The Human Resources department assists companies to hire and retain talent, empower them with new skills, and receive consistent payments commensurate to the job. Each role in the HR department might have different roles and responsibilities. In the HR hierarchy, if an HR professional performed a variety of duties, then he may be called a HR Generalist. In this article, we discuss the roles and responsibilities of an HR Generalist.
What is an HR Generalist?
The HR Generalist is a position in the HR department that is supportive of an HR manager and a few HR Specialists. It is an entry-level position that provides hands-on assistance for handling daily tasks.
The Role of an HR Generalist!
The HR Generalist works with the HR manager or HR Specialists to organize training programs for employees, and recruiting procedures including interviewing and shortlisting candidates, administering salary payments, and benefits, handling leave and attendance, and enforcing company policy and procedures.
The HR department relies on the HR Generalist to handle human resource operations on a day-to-day basis. This requires the generalist to have diverse abilities to handle administrative and strategic responsibilities in the HR department. The HR Generalist is the focal point of contact for employees’ queries and other HR-related activities. The job of the HR Generalist is to ensure that all HR operations run smoothly and effectively so that the entire organization gets maximum value.
This requires the HR Generalist to wear multiple hats in a day. At one period of time, they would be engaging with the employees clearing their doubts and misconceptions, and at other times they would be with the top management discussing strategies or with the HR Manager onboarding new employees into the organization.
Responsibilities of an HR Generalist
An HR Generalist has to support the top management in decision-making activities related to the employees. This would involve applying HR best practices and devising strategies in line with the company goals and objectives. These activities will ensure steady company growth and will also support employee well-being.
Managing HR-related processes
The HR Generalist has to manage the HR-related processes such as employee relations, performance, recruitment of new employees, fixing compensations and benefits, succession planning, and training and development. They are responsible to support the HR Specialists in the above-mentioned processes.
Handling employee grievances and discipline
Managing employee relationships is an important task of the HR Generalist. The HR Generalist has to manage employee grievances and maintain discipline. Providing advice on employment legislation and keeping the company up-to-date on all the employment rules and regulations. Furthermore, they are entrusted with the job of maintaining cordial relations with all stakeholders, both internal and external.
Leveraging employee-related analytics
An HR Generalist has to leverage employee-related analytics and reporting techniques to understand the indicators of employee management. With this data, they should be able to provide solutions to employee-related issues. Using these analytics they should be able to understand the right time to hire and identify employee attrition rates.
Support the Recruitment process
The HR Generalist should support in talent acquisition and recruitment process by identifying the required candidates, connecting them with the HR Manager, conducting interviews, and shortlisting the candidates. This activity is followed by conducting reference checks, issuing offer letters, and onboarding the selected candidates.
Arranging Training and Development processes
In consultation with the HR Manager and HR Specialists, they have to arrange and participate in training and development sessions to empower the employees and strengthen the employee management process.
Skills, Competencies, and Qualifications of an HR Generalist
An HR Generalist requires certain specific skills, competencies, and qualifications to succeed in the job. What are they?
Sound knowledge of business processes
An HR Generalist requires the ability to develop clear HR policies and procedures that are synchronous with the objectives and goals of the organization. They should be capable of identifying and interpreting business trends and practices and applying the same in their day-to-day activities. In addition to this, they should be able to devise strategies for the business with the needs of both internal and external customers in mind. This will enhance customer satisfaction and personalize the customer experience.
Ability to analyze data
Being able to critically analyze data is an important skill. An HR Generalist should be skillful in using HR metrics, scorecards, KPIs, and dashboards and be able to take informed decisions. They should be able to create business value through the effective use of this data.
Mentorship and support
An HR Generalist should possess the skill to make the employee feel at home. They should provide mentorship and support to the employees and help resolve issues that crop up from time to time. The goal is to develop an inclusive work culture that is aligned with the values of the organization.
Managing Labour Relations
Managing Labour relations is a much sought-after competence by the employer. A prospective HR Generalist candidate should possess a strong technical grasp of labour laws and regulations and be able to maintain a cordial relationship with the employee bodies such as trade unions. They should also be capable of adhering to the company’s labour policies, procedures, and programs and take insightful decisions.
Optimizing the workplace
An optimized workplace contributes to significant improvement in employee productivity and performance. An HR Generalist should be aware of the ways to improve workplace efficiency. They should also be able to identify and understand the needs of the employees at the workplace and enhance the employee experience.
Apart from technical knowledge, an HR Generalist should also possess soft skills to ensure success. Communication skills, interpersonal skills, listening skills, teamwork, conflict management skills and the confidence and resilience to handle issues are key to success. These soft skills enable HR professionals to optimize their technical skills and deliver positive results. This will not only enhance productivity as an HR but will also make a positive impact on the employees.
Most organizations require candidates who have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management or a related subject. However, candidates with Master’s degree are preferred in certain organizations. The HR Generalist post is not an entry-level role, and candidates are required to have relevant experience which normally is 2-5 years.
If a candidate needs to stand out in the crowd then an HR Generalist Certification is recommended. However, any candidate with the required qualification, experience, skill, and competence mentioned here above will make a mark in the industry.
The HR Generalist role involves multiple abilities. On the one hand, they have to ensure the smooth running of the business operations and on the other, they have to manage employees and create a harmonious workplace. In other words, an HR Generalist is a professional with expertise in multiple areas of Human Resources.
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