Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists are responsible for the recruitment, screening, interviewing and placement of workers for organizations of all types and in all industries. In addition, they are usually responsible for various interpersonal aspects of corporate culture, including compensation and benefits, training and employee relations. Typical job duties involve identifying employment needs by working with executives and management-level professionals, as well as conducting in-person interviews throughout the hiring process. Other hiring responsibilities include contacting references and conducting background checks on applicants. Once employees are hired, human resources specialists are often tasked with orientation and training processes. They also manage paperwork and records.

As a general rule, human resources specialists are well-versed in all human resources disciplines so that they can perform multiple duties within organizations. They are able to guide employees through company procedures and answer policy questions. Depending on the size of the company, human resources specialists may administer benefits, process payroll, handle strategic planning and navigate personnel issues when they arise. It is important to have a thorough background in ethics and regulations to ensure company policies are compliant.

There are three types of human resources specialists. The first, human resources generalists, are responsible for all aspects of human resources work. Placement specialists, on the other hand, primarily work to match employers with qualified applicants. This involves searching for candidates with the right skills and experience, then placing those individuals in appropriate job roles. Third, human resources professionals who specialize in recruitment are known as personnel recruiters or “head hunters.” They are responsible for finding, screening and interviewing applicants for job openings within an organization. They manage job listings, attend job fairs and visit college campuses to maintain an adequate pool of applicants.

Career Growth

Employment for human resources specialists is expected to grow 5 percent through 2024, a rate that is as fast as the average for all occupations. As more and more companies choose to outsource human resources services to professional employer organizations, demand will continue for trained specialists.

In addition, with a large number of employees in the workforce set to retire in upcoming years, companies will need human resources specialists to find qualified replacements. “Organizations will likely need more human resources generalists to handle increasingly complex employment laws and healthcare coverage options,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. However, certain hiring processes are moving to online platforms, which could have a negative effect on employment rates. For example, some companies now carry out the recruiting process online rather than in person.

Salary Potential

The median average salary for human resources professionals is $54,720. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $33,630 and the highest 10 percent earn more than $98,130. Salaries vary depending on both geographic region and amount of experience.

Education Required

A bachelor’s degree is required for most human resources specialist positions, with a background in psychology, sociology or human resources preferred. Many of those on this career path choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology due to a focus on interpersonal relations, communication and problem solving. Some positions require previous work experience, and those who wish to advance to management-level roles may be required to earn a master’s degree in human resources or a related field.

Salary estimations are based on national average. Historically, salary ranges for the Northeast are higher due to higher cost of living.

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