What Does A HR Intern Do?

If you are considering taking up a job in human resources, you may have to start off as an intern. Internships are also a good way to test out a career that you are not 100% sure is made for you. 

Although many people will not take internships unless they are in college or are young, there are plenty of perks to taking an internship. Gaining experience and starting your career in this way can be a very useful building block in your career.

Internships can be the pathway to finding better jobs, and climbing the ladder within a company. 

HR stands for Human Resources, and inside a company HR tends to manage the legal documentation, employee and employer rights. They will manage holiday time, sick pay, contracts, and personal information in terms of medical health, next of pin, paychecks, and so on. 

It is a very paperwork and personnel focused role. Some people are simply made for a role in HR, especially if they are organized and good at management.

Starting off as an intern you will not get to experience everything that comes with the HR role, but you will get a taste of it, and you will be helping out the core HR team in more ways than you may think. 

So, what is there for you to know about HR internships?

What Are The Traditional Roles?

A majority of HR roles will have well-defined roles, and responsibilities, such as managers, who always have the same description- to a degree. 

However, with internships it can vary as no two organizations will have the exact same prerogative for HR intern jobs. In the U.S. HR interns are usually given the role of being entry-level, and the role of being an intern will serve as a stepping stone to being a possible full-time employee. 

This can vary from company to company though, and it will never be 100% the same in every job. Small companies may take on summer internships or undergraduate internships, typically in order to get cover for any redundant HR tasks. 

On the other hand, fully grown companies will usually develop large programs for interns and will have them programs going on year round with different goals, and objectives that need to be met. 

So, there is no 100% clear statement on what a HR intern does, because it can and does vary in every company. 

The basic level of what you should expect is for your role to be that of a HR assistant, especially if your internship is a part-time affair. You could also expect the role to be more similar to a HR generalist in the case that your internship is a full-time affair. 

You will be conducting typical daily HR tasks, general paper work and normal intern roles. You can expect to update absence records, file documents, review policies, help recruiters, and start any necessary background checks. 

The role may also require you to have knowledge in certain fields, depending on the type of company you are interning in. 

The Usual Tasks And Duties

The Usual Tasks And Duties

As we say, the responsibilities and duties you may have will vary depending on what company you intern with, and what the company wants of you as well.

Some HR companies may only seek the minimum, whereas others might list down every responsibility you will have so that you can know what to expect, and they can build a flexible program. 

Let’s look at some of the expected duties you may find in a HR intern role. 

  • You may have to screen potential resumes, going through applications and figuring out the best candidates for a particular vacancy within the company. 
  • You will potentially need to assist the HR department in onboarding activities for any new staff members due to join the team.
  • Expect to update the company databases, entering employee information, and details upon new hires. 
  • Taking over job posting and adverts on social media, job boards, and so on may be a part of your role. 
  • Helping other HR staff in gathering information on the market salary to better craft benefits packages and new compensation for workers. 
  • You may have to give assistance and admin support to HR partners and managers. 
  • Assisting in the organization of company events and activities. 
  • You will have to learn about the businesses HR policies, and things such as employee benefits to adequately respond to any inquiries made by staff. 
  • Readily remove any job postings online once vacancies are filled to avoid any alerts or unwanted applications. 

A majority of these duties are commonly performed in any HR office by the HR intern. Although different companies will have different needs for an HR intern, these are typically routine. 

Some may not be present in every situation though- but these are ones to expect, and can help you decide if this role is right for you. 

What Skills And Abilities Does A HR Intern Need To Have?

In some cases, people may think that all you need to work in HR is knowledge of computers, be organized and have good communication skills. Yet, that would actually be wrong as a majority of HR companies will request more than this to become a HR intern. 

Most of the time HR teams seek an intern who has a qualification in HR management or has enrolled for a degree in a HR related field. They will also seek out someone who has experience in an office environment. 

Most will also have experience with HRIS which means ‘Human Resources Information System’, which is a software. As well as resume databases and more. 

It is required for you to have a basic knowledge of U.S. labor laws, and workplace compliance standards. Not to mention at least an intermediate level of experience and knowledge in Microsoft Office packages, including; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Spreadsheet, and so on. 

Communication skills are also vital, you need to be able to work well with not only your HR team but also staff, personnel, and others that may need to contact the HR department. 


HR interns have some responsibilities that follow across every company, but the company generally dictates what they have to do in their job, there is no one size fits all in terms of HR intern responsibilities. 


Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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