HR Assistant Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an HR Assistant Do?

An HR assistant handles a variety of human resources functions, including recruiting, hiring, and training new and existing employees. These individuals are also involved in the planning and implementation of programs and processes designed to improve employee welfare. They might manage payroll, maintain vital employee records, or simply ensure the smooth operation of the HR department.

The HR assistant might also serve as a liaison between the human resources department and employees for effective communication and conflict resolution. Additionally, HR assistants coordinate meetings and maintain personnel records. This is a great role for someone with excellent communication and interpersonal skills that wants to grow in the HR field.

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National Average Salary

HR Assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for an HR Assistant is:


HR Assistant Job Descriptions

When it comes to recruiting a HR assistant, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.

Example 1

[Your Company Name] is hiring someone who is new to the HR field and looking to grow and expand their knowledge of the HR function to become our newest HR assistant. This role will exude a “put the customer first” mindset to respond to employee inquiries, support recruiting and hiring functions, and provide general HR administrative support. This role will also be expected to take ownership of our office and breakroom supplies to ensure our team has everything they need to achieve success without interruption. As an ideal candidate, you have an in-depth understanding of human resources practices and labor laws, proven experience in recruitment processes, and working knowledge of human resources computer programs.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assist with recruitment, including vetting candidates, interviews, issuing employment contracts, and employee orientation
  • Support internal and external inquiries and requests related to the HR department
  • Maintain employee records
  • Process payroll and assist with documenting employee compensation and benefits
  • Assist with HR-related training programs, workshops, and seminars
  • Coordinate new hire orientations 
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date human resource files, records, and documentation, ensuring integrity, and confidentiality
  • Coordinate training sessions and seminars
  • Provide clerical support to the HR department
  • Act as point of contact for external benefits providers and vendors, which may include health, disability, and retirement plan providers
  • Handle termination paperwork and exit interviews
  • Assist with planning and execution of special events such as benefits enrollment, employee recognition events, holiday parties, and retirement celebrations

Education and experience

  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in human resources or related field
  • 2 years related office experience  

Required skills and qualifications

  • Good working knowledge of HR functions and best practices
  • Familiarity with employment law and human resources responsibilities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • In-depth understanding of payroll practices
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Working knowledge of computer applications and HR-specific software programs
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience with payroll processes
  • Experience with Microsoft Office software
  • Hands-on experience with an HRIS or HRMS

Example 2


  • Provide efficient and high-quality customer service to associates at every level across the organization
  • Handle incoming requests via phone and email related to payroll, general benefits, company policy, employee self-service transactions, employment verification, and other associate related questions
  • Seek to understand the true needs of the associate by asking questions to ensure requests are resolved completely
  • Process transactions and resolve issues in a timely and professional manner, following up on, and/or escalating issues as warranted
  • Direct requests to the appropriate Center of Excellence or partner based on established workflows and service agreements (i.e. payroll, benefits, leave of absence, employment verifications, etc.)
  • Documents call history for all transactions related to an associate

Job requirements

  • 0-3 years Human Resource experience preferred or other relevant Call Center Experience
  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
  • Strong attention to detail and high integrity
  • Demonstrated ability to deal with sensitive and confidential information
  • Conflict resolution skills

Desired qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Human Resources or a business field
  • Prior Human Resources and/or call center experience
  • Bilingual

Example 3

A Human Resources Assistant job is available in Harrisburg, PA with ABC Company. Strong candidates will have a minimum of two years of administrative experience (or academic equivalence). Working under the direction of the Corporate HR Manager, this role supports the ABC Company Corporate Office as well as provides administrative support to the Corporate HR and EHS Teams. ABC Company is one of the largest suppliers of windows and doors, with more than 10 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Support leadership in scheduling travel arrangements, booking events, etc.
  • Coordinate visitor entry, including tracking of visitors for safety and evacuation purposes
  • Act as a backup to the site’s Executive Assistants
  • Conduct tours for new Team Members
  • Complete expense statements HR and Safety leadership team
  • Assist in organization and management of HR files
  • Lead office security protocols and distribute location announcements
  • Responsible for ordering office supplies
  • Assist in presentation preparation for site leadership
  • Other office administrative duties as assigned


  • Minimum of Two years of office administrative experience (or academic equivalence)
  • A High School Diploma or GED
  • Able to maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Proficient with Microsoft office programs
  • Ability to interface with individuals with diverse backgrounds at varying levels of the organization
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills with a high degree of customer service

Example 4


The Human Resource Assistant aids with and facilitates the human resource processes at all business locations. This role provides administrative support to the human resource function as needed, including record-keeping, file maintenance, and HRIS entry.

Essential responsibilities, include but are not limited to

  • Respond to internal and external HR related inquiries or requests and provide assistance
  • Redirect HR related calls or distribute correspondence to the appropriate person of the team
  • Maintain records of personnel-related data (payroll, personal information, leaves, turnover rates, etc.) in both paper and the database and ensure all employment requirements are met
  • Liaise with other departments or functions (payroll, benefits, etc.)
  • Support the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process
  • Schedule meetings, interviews, HR events, etc. and maintain the team’s agenda
  • Assist with the coordination of training sessions and seminars
  • Participate in orientation and support the Training Manager with record keeping as needed
  • Produce and submit reports on general HR activity, including union reporting
  • Assist in ad-hoc HR projects, like collection of employee feedback
  • Performs customer service functions by answering employee requests and questions
  • Process unemployment claims as directed
  • Assists with processing of terminations
  • Makes photocopies; mails, scans, and emails documents, as well as performs other clerical functions
  • Assists or prepares correspondence as requested
  • Prepares new-employee electronic files and maintain existing employee records
  • Performs other related duties as assigned


To perform this job successfully an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education, skills, and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources or related field and/or equivalent experience
  • Proven experience as an HR Assistant or relevant administrative position
  • Proficiency in using MS Office (MS Excel and MS Power Point, in particular)
  • Experience with databases. HRIS systems preferred
  • Ability to work with ATS software
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle data with confidentiality
  • Good organizational and time management skills

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The Society for Human Resources Management offers competency-based HR certification programs that demonstrate knowledge in specialty areas, including the HR department, immigration laws, workplace investigations, talent acquisition, inclusive culture, and people analytics. The Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) covers all aspects of HR work and is good for HR generalists. The SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certificate is for advanced HR professionals who develop policies and strategies, manage the execution of HR operations, and analyze performance metrics.
  • HR Certification Institute (HRCI). The HRCI offers a number of human resource certifications, starting with the associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) or the Professional in Human Resources (PHR). With experience and/or advanced degrees, candidates can obtain the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification or the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR). These certifications are for entry-level professionals with limited experience to senior leaders in HR. Eligibility requirements for the aPHR or the PHR include at least a year’s experience in HR. 
  • Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR). The AIHR offers a range of HR certification programs online for all HR experience levels, providing domain-specific learning. Candidates can earn multiple specialist certifications or focus on one area of interest. The nine HR certificate programs include organizational development, strategic HR leadership, HR analytics, and HR metrics and dashboarding. The certificate programs provide proficiency in four core HR competencies: data literacy, business acumen, digital integration, and people advocacy.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your approach to problem-solving?
  • Do you have experience interpreting policy, disseminating guidelines, and developing procedures for others?
  • How would you handle highly confidential information?
  • What would you do if an employee complained about their compensation?
  • What software applications are you proficient with?
  • Are you familiar with any HR-specific programs?
  • Do you have any experience preparing and delivering reports?
  • Can you tell us about an HR program you implemented?
  • Do you believe that onboarding is crucial for employee success? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever witnessed something unethical in the workplace? If so, what did you do?
  • Do you have experience laying off or terminating employees?
  • What would you do if you discovered that a new employee put inaccurate information on their application?
  • Do you have experience with remote hiring?
  • Have you ever disagreed with a company policy? If so, what did you do, and why?
  • If a manager was dealing with a difficult employee, how would you advise them to resolve the issue?
  • What resources have you used to fill positions?
  • What experience do you have training employees?

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