One of the job descriptions least understood by non-practitioners, the HR generalist job description implies a wide array of duties and responsibilities. HR generalists usually handle the day-to-day operations of the HR office, the administration of the HR policies, programs, and procedures, as well as the responsibilities of several other departments.
For example, someone with the Human Resources generalist job description will have to take care of the departmental development, employee relations, HR information systems, compensation system, employment, training, employee development, bonuses and benefits packages, and many, many other such duties.
For this, the HR generalist responsibilities are repaid with a median wage of slightly under $50,000 a year, according to payscale.com. While it does pay to stick with the HR generalist job description for five to ten years, as you can see a pretty modest pay increase, few actually stick with the job for longer, as it ceases to offer the same satisfaction.
HR Generalist Job Description Overview
The HR generalist job description is a very stressful one. Having to follow orders from an HR director or from someone with the Senior HR generalist job description, regular HR generalists also have to successfully come up with and implement periodical company-wide changes that improve the way things work around the office.
Despite the fact that they work under supervision, HR generalists will also need a number of management skills, as they do need to act in some managerial functions. Most often performed in an office, the job sometimes does take the human resource generalist to visit other departments, and even other branches located in different states.
HR Generalist Job Description Responsibilities
Since the HR generalist job description can vary quite a lot from one place of employment to another, some of the responsibilities for the position remain, of course, the same. You can get more information about the differences between different HR positions by going to the Society for Human Resource Management website.
The responsibilities most often attributed to people with the Human Resource generalist job description are as follows:
- Implementing HR programs;
- Offering services related to Human Resources;
- Acquiring talent for the company;
- Filling up vacant positions;
- Handling employee compensation and processing;
- Handling welfare and health benefits;
- Managing records;
- Managing employee retention and relations;
- Planning branch-wide succession;
- Developing and training new employees;
- Handling health and safety concerns;
- Ensuring compliance with EEO and AA regulations;
- Handling personnel transactions;
- Developing human resources solutions;
- Analyzing, collecting, and organizing firm-wide information;
- Recommending the course of action to the upper management;
- Improving employee and management performance;
- Identifying workplace issues and problems;
- Clarifying and solving said problems;
- Evaluating and implementing potential solutions;
- Offering counseling and coaching to managers and employees alike;
- Completing a wide variety of special projects;
- Clarifying project objectives;
- Setting schedules and timetables;
- Conducting different types of research;
- Managing the clients’ expectations;
- Communicating the projects’ issues and status;
- Resolving customer concerns;
- Preparing reports for customers and management;
- Analyzing and solving cost and time issues;
- Keeping company information private and confidential;
- Complying with local, state, and federal law;
- Enforcing the adherence to legal requirements;
- Advising management on how to proceed with legal issues;
- Keeping themselves informed with the recent goings-on in the field;
- Considering, studying, and implementing new technique and procedures;
- Monitoring employee and management performance;
- Handling company advertisements and some of the publicity;
- Contributing to team efforts;
- Conducting both entry and exit interviews.
HR generalist Requirements
Of course, an HR position cannot be successfully filled by someone lacking the necessary personal skills and qualities. Of course, a person lacking empathy can perform the HR generalist job description, but they wouldn’t be too good at it. Similarly, an empathetic, resourceful person might do a great job under normal circumstances, but if they lack organizational skills, they could create endless problems for the company.
The qualities and skills most important to possess by someone aspiring towards the HR generalist job description are the following:
- Adept at management performance;
- Adept at management training;
- Adept at employee training;
- Advanced organizational skills;
- Great people skills;
- Superb interpersonal communication capabilities;
- Superior conflict resolution skills;
- Knowledge of legislation when it comes to HR;
- Plenty of experience in the office;
- Advanced reporting skills;
- Great verbal communication skills;
- Great written communication skills;
- Advanced administrative writing skills;
- Advanced operational knowledge of computers;
- Highly teamwork-oriented;
- Great stress-handling or coping abilities;
- The ability to work under stressful situations;
- A certain ethical high ground;
- A certain level of creativity;
- Advanced procedural implementation skills;
- An outwardly positive attitude.
Qualifications and Training
The most common level of experience required to be qualified for the HR generalist job description is to have at least a bachelor’s degree, as well as three to five years of experience working in HR. Employers also often go for a masters’ degree in HR management and two years of human resources experience, or for more years of experience and a slightly less advanced diploma.
Also helpful in getting the position is a certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. As for training, pretty much all employers hire their HR generalists with the belief that they received all of the training they needed through their experience and higher education.
While some training sessions may be performed on the spot by colleagues after a recent hire, few new HR employees actually see official training hours.
The truth is that experience does trump education when it comes to getting a position with the HR generalist job description and salary. The preferred experience duration is of eight to ten years. Sadly, this only counts towards getting higher positions, such as for the Sr. HR generalist job description, or the human resource manager one.
When it comes to getting paid, however, the influence made by experience in the field is almost insignificant. According to payscale.com, the average starting HR generalist salary is somewhere around $46,000 a year.
Over the course of more than twenty years on the job, the salary doesn’t grow by more than $8,000 or $9,000, with the bulk being in the first five to ten years of experience. This is why most people with the HR generalist job description leave the position after less than a decade.
HR Generalist Career Prospects
While the employment rate for HR reps was only estimated to grow 5% by 2024, slower than the national average for all profession, the HR generalist job description offers plenty of opportunities to move on to more lucrative careers. Switching to a career as an HR specialist or manager is quite common, as are the opportunities to do so.
Realizing exactly how important HR employees are to the proper working of any company, firm executives make it so that they always have fresh eyes and ideas, while at the same time keeping the current HR staff motivated enough to pursue other avenues within the same corporation.
One of the most complicated and encompassing job descriptions in the world, the HR generalist job description combines elements of HR, accounting, and many other company-vital functions to help an organization grow and expand, while at the same helping it do what it can to keep its employees happy. If you are interested in seeing a sample HR generalist job description, you can do so by following this link.