HR: The Business Partner


  • Barbara Kenton, Freelance HR Consultant and Director of WHooSH, Whole Systems Health, UK
  • Jane Yarnall, Director of Skills Evolution Ltd, UK

With HR professionals increasingly expected to be “business partners”, are you prepared with the skills and tools to make a positive difference to your organization?

As the recognised definitive guide to the topic, HR: The Business Partner, second edition, offers practical insights to take you through the challenging process of business partnering, including:

• No-nonsense description of what business partnering entails, with case studies to illustrate real-life practice
• Detailed coverage of the common challenges and advice on how to overcome them
• Guidance on how to develop the skills and confidence required to work effectively

Covering the transition from working operationally to working strategically and the tools, techniques and skill sets needed for partnering, this inexpensive guide will help to both add real value to your business and to develop your career in business partnering. If you are aspiring to or about to embark on a business partner role, this book will provide you with ideas and inspiration for the position.


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Primary: Human resource (HR) practitioners; Organization design (OD) practitioners; Senior managers; HR consultants; Members of the CIPD and SHRM.
Secondary: MBA/Postgraduate modules on human resource management.


Book information

  • Published: November 2009
  • ISBN: 978-1-85617-847-1


“The original book has proved to be very valuable for my HR business partner clients, both in discussing the guiding concepts and ideas and in providing practical methods and tools to make the theory work in daily practice. It’s the hands-on approach that makes it a book that practitioners actually read and reread”
Wilfred Verweij MSc, Senior Learning Consultant/Lecturer, Rotterdam School of Management Erasmus University, The Netherlands

“As the BP role has evolved, this pragmatic and insightful approach captures the essence of the changes in the function and offers guidance on embedding it into the organisation to produce fully effective HR partners.”
Gill Whensley, Chartered FCIPD and HR Director, Spofforths LLP

“Business Partnering is both a mindset and a skill set - especially the ability to build and maintain effective value-adding business relationships. In a very real sense the authors are helping to move the field of Business Partnering forward by describing not just the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of Business Partnering but also the ‘how’.”
Linda Holbeche, HR Professional and former Director of Research and Policy, CIPD, UK

Table of Contents

Structuring the partnership function
Developing credibility and client relationships
Developing the key skills
The importance of contracting
Where do business partners add most value?
Sustaining the relationship
Evaluating the success of partnership projects
Case studies