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Pursuing a Career as an HRBP: What You Need to Know
Pursuing a Career as an HRBP: What You Need to Know

Pursuing a Career as an HRBP: What You Need to Know

If you are passionate about getting involved in human resource management in Malaysia, especially as a business consultant or helping a business unit in personnel development and strategic planning to achieve business objectives, then you should consider becoming a human resource business partner (HRBP).

What Does an HR Business Partner Do?

An HRBP works closely with an organization to help it improve its overall business goals. It achieves this by carrying out an in depth assessment of the company’s plan, drawing a success goal plan, creating coherent HR strategies, and working with senior management to implement HRM initiatives.

In short, an HRBP converts human resource (HR) strategies into result-driven actions, relying on their experience and knowledge of HR roles. The main tool used by HRBPs to initiate necessary change is the human resource – that is, the people. This implies that those that seek a career in the role must possess certain people-related skills that give them an edge over, say, a level 1 human resource professional.

How do HRBPs achieve their goals? What skills do they require to succeed in the area? How do you know if the career is for you?

This article exposes you to the finer details of the career and what you require to succeed.

Skills Required to Become an HR Business Partner

  • If you aspire to become a successful human resources business partner, then you must possess skills that revolve around decision-making, communication, and leadership. Since the major role of an HRBP centers on employees, they would always engage in constant communication with them. This involves dealing with various interpersonal situations involving employees, managing crises, and playing an active role in the onboarding process. They will also communicate with the organization’s board of directors and senior managers to make new suggestions on initiatives that can drive the organization towards increased productivity and profitability.
  • Apart from this, an HRBP must also demonstrate diversity, that is, the ability to work as part of a diverse team. Modern organizations now hire talents across different cultural groups, sexual orientations, age, social class, as well as physical or mental capacities. Right from the recruitment stage, HRBPs develop and execute a comprehensive strategy that is focused on achieving staffing targets in a way that reflects diversity. They also help to increase cultural awareness among managers and team leaders through cross-cultural and diversity training.
  • Another essential skill is business acumen. This involves knowledge of the impact of the trendy economic and financial news on an organization. By collaborating with the organization’s executive leadership, human resources business partner make a shift from tactical and operational work to strategic planning to determine business needs, based on prevailing circumstances. This implies that they also have to be familiar with core business functions and how the business units interact.
  • An HR business partner should also possess project/people management skills. This is because they would be required to manage resources and stakeholders as well as communicate in different group sizes. Considering the changes to work mode, occasioned by the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, experience leading remote teams could be a plus.
  • HRBP candidates must demonstrate that they can gather and interpret raw data and information, document findings in a compelling manner, and draw instant but relevant recommendations. These recommendations should often include new strategies that can stand the test of time, especially in terms of addressing business issues.

Requirements and Qualifications

Pursuing a career in human resources business partner requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in business, HR, or related field with previous experience (between 4 to 6 years) in allround human resources (management), professional development, talent acquisition, learning and development, or employee relations. Candidates also need to have in-depth knowledge on legal laws as they relate to human resources and employee management, such as employee rights, workers’ compensation, federal and state employment laws, and labor laws. Relevant HR industry body certified certified qualifications are also a plus such as SHRM.

Steps to Become a HRBP

Here are the following steps that can help to become a HRBP, so let’s get started;

Get the Right Education/Qualification

Though HR management professionals may have different educational backgrounds, many positions relating to HRBP require a minimum of graduate programs – a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate – in Business Psychology, Business Administration / Human Resource Management, or any other related field. Unlike a Bachelor’s degree, a Diploma may not prepare you for an entry-level hands on HR position. With a Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate qualification, there are many opportunities for advancing your career in HR-related courses aimed at equipping you with the knowledge and field experience required to manage employees at different organizations.

Gain Professional Experience

With professional HR work experience, HRBPs can occupy various managerial positions. Most organizations require that candidates for the position possess a minimum of 2-4 years of working experience in a junior HR position, preferably in the HR Business Partner department.

The professional work experience must also include a clear demonstration of experience working with multiple human resource disciplines, including staffing, employee relations, compensation practices, organizational diagnosis, performance management, and state employment laws. It is expected that candidates with vast experiences would be able to apply acquired skills and knowledge in the organization.

Computer Literate

The position of an HRBP will always involve making presentations, reports, and proposals, for departmental heads, team leaders, senior management team, stakeholders, and supporting personnel. Therefore, knowledge of Microsoft Office packages, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel is a basic necessity. Though, due to the pandemic, a sound understanding on how to conduct work online has become increasingly important. Using applications that aid in communication and work such as Zoom, Google Workspace or Microsoft Teams are an added bonus.


In conclusion, we can say,  HRBP role is a highly strategic role. It requires providing strategic direction for an organization on a long-term basis while also performing certain HR oversight functions involving employee hiring and retention to improve business performance and organizational profitability. It also requires that they are able to adopt a flexible business plan so that it is easily adaptable to prevailing circumstances. This is an interesting career to pursue if you have people-oriented goals.

To develop yourself into an HR business partner, we provide a number of graduate programs in Human Resource Management. The graduate program focuses on the evolution of the HR field as well as how its knowledge can be adapted to organization strategy.

Author picture

Dr. Roy is the Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer and holds responsibility for the overall strategic management & leadership in achieving the graduate schools’ vision & goals. His own belief for lifelong learning, as well as his drive for business management excellence, has brought him to achieving his passion for being part of the postgraduate education sector in Malaysia.

Dr Roy Prasad

(Hon Professor) FInstAM 

MHRM (MY), Grad Mgt (AU)

Group Managing Director &
Chief Executive Officer

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