HR Business Partner Training

HR Business Partner training must be a high priority because the function has never been more in demand. Thriving, in today’s volatile and uncertain world, has radically altered the requirements of the function responsible for people.

However, according to Deloitte, a few years ago, less than 8 percent of HR leaders had confidence that their teams have the skills they need. Since then, the function has faced unprecedented challenges and the demands have been huge. As a result, team members have even less time or energy to focus on their own development as individuals and as a function. However, now, more then ever, the Human Resources team must provide outstanding partnership. They must be viewed as an invaluable part of business leaders teams.
HR Business partner training

“Caroline and the team at Talent for Growth, through excellent facilitation, unlocked huge potential within the Human Resources Teams at Babcock moving them into true HR Partners and establishing one cohesive team.”

Kevin Dwyer, Human Resources Director, Babcock International, Devonport

What is an HR Business Partner?

HR business partners are HR professionals who work in close partnership with an organisation’s senior leaders in order to deliver a people strategy that aligns with, and supports, the aims and priorities of the organisation. The term was introduced by Dave Ulrich over 20 years ago. It exemplifies his vision of how Human Resources should be embedded in organisations. Thousands of organisations have, over the past 15 or so years, transitioned from HR generalists to variations of the Ulrich Model.

The model itself has evolved considerably to meet the rapid changes in the work environment. In the Ulrich model 2.0 the term Business Partner changed to Strategic Partner. This change gets to the heart of what changes are still needed in many organisations.

What are the critical skills for an effective Business Partner?

We believe the following skills are essential for HRBP’s irrespective of the type or organisation. Therefore, they are the main areas of focus for business partner development:


  • Business Acumen. It’s impossible to partner with a business leader effectively unless you understand the business
  • Trustworthiness. HR partners have to be trusted by everyone in the organisation.
  • Courage. Effective business partners must feel comfortable about having those difficult conversations.
  • Strategic mindset. Stepping back and looking at the broader, long term rather than delivering reactive, quick fixes.
  • Relationship building. An essential skill to partnering and influencing effectively.
  • Solution focused. Pragmatic, but well judged solutions are what leaders look for from their business partners.
  • Appetite for learning. The growth of AI, analytics etc. means that HR partners must adapt and keep learning to be truly effective.
  • Flexibility. The Human Resources function has been accused of being black and white. They need to embrace grey & pragmatism.

Why HR Business Partner training is critical to success

HR Business Partner training
The transition, from generalist to business partner sounds simple enough. However, the reality is that it hasn’t been easy. One reason is that the skills needed for the old and the new roles are very different. As the function transitioned to the new model, many people simply changed roles. There may be some onboarding and training but, too often, square pegs ended up in round holes. As a result, the huge benefits of the change are not realised.

Take a look at the 8 skills identified above and compare them to what made a good administrator or generalist. While some apply to both, it’s easy to see some big differences. For this reason, HR Business Partner development is essential if Human Resources is to deliver the best partnering for the organisation.

How we support your success

Your Challenge

Newly appointed HR Director

Newly appointed HR Directors are expected to deliver quickly. They need to understand the business and build an engaging plan that deliver results. In addition, they must quickly build relationships with key stakeholders. Finally, they need to understand the capability and potential of their team.

Understanding the team’s ability

How much capability, energy and potential does the team have? Do generalists need to be business partner or specialists? Are existing business partners good enough? We enable you to quickly and accurately identify where the gaps are.

Leading a fit for purpose team

You know the strengths and the gaps of your team. Now, you need a partner to provide targeted, sustainable development for both individuals and the team as a whole. Everyone is busy and a flexible approach is critical.

Want a high performing HR team? 

Our Solution

Transition Coaching

Our coaches are all experienced HR and OD practitioners. They will provide practical support to enable HR Directors to make a fast impact. The coaching is solution focused and energising, providing thought leadership, tools and an invaluable sounding board during this important initial period.

HR Capability Review

We deliver a robust, tailored Capability Review. It enables you to understand the strengths and gaps in skills in your team. As a result, you make decisions that are based on evidence and data. Then you can target development accurately.

Targeted Team Development

We deliver engaging, tailored and practical development, delivered by highly experienced HR & OD practitioners for both individuals and the team. Our ongoing support maintains momentum in a way that suits your budget.

“Talent for growth designed and delivered an assessment process to support the restructure of my HR department. They worked closely in partnership with us to make sure that the assessment techniques were bespoke and fit for purpose. They managed the assessment event for candidates and facilitated the decision-making session.

Finally, they gave feedback to individuals on their performance so that, regardless of the outcome, the team felt that they had gained insight through their participation.

I would highly recommend them.”

Sally Webster, HR & OD Director, Financial Ombudsman Service