HR Generalist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An HR Generalist, or HR Officer, facilitates the hiring of employees for an organisation or company. They are responsible for managing employee benefits and welfare, helping employees with their career development, training and providing management with advice on laws and regulations affecting labour relations.


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HR Generalist duties and responsibilities

HR Generalists provide a wide range of HR advice and support. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:

  • Guiding management on employee relations and performance management
  • Offering recruitment assistance to the company
  • Improving, implementing and administering human resources policies and procedures
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with employment agencies to ensure the selection of the best candidates
  • Implementing programs to improve the employee experience of the organisation as a workplace
  • Handling complaints and disciplinary procedures for the company
  • Arranging services for employees, such as counselling services
  • Assisting with salary negotiations and issues with employment laws


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What does an HR Generalist do?

HR Generalists perform a variety of functions for an organisation. Their duties range from providing support to employees and managers, overseeing the onboarding of new employees and training employees on the company’s procedures and policies. HR Generalists use their knowledge of labour laws and regulations relating to the hiring and firing of employees to protect the organisation.


HR Generalist skills and qualifications

A successful HR Generalist candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to be successful in performing their duties and responsibilities. These typically include:

  • Proficiency in commonly used word processing software packages such as MS Office suite
  • Excellent judgment and problem-solving skills
  • Strong knowledge of the hiring process
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of HR best practices and current regulations 
  • A customer-focused outlook with a high level of discretion and professionalism
  • The ability to work well with team members and management
  • Cultural awareness and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills for storing and accessing different types of information on a daily basis


HR Generalist experience requirements

Employers usually prefer candidates who have several years of hands-on experience on various areas of HR, including hiring, training and payroll. For junior positions, employers require candidates to have completed an HR internship or have at least one to two years of experience in an entry-level HR position. For senior positions, employers generally require at least five years of experience in an HR position.  


HR Generalist education and training requirements

Employers usually require prospective HR Generalists to have a higher education college qualification or a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management or a related discipline. Some HR Generalist positions are better suited to candidates with a postgraduate qualification in human resource management. Some employers prefer candidates that are involved in ongoing professional development courses and qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Other employers consider candidates with work experience as a Business Administrator in the HR department for a promotion to an HR Generalist position.


HR Generalist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an HR Generalist is £36,081 per year. This figure varies depending on factors, including the company, its location and the years of experience required. 


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HR Generalist job description FAQs


What makes a good HR Generalist job description?

A good HR Generalist job description makes candidates excited about the organisation and the developments happening in the industry. It highlights what your organisation is doing within the larger industry, how technology helps that and how your organisation, the position and the applicant’s knowledge and skills can further their development and growth. 


Who does an HR Generalist report to?

The size of an organisation determines the reporting lines for an HR Generalist. In smaller organisations, HR Generalists may report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In larger organisations, however, they report to the HR Manager or HR Director.   


Do HR Generalists have different responsibilities between small and large organisations?

The responsibilities of HR Generalists differ between small and large organisations. In small organisations, an HR Generalist may be responsible for all human resources functions, including human resources administration and recruitment. In larger organisations, HR departments have more staff members. An HR specialist may specialise in one area, such as recruitment, payroll or labour relations.


What is the difference between an HR Generalist and an HR Assistant?

HR Assistants are responsible for record-keeping within the human resources department. They assist their team members with the creation of reports, filing and answering phones. HR Assistants also contact candidates, schedule  interviews and check candidates’ references. An HR Generalist handles all aspects of human resources, including hiring  and benefits or labour relations. 

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