting and hiring process
  • Managing discipline for employees
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance
  • Measuring the productivity of employees

HR Business Partner

HR business partners also report to the senior executives in a company or organization. Their goal is to support the business structure of an organization by collaborating with the HR department. They have knowledge about where to place employees to their best advantage as well as have consulting advice for different members of business leadership. HR business partners have a strong knowledge about as well as experience with the business they work for, making them suitable for effective business communication.

Job responsibilities of an HR business partner include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Coaching executives about HR issues
  • Driving talent or HR initiatives
  • Developing HR or organizational strategies

Related Careers

Someone who likes what an HR manager does might also like what an office manager does, since both oversee many tasks in order to make a business run smoothly. Likewise, anyone interested in what an HR business partner does might like what a banking business consultant does, since both careers involve work as advisers to organizational leadership.

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