Thanks for asking this question! I would echo what others have said about the various types of roles within HR. I can provide you a "day in the life" of the sorts of things my team and I do on the "HR Operations" team.
- Host New Employee Orientation - Welcome new hires when they first arrive, give them a tour of the office, explain their benefit options, make sure they know where to go if they need help)
- Issue Offer Letters - We draft and send the employment agreements to candidates once the recruiters and managers have decided they would like to make an offer
- Administrative Onboarding - We make sure all of the required/legal pieces are coordinated for new hires (background checks, employment verification, etc)
- Answer employee questions - We respond to questions that employees have about their benefits, time off, and other HR-related questions
- Offboarding - We help coordinate the administrative side of offboarding once an employee has decided to leave the company (making sure they have their final pay and any other information they may need once they are no longer employed)
- Employment Verifications - Talking to banks and lenders over the phone and via email to confirm that employees are employed with our company (which helps them get loans for cars and homes!)
There is a lot of work on the computer, and some in-person meetings. Lots of it involves paperwork and keeping things in order, but all of it impacts the life of the employee which is very rewarding!
There are many different fields in HR which makes it a great field to enter! There are job duties that range from HCIS (Human Capital Information System), payroll, HR generalists, training, employee laws, Employee relations, benefits, talent acquisition, diversity & inclusion, recruiting, and onboarding. Being in the HR field allows immense opportunities for growth and diversity due to the amount of different areas.
There are many different things you can do. You can specialize in one area, such as benefits, compensation, safety, training, HRIS, employee relations, Workplace Laws (ADA, FLSA) etc. or you can be a Generalist and do a little bit of everything. In small companies you would most likely be a generalist, where in large companies there are entire departments focused on just one area of HR. I have worked in a small nonprofit organization of 125 employees where there were two HR employees and we took care of all areas of HR including generating Payroll. I have also worked in a large organization (80K) where the main functions were centralized in a headquarters location, and then in the regional offices they staffed four to five HR employees consisting of a manager, a couple of generalists and an administrator.
There are lots of jobs under the human resource umbrella. The have recruitment type people (resourcing), employee communications, employee development, training, conflict management/employee relations, benefit specialist, performance improvement, annual review etc.
I have a friend whobos a compuisation analyst. She is responsible for salary reviews for the US and UK. She makes quite a bit. Lot of management professionals come out of human resources. There are also lots of certifications available for Human Resource personnel that will make you more desirable. Last thing, Human Resources is a great discipline because you can take those skills to any industry. Medical, oil and gas, education
It's always great to get exposure into many areas before deciding where to focus. I started my career off in a Generalist capacity in a global company of around 150 employees. It allowed me to see what I enjoyed, didn't enjoy, what skills needed developing etc...
Great question! Human Resources actually has quite a few different areas you can choose to specialize in. Here are some examples below:
- Talent Acquisition (Recruiting & sourcing talent for your company)
- Learning & Development (Training & development can include upgrading skills for your company's employees, as well as on-boarding and training new employees)
- Compensation (Compensation looks at the pay structure of the company, and helps to develop and implement the total compensation package, including salary, bonuses, incentives, benefits, etc.)
- Health & Safety (Policies, procedures, trainings, grievances, WSIB, etc.)
- Employee & Labour Relations (Mediation, employees rights, etc.)
You can choose to be a generalist if you like wearing multiple hats, or you can choose to specialize in any of the above or more! Don't be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn who work at a company or have a title that interests you to learn more about what a day in the life can be like.
As others have said, HR encompasses a wide variety of duties. Larger companies tend to have specialists where smaller companies use generalists. Employment law, recruiting, interviewing, new hire engagement, payroll, benefits, event planning, employee retention, disciplinary actions and employee counseling, terminations, leaves of absence including FMLA and ADA are some of the areas an HR professional would deal with.
HR professionals need to be organized and detail oriented. We must keep information confidential. HR should be the employer's representative to the employees and the employee's representative to the employer.