HR generalist job is the least understood by non-practitioners.
The position has a wide range of responsibilities.
HR generalists deal with the daily operations in the HR office, administer the policies, programs, and procedures in HR as well as the responsibilities of other departments.
Human Resources generalists work for the development of the department, employment, employee relations, HR information system, training, employee development, etc.
They also deal with compensation systems, bonuses, and benefits packages among other duties.
HR generalists receive a median salary a little under $50,000, as reported by PayScale.
With such a salary, HR generalists usually stick with the job for 5-10 years, as later on the job ceases to bring the same satisfaction.
Article Table of Contents
What Does an HR Generalist Do
The work of an HR generalist can be stressful.
HR generalists have to follow orders from HR directors or Senior HR generalists.
Additionally, they have to create and implement periodical changes at the level of the entire company to improve how things work around the office.
HR generalists usually work under supervision, however, they also need some management skills to occasionally perform some managerial functions.
Mostly, HR generalists work in an office, but they may have to go to other departments and even other branches of the company located in different states.
The job of an HR generalist can vary from one employer to another.
Some responsibilities remain the same though.
The responsibilities of an HR generalist usually include the following:
- Offering services related to Human Resources.
- Implementing HR programs.
- Filling up vacant positions.
- Acquiring talent for the company.
- Handling welfare and health benefits.
- Handling employee compensation and processing.
- Planning branch-wide succession.
- Managing employee relations and retention.
- Managing records.
- Handling health and safety concerns.
- Developing and training new employees.
- Handling personnel transactions.
- Ensuring compliance with various regulations (EEO and AA).
- Analyzing, collecting, and organizing firm-wide information.
- Developing human resources solutions.
- Improving employee and management performance.
- Recommending procedures to upper management.
- Clarifying and solving said problems.
- Identifying workplace issues and problems.
- Clarifying project objectives.
- Offering coaching and counseling to managers and employees.
- Evaluating and implementing potential solutions.
- Completing a wide variety of special projects.
- Resolving customer concerns.
- Conducting various research.
- Setting schedules and timetables.
- Communicating the issues and status of projects.
- Managing the clients’ expectations.
- Analyzing and solving issues related to time and costs.
- Preparing reports for customers and management.
- Complying with local, state, and federal law.
- Keeping company information private and confidential.
- Offering advice to management on how to proceed with legal issues.
- Enforcing adherence to legal requirements.
- Contributing to team efforts.
- Considering, studying, and implementing new techniques and procedures.
- Staying updated with the recent goings-on in the field.
- Handling company advertisements and some publicity.
- Monitoring employee and management performance.
- Conducting interviews.
Just like any other professional, the HR generalist needs a set of skills and qualities for the job.
Someone without empathy can perform the duties of the HR generalist, but they wouldn’t be good at their job.
At the same time, someone who is resourceful and empathetic couldn’t be good at this job without organizational skills.
HR generalists should possess the following skills and qualities to be successful in this position:
- Advanced organizational skills.
- Advanced management performance skills.
- Proficient in management training.
- Apt at employee training.
- Excellent people skills.
- Superior interpersonal communication skills.
- Advanced conflict resolution skills.
- Legislation knowledge in terms of HR.
- Extended experience in the office.
- Excellent verbal communication skills.
- Excellent written communication skills.
- Advanced reporting skills.
- Advanced administrative writing skills.
- Proficient with computers.
- Highly teamwork-oriented.
- Great stress tolerance or coping abilities.
- A certain ethical level.
- A good level of creativity.
- An outwardly positive attitude.
- The ability to work under stressful situations.
- Advanced procedural implementation skills.
Training and Qualifications
Commonly, HR generalists are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree and have three to five years of experience in HR.
Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in HR management with two years of experience.
Others may go with a less advanced diploma but more years of experience.
Besides, a certification acquired from the Society for Human Resources Management can be helpful in getting the job.
Companies don’t usually train their HR generalists but rather believe that the candidate received all the required training through their education and experience.
Sometimes, there can be some training sessions conducted by colleagues for the newly hired, but there are rarely any official training hours for the HR employees.
Experience is usually valued more than education in terms of employment or salary.
Employers usually expect HR generalists to have eight to ten years of experience.
On the downside, it is only beneficial when aspiring for higher positions like the Senior HR generalist or the human resources manager.
However, experience almost doesn’t impact the salary.
As per the PayScale report, the starting salary of an HR generalist is around $46,000 on average.
With 20 or more years of experience in the industry, the salary can grow by only $8,000 to $9,000.
The bulk will be acquired within the first five to ten years.
Because of this, most HR generalists move to another position within a decade.
The growth of the employment rate for HR generalists is estimated at 5% by 2024, which is slower than the national average for all occupations.
However, there are multiple opportunities to change career to a more lucrative one.
It is quite common for the HR employees, and there are multiple opportunities for this.
Companies realize how important HR employees are for the operation of the firm, so the executives ensure that there are always fresh eyes and ideas.
But at the same time, they keep the current HR staff well-motivated to go for other opportunities in the same corporation.
HR generalist is one of the most complicated jobs out there, and it combines the functions of HR, accounting, and other vital roles for the company to keep it growing and expanding.
At the same time, they work towards keeping the employees in the firm happy.