How to Become a Human Resources Generalist
When you become a human resources generalist, you can expect a varied career that will see you attending to many aspects of this field. A human resources generalist is the jack of all trades within a HR department. They help out with many different parts of a department, and make sure that efforts are coordinated and that the best possible outcomes are always reached.
A human resources department has a lot of responsibilities. The larger a company is, the longer the list becomes. They work to find and recruit the best employees for open roles in the company, and also work to keep staff retention rates high. They provide counseling services for staff, and handle any issues a staff member could have. They also are responsible for employee health and safety.
Perhaps the most important skill required in this industry is communication. When you become a human resources generalist you will be working with people from many different backgrounds that bring different attitudes to their work. Being able to understand people's perspective is essential. You will also need to be very organized, and show attention to small details. Problem solving skills are also good in this role, as well as the ability to think on your feet.
Education Requirements to Become a Human Resources Generalist
A humanities based education is a good background to have if you wish to become a human resources generalist. If you're in high school, subjects like psychology and English are helpful, as are business subjects which will help you understand the inner-workings of companies better.
To gain an entry level role in human resources you'll need a four year human resources degree from an accredited college. Elective subjects in business or psychology are always a good choice. Your coursework at college will cover many aspects of employment law, recruitment, and occupational health and safety.
Another educational path to become a human resources generalist is to complete a degree within humanities. For instance, you might have a major in English, psychology, or sociology. You could then complete a postgraduate master's in human resources. This kind of education in held in high regard by potential employers.
While you are at college, taking internships or any work experience that you can get is particularly helpful. It will really make a difference on your resume, and also help you gain some experience.
To move on to more advanced roles in your career, you'll most likely need a postgraduate qualification such as a human resources masters degree.
Human Resources Generalist Job Description
A human recourses generalist completes many different duties within a human resources department. They often supervise human resources assistants or trainees. Some of their duties could include recruitment and payroll, along with counseling and terminating employees where necessary. They settle employee disputes and also handle other inquiries. Making sure that health and occupational safety requirements are met is also an important part of this role.
Here are some of the duties of a human resources generalist:
- Hiring and recruitment
- Employee counseling and termination
- Writing position descriptions
- Handling employee benefit packages
- Determining key performance indicators
- Helping employees with questions
- Ensuring legal obligations are met
- Meeting occupational health and safety requirements
Human Resources Generalist Salary and Career Path
Your first job in human resources will most likely be as an assistant to another person in a HR department. To become a human resources generalist, you will need to spend a few years gaining experience first. After you have got a feel for the many different aspects of human resources, you could be expected to be promoted. Working for a larger company will definitely mean more opportunities. Many smaller companies may only employ a few HR staff members.
Some human resources employees go on to work in management positions at a higher level. Some work in recruitment later on, even starting their own company. Many use their experience to work in staff training.
When you first start working in human resources, your entry level salary would be about $35,000 a year. A human resources generalist could expect to earn around $50,000 a year. A human resources manager could expect a salary of $95,000. The top 10% of earners in the human resources field make over $150,000 a year.
Some similar roles to that of human resources generalist include:
- Human resources manager
- Human resources assistant
- Social worker
- Payroll officer
- Administrative assistant
If you have strong interpersonal skills, looking for a job where you get to work with all types of people, and want a secure role with room for promotion and professional development, then you might like to become a human resources generalist.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics