How to Hire an Hr Generalist

Does your growing business need an HR generalist? HR generalists handle the day-to-day operations of your company’s Human Resources department.

Here are some tips to help you find great HR generalist candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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HR generalists searching for jobs on Indeed*

392,418

Job seekers that clicked HR generalist jobs 

33,051

Resumes for job seekers with HR generalist experience on Indeed

8,584

HR generalist jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $57,673 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $26,000$101,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, HR generalist jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 46 job seekers per HR generalist job.

Why hire an HR generalist?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great HR generalist can:

• Create and execute employee development programs
• Collaborate with operations executives to handle reorganizations and conduct space planning
• Handle new employee onboarding and orientation

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance HR generalist

Companies can hire freelance HR generalists in temporary positions. These freelancers help companies develop, launch and manage plans to train and retrain the company’s employees.

In their temporary position, the freelancers can also process FMLA and leave of absence requests, investigate complaints from employees, counsel employees on how to interact with each other and conduct exit interviews with mid- to high-level employees. 

Additionally, businesses can look into hiring remote freelance HR generalists to perform their responsibilities online. 

Typically, businesses that are large enough to have an HR department hire full-time generalists to manage day-to-day responsibilities. 

What are the ranks of HR generalists?

There’s a well-defined hierarchy of command in the human resources field. Some of the positions in this industry include:

  • HR assistantAn HR assistant provides support to HR generalists and managers during their daily responsibilities. They may handle payroll matters, data entry and recruitment services. 
  • HR representative: HR reps help employees and applicants for jobs fill out the necessary paperwork and counsel them on corporate benefits and policies. 
  • HR generalist: An HR generalist is responsible for overseeing daily tasks in the department. They may counsel employees on company policies, offer guidance on employee relationships and process leave requests. 
  • HR managerThe HR manager supervises the work of the department. They have control over recruitment and retention, training, explanation of benefits and employee relations. 
  • Vice president of HR: The VP of HR is the head of the department. They’re responsible for all major decisions regarding staffing and training, employee relationships and company policies. 

Where to find HR generalists

To find the right HR generalist for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Conduct performance evaluations for your HR representatives and assistants. If any of them show the potential to move up to an HR generalist position, set up an interview to gauge their level of interest in the job and determine if they’d be a good fit.
  • Post help wanted notices. Letting the community know about the job can be an effective way to encourage people to submit applications. 
  • Recruit online. Look online for established members of the HR industry who may be looking for work and reach out to them to set up meetings. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your HR generalist job on Indeed to find and attract quality HR generalist candidates.

What are the ranks of HR generalists?

There’s a well-defined hierarchy of command in the human resources field. Some of the positions in this industry include:

  • HR assistantAn HR assistant provides support to HR generalists and managers during their daily responsibilities. They may handle payroll matters, data entry and recruitment services. 
  • HR representative: HR reps help employees and applicants for jobs fill out the necessary paperwork and counsel them on corporate benefits and policies. 
  • HR generalist: An HR generalist is responsible for overseeing daily tasks in the department. They may counsel employees on company policies, offer guidance on employee relationships and process leave requests. 
  • HR managerThe HR manager supervises the work of the department. They have control over recruitment and retention, training, explanation of benefits and employee relations. 
  • Vice president of HR: The VP of HR is the head of the department. They’re responsible for all major decisions regarding staffing and training, employee relationships and company policies. 

Writing an HR generalist job description

A thoughtful description can help you find qualified HR generalist candidates. An HR generalist job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your HR generalist job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on HR generalist jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Human resources
  • Human resources generalist
  • HR generalist
  • HR
  • Human resources manager
  • Human resources assistant
  • HR assistant
  • HR manager
  • Human resources coordinator
  • Payroll

Interviewing HR generalist candidates

Strong candidates for HR generalist positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Ability to provide insights and advice about daily employee relations
• Supporting HR management and the department with program implementation
• Improving and implementing company policies and procedures

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of HR generalist interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an HR generalist

What's the difference between an HR specialist and an HR generalist?

An HR specialist often works with one or two aspects of the HR industry. HR generalists oversee a wider spectrum of services in the department. 

What are some of the HR department's main functions?

Some of the primary purposes of the HR department are recruitment, performance management, training, identification of potential, benefit explanation and analytics. 

Do I need to hire an HR generalist?

The bigger a company gets, the more it requires an HR department. A generalist in HR can oversee a lot of the work in the industry. If your company has an HR department, it’s recommended to hire a generalist. 

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