HR AssistantJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
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, and ensure the smooth operation of the HR department. The HR Assistant also serves 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. Those who want to be in this field need great communication skills and need to be a whiz at MS Office.
Sample job description
[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
Experience with payroll processes
Experience with Microsoft Office software
Hands-on experience with an HRIS or HRMS
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for an HR Assistant is $42,000 per year in the United States. Salaries will vary based on location, education, certifications, additional skills, years of experience, company size, and industry.
Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
HR assistants work in offices. Most work full time during regular business hours. They spend their days processing employment applications, verifying, and maintaining personnel-related documentation, including staffing, recruitment, training, grievances, performance evaluations, classifications, and employee leaves of absence. They also answer phone inquiries regarding examinations, eligibility, salaries, benefits, etc.
The typical work hours for an HR assistant are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Some travel might be required to attend professional meetings or to recruit employees.
HR assistants work in almost every industry, and many institutions offer certifications for HR professionals. Here are three of the top HR certification institutions, offering a wide range of certificate programs for entry-level through experienced HR professionals:
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, you 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.
To start on your path to becoming an HR assistant, you’ll need an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. However, some employers only require an apprenticeship or completion of a course from one of the various professional bodies in the human resources industry. HR assistants learn many skills on the job and must gain a good understanding of human resources practices and labor laws. They also learn how to write and post job ads on recruitment sites, conduct background checks on applicants, and assist with interviews. Becoming proficient with human resource computer software tools, such as MS Office and ADP Workforce Now, is important, as is acquiring excellent written and verbal communication skills. HR assistants can aspire to become HR managers once they’ve gained years of experience. Senior-level management positions in HR often require a graduate degree, such as an MBA in Human Resource Management.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 43-4161
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
As social media continues to bombard us with constant notifications about everything, people are not shy about spilling the details of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual status. HR departments are starting to study this information to assess the well-being of workers and how they can develop a culture in the workplace that contributes to the well-being of the team or the individual.
In this age of advanced technology, the workforce is changing, including the addition of automation. AI and cloud computing are already aiding HR professionals in the recruitment and onboarding of new hires and streamlining workflow, and this trend will continue to develop. AI assists in integration, employee training, performance tracking, reporting, payroll, and data administration.
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?
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