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Human Resources Specialist: Key Roles and Responsibilities

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HR Specialist primarily focuses on a specific HR function, whereas the Generalist is involved in all aspects of Human Resources. In other words, the Specialist is hired for the purpose of concentrating on and executing a certain HR task

Job overview

The Human Resources Specialist, sometimes called HR Assistant, usually works directly under an HR Generalist and performs specialized duties as assigned.  HR Specialist primarily focuses on a specific HR function, whereas the Generalist is involved in all aspects of Human Resources. In other words, the Specialist is hired for the purpose of concentrating on and executing a certain HR task.  For example, a Specialist could be hired specifically to do payroll, or for recruitment and selection and so on… However, this is not to say that the specialist will not have to perform other duties of HR, especially if the company is small. In fact, many HR Generalist begin their career as specialist before getting involved with other facets of this field. Both HR Generalist and Specialist are Human Resources Professionals. If you are seeking a career as a HR specialist, you will most likely find more opportunities for this profession at larger companies than you would at smaller ones.

Job requirements

In order to thrive in this job, an individual must exercise keen attention to detail and the ability to communicate effectively and professionally with all levels of employees within the company.  You must be able to work independently as well as within a team environment. Your area of concentration will vary depending upon the need of the organization and your current job skills.  This individual must have a basic understanding of Human Resource procedures and demonstrate the ability to deal with sensitive and confidential matters discreetly.  He/she must have strong organizational skills and proficient with MS word, excel, and power point.  Some companies also require that you have experience with HRIS (Human Resources Information System) along with one-three years of experience in Human Resources.

Education requirements

The minimal educational requirement for a HR Specialist is a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Human Resources, Business Management, Marketing, or other business related discipline.  However, some employers will accept an associate’s degree along with sufficient HR experience.

Training

Most companies will provide training for HRIS system, HR software, along with other basic training, provided that the individual meet the basic educational requirements.  The HR Generalist is responsible for training the HR Specialist who is fresh out of college and/or lacks adequate HR job experience.  Some specialist can gain experience by starting out as an administrative assistant or other clerical position for the human resources department.

Salary

According to Payscale national salary data, the average salary for a HR Specialist is $30,982 - $67,818; bonus $292.83 – $6,242; profit sharing $488.31- $7,236. Indeed.com list the average salary for a HR Specialist as $46,000.  Keep in mind though- that your salary will vary depending upon the company, the industry, your experience, and the position itself.  The average salary is higher for HR compensation & benefits analyst, HR development officer, and employee labor/relations jobs---than for recruitment and placement positions.

Job outlook

The job prospects for a HR Specialist are good.  The “BLS predicts that 184,500 new jobs for HR special are expected to enter the job market between 2008 – 2018”.

See my article for HR Generalist here:  https://knoji.com/human-resources-generalist-major-roles-and-responsibilities/

 

Reference: Payscale.com; Indeed.com; Amelia Gray, March 17, 2001, schools.com

 

 

 

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