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What does an HR Generalist actually do?

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Diana’s Answer

A Human Resources (HR) Generalist job is the opportunity to be involved in all areas of an employees experience with a company. They can be involved in interviewing, hiring, orientation, benefits, compensation, payroll, and performance management to name a few. This role gives individuals an ability to learn many HR function and it is a great way to help determine areas of interest for future career choices.

Thank you Diana, I appreciate it! Natalia G.

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Ganesh’s Answer

HR Generalists are key members of every organization, who are relied upon to provide a broad base of knowledge and expertise while tackling multiple specialized duties. Where an HR specialist focuses on particular aspect of human resources such as recruiting, payroll or training, HR generalist takes on the whole picture(entire spectrum of services).

As an HR generalist, one may have a particular experience in one area of human resources, but they are competent in all of a human resource department functions. Because of this breadth of knowledge, they are indeed a valuable asset to an organization. I'm sharing some of the common practices which are similar in almost all organizations, which could help potentially understand what duties are performered by an HR generalist on a regular cadence -

Compensation and benefits(Total rewards)
Recruitment and Onboarding
Performance management(requires deep understanding on this domain)
Compliance with labor laws(understanding of local and in-country regulations)
Measuring employee satisfaction(understanding and driving various touchpoints for employee experience)

HR generalists need to have strong understanding and balance of emotional and social intelligence. As professionals specializing in helping people do their job well, HR generalists need to understand what motivates and inspires many people of all backgrounds and experiences.
HR generalists will also need strong administrative skills and knowledge of labor laws, benefits policies and best practices. All of these skills can be learned and further improvised over time , but it is important that a prospective/buddy - HR professional be interested in working with other people—the “human” aspect and emotion needs be emphasized. You’ll listen to a wide array of employee issues and will need to act in a way that builds trust.
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Lisa’s Answer


All these answers are great! I would like to add - because it was my experience - that an HR Generalist role is a great place to learn about the many areas of Human Resources and determine a specialty that you might enjoy. The variety of experiences that this type of role offers is varied and interesting. Overall, a great way to start a career and learn about the HR function.

Best of luck!
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Leslie’s Answer

The HR Generalist Role can wear a variety of hats on any given day! Typically HR Generalists become familiar with HR compliance, employee relations, employee satisfaction, compensation, metrics and data associated with HR, employee development, payroll and benefits administration, etc. It can be a great role to allow people in the field of HR to become more familiar with a variety of HR activities and requirements. It is never boring!
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Gigi’s Answer

An HR generalist is a person with a broad range of responsibilities instead of a specialized line of work. The HR generalist thus covers most of the HR functions, including hiring, compensation and benefits, HR administration, and other tasks. It's truly a very unique role and can open doors to other HR related jobs.
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Crystal A.’s Answer

The Human Resource Generalist operates the daily functions of the Human Resource (HR) department including hiring and interviewing staff, administering pay, benefits, and leave, and enforcing company policies and practices. It's a wonderful position to occupy to gain a broad understanding of the seven functions of HR, as well as build the necessary key business competencies that HR professionals need to be effective in the workplace.
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Jennifer’s Answer

A Human Resources Generalis Job is often an entry level job in an HR career. The job typically includes a broad range of responsibilities working directly with employees and with administrative tasks such as hiring, employee coaching, compensation/payroll, and benefits. The responsibilities will typically vary slightly depending on the company as well.

Thank you Jennifer! I appreciate your advice. Natalia G.

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Mansi’s Answer

Human resources (HR) generalist is a key part of the department responsible for a company's employees. These professionals manage employee payments and benefits, training and development programs, hiring and relations. Their work contributes to a company's culture and employee performance.
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Kimberly’s Answer

An HR Generalist works with all functions of HR. They can be working on benefits and compensation to recruitment to employee engagement. Being an HR Generalist is a way to better understand the HR profession. The typical question paired with yours is "What does an HR Specialist do?" Just the opposite of an HR Generalist, they focus on one area of HR. For example, an HR Specialist in benefits will focus on all things benefits. If you have an area of HR you absolutely love, I recommend becoming a specialist.

Another little tip, if possible, I recommend taking an HR analytics course. This is the way HR is going and you will be a very valuable candidate for any position! Just to understand the terminology and concepts. Hope this helps!

Thank you so much Kimberly! This advice is really valuable and I appreciate it. Natalia G.

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Lanelle’s Answer

Here is an article that provides more insight into the HR Generalist role.,human%20resource%20department%20are%20met.&text=Common%20duties%20for%20an%20HR,Onboarding%20and%20training

Thank you Lanelle! I will definitely look into this article. Natalia G.