HR Generalist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022


An HR Generalist, or Human Resources Generalist, is responsible for completing a variety of tasks to support the daily operations of the HR department. Their duties include comparing HR laws to current policies and procedures, drafting templates for HR documents and working with other members of the department to oversee the hiring and onboarding process for company employees.

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HR Generalist duties and responsibilities

An HR Generalist is responsible for creating, updating and applying all HR policies and company guidelines and making sure they adhere to standards and laws initiated by authorities. Some of their typical duties include:

  • Creating a recruitment plan and calendar according to operation and sales projections
  • Generating official internal documents such as offer letters, appointment letters, salary slips and warning letters
  • Creating onboarding plans and educating newly hired employees on HR policies, internal procedures and regulations
  • Maintaining physical and digital files for employees and their documents, benefits and attendance records
  • Creating employee engagement plans, getting necessary budget approval and initiating activities
  • Collaborating with outside vendors, upper management and employees to maintain CSR standards conscripted by authorities
  • Evaluating employee performance and appraising their pay scale accordingly
  • Taking appropriate disciplinary action against employees who violate rules and regulations and addressing employee grievances
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What does an HR Generalist do?

HR Generalists typically work for corporations across industries within the HR department. They work closely with HR personnel to ensure that they maintain organized employee files and HR records. Their job is to review employee feedback, strategize about HR programs to benefit workplace culture and create job posts for department heads based on their hiring needs. 

They may also be responsible for meeting with employees and their Managers to discuss recent workplace incidents and determine a plan of action going forward.

HR Generalist skills and qualifications

In order to effectively manage a company’s employees, HR Generalists should have certain hard and soft skills, including:

  • Knowledge of administrative tasks and responsibilities
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Advanced computer skills, including data entry, data processing, communication tools and payroll and human resources software
  • Problem-solving skills and resourceful thinking
  • Leadership and coaching skills
  • Strong empathy and interpersonal skills
  • Detail-oriented with excellent organizational skills
  • Attention to detail and analytically driven

HR Generalist salary expectations

An HR Generalist makes an average of $57,644 per year in the United States. This salary may vary depending on a candidate’s education, experience, industry and geographical location.

HR Generalist education and training requirements

The educational requirements for an HR Generalist depend on your industry and the size of your organization, but candidates should typically have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or another related field. However, some employers may prefer candidates to have a master’s degree in human resources management. Some organizations might also look for applicants with advanced certification, such as Professional (PHR), Senior Professional (SPHR) or Global Professional (GPHR) in Human Resources.

HR Generalist experience requirements

An HR Generalist must be experienced in conducting successful recruitment procedures, and they should know how to take care of all duties related to employee relations. Most employers look for candidates with previous experience in other HR positions, such as HR Assistant, to ensure they’re familiar with typical human resources procedures. However, some may choose to hire applicants with other related experience as well, such as those who worked in customer service.

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Frequently asked questions about HR Generalists


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

HR Generalists and HR Specialists both work within the HR department to promote HR policies and procedures, but their job duties and areas of focus differ. For example, HR Generalists have a broad scope of responsibilities. These range from hiring and recruiting, employee benefits and compensation, HR laws and regulations compliance and performance management. 

In contrast, HR Specialists typically have more in-depth knowledge of one or a few areas in HR. Because of this, they may take on additional job titles, including Recruitment HR Specialists, Training and Onboarding Specialists or Compensation and Benefits Specialists. 


What are the daily duties of an HR Generalist?

On a typical day, an HR Generalist starts by checking their email and voicemail to respond to time-sensitive messages from their Manager, coworkers or company employees. Throughout the day, they participate in meetings with members of the HR department to discuss new HR policies or recurring workplace issues. HR Generalists complete a variety of tasks relating to the hiring and onboarding process, like contacting qualified candidates to schedule interviews and conducting interviews with other personnel. When they have time, HR Generalists write memos and other documents to address ethical issues or upcoming programs for employees.


What qualities make a good HR Generalist?

A good HR Generalist is someone who has a broad knowledge of HR topics that enables them to perform a diverse set of job duties each day. They have excellent interpersonal communication, allowing them to adjust their language to speak with upper management, HR personnel and company employees from various departments. They also use time management strategies to ensure they complete required tasks like drafting memos, writing employee training guides or updating employee data in an efficient manner. 

Further, a good HR Generalist stays up-to-date on HR laws and regulations so they can best contribute to policy changes within their department and the broader organization.


Who does an HR Generalist report to?

An HR Generalist typically reports to the HR Manager to receive assignments and inform them of workplace misconduct. The HR Manager oversees all operations of the HR department and works closely with department employees like HR Generalists to delegate tasks.

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