Career Development

What Does a Human Resources Generalist Do?

Find out what a human resources generalist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a human resources generalist.

Human resources generalists are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of their company’s human resources department. They commonly play a key role in developing and implementing HR policies, procedures, and initiatives.

Human resources generalists may also be tasked with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees; providing ongoing training and development opportunities; and handling employee relations issues such as grievances, disciplinary actions, and terminations.

Human Resources Generalist Job Duties

A human resources generalist typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Conducting exit interviews with departing employees to learn about why they are leaving and what can be done to retain them
  • Providing guidance to managers on hiring decisions, including making recommendations about candidates based on their qualifications and experience
  • Recruiting and hiring new employees by conducting job interviews, providing feedback to hiring managers on candidate qualifications, and creating job postings on company websites
  • Preparing reports on employee turnover rates, which can help identify potential problems in the workplace. This may involve conducting exit interviews with departing employees to learn about why they are leaving and what can be done to retain them
  • Creating policies that govern employee conduct and performance on the job, such as rules about punctuality or dress codes
  • Conducting performance reviews with employees to evaluate their work performance and provide feedback on how to improve performance
  • Acting as an intermediary between employees and their supervisors or managers, helping resolve conflicts between employees who may not get along well with their managers
  • Preparing reports on employee labor productivity, attendance, and other workplace metrics to help management make business decisions
  • Conducting training sessions on new policies or procedures to employees who have been hired recently or who will be transitioning to new positions within the company

Human Resources Generalist Salary & Outlook

Human resources generalists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of human resources generalists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need for human resources (HR) specialists in small businesses and start-ups. Smaller organizations often lack the budget for a full-time HR specialist, so these organizations will continue to rely on outside consultants to provide HR services.

Related: In-Depth Human Resources Generalist Salary Guide

Human Resources Generalist Job Requirements

The following are some of the qualifications that are often required to become a human resources generalist:

Education: Most HR generalists have at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire HR generalists who have a master’s degree in human resources or business administration with a concentration in human resources.

Training & Experience: Most employers will require candidates to have at least five years of experience in a human resources role. Some employers may prefer candidates who have at least 10 years of experience.

On-the-job training is an important part of a human resources generalist’s role. They will receive training from their employer in the specific processes and procedures of the company. They will also receive training in the use of any software or technology the company uses.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not usually a requirement for a human resources generalist, they can help you stand out from other candidates when competing for jobs.

Human Resources Generalist Skills

Human resources generalists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As a human resources generalist, you may be required to communicate with employees, managers, executives and other stakeholders. You may also be required to communicate with employees over the phone or through email. Effective communication can help you convey information clearly and answer questions.

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you in your career as an HR generalist. You can use these skills to motivate and inspire your team, which can help you achieve your company’s goals. Leadership skills can also help you to develop and train your team members, which can help you to improve their work and increase productivity.

Problem-solving: A generalist HR role requires the ability to solve problems. You may be responsible for finding solutions to workplace disputes, resolving employee conflicts and finding ways to improve employee morale. You can also use your problem-solving skills to find solutions to workplace safety issues, employee training needs and employee development opportunities.

Organization: Organization is a crucial skill for HR professionals, as it allows them to keep track of employee information and paperwork. As a generalist, you may be responsible for managing employee files, so it’s important to be able to keep your files organized. You may also be responsible for managing employee benefits, so it’s important to be able to keep track of employee information and paperwork.

Time management: Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a timely manner. As a generalist, you may be responsible for multiple tasks at once, so it’s important to prioritize your work and manage your time accordingly. This can help you complete your work efficiently and avoid any potential conflicts with your coworkers.

Human Resources Generalist Work Environment

Human resources generalists typically work in an office environment during regular business hours, although they may be required to work overtime during busy periods. They may also travel to attend conferences or to meet with clients. Human resources generalists typically work in large organizations with multiple levels of management, so they must be able to communicate effectively with people at all levels of the organization. They must also be able to handle confidential information discreetly and be able to make decisions that are in the best interests of the organization.

Human Resources Generalist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how human resources generalists work. Human resources generalists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Diversity and Inclusion

The need for diversity and inclusion is becoming increasingly important in the business world. This is because businesses are realizing that they can no longer afford to ignore the needs of minority groups, as this will lead to a lack of understanding and ultimately poor decision making.

Human resources generalists can play an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion by developing policies and programs that encourage employees from all backgrounds to feel comfortable in the workplace. They can also help to create a culture where everyone feels valued and respected.

Automation Will Continue to Change the Role of HR

The role of human resources is changing rapidly due to the increasing use of automation in the workforce. As automation becomes more common, HR professionals will need to learn how to work with machines in order to ensure that they are being used effectively.

This trend means that HR professionals will need to be well-versed in both people and technology in order to be successful. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with both employees and managers in order to get the most out of automation.

A Focus on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has become a major focus for many businesses in recent years. This is because companies have realized that having engaged employees leads to better results in terms of productivity and customer service.

As a result, human resources generalists will need to focus on employee engagement in order to keep their company’s workforce happy and productive. This may include things like creating a positive work environment, providing training, and offering benefits.

How to Become a Human Resources Generalist

A career in human resources can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s important to start off on the right foot. One of the best ways to do this is by getting certified as a HR professional. There are several different certifications available, so choose one that matches your interests and skills.

Once you have your certification, make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest HR trends and news. This will help you better serve your employees and lead them down the path to success.

Related: How to Write a Human Resources Generalist Resume

Advancement Prospects

Human resources generalists typically start out in entry-level positions and advance to higher-level jobs as they gain experience and knowledge. Some human resources generalists may eventually become human resources managers. Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They may oversee the work of human resources specialists and support staff.

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