HR GeneralistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

HR generalists work in the human resources department to assist with recruiting new employees and following organizational guidelines and procedures. People in this role need to have sufficient people management and HR administration skills.

HR Generalists are in charge of supporting all internal and external HR-related affairs, which include hiring employees, finding ways to motivate staff, coordinating orientations, and dealing with employee complaints. It is important for HR generalists to understand labor laws and guidelines to make good decisions regarding employee compensation and benefits. 

This job requires strong conflict management skills to ensure high satisfaction within the company. HR generalists who succeed in this position may be promoted to a higher HR role, such as an HR manager or the vice president of HR.

Sample job description #1

The HR Generalist will ensure projects are completed in a timely manner, manage resources (internal/external) effectively, and support the business by liaising with the individual departments to understand their objectives, propose solutions, and define HR projects to implement those solutions. The HR Generalist will also serve as a backup for the Human Resources Manager.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Lead sourcing and recruitment activities for the plant, including maintaining job descriptions, managing job postings, posting to internal/external job boards, screening of talent, submitting background checks, managing on-line assessments, and managing final contract administration
  • Collaborate with the HR Manager to deliver training in accordance with the defined training program, including corporate programs, certifications, skills development, and Health & Safety requirements
  • Investigate and manage employee concerns, identifying trends and themes, and providing recommendations to resolve employee issues
  • Provide support to cyclical HR processes including performance reviews, compensation, benefits enrollment, and STIP administration
  • Support organizational planning based on facility needs, including monthly organizational chart update, regular skills matrix update, review of annual training requirements, etc.
  • Processing and review of human resources information for new hires, terminations, position and wage changes, and other PHI requirements
  • Collaborate with HR Manager to build leaders capabilities to deliver coaching and disciplinary action according to established processes. Partner with plant leadership on documentation of discipline and development/execution of Performance Improvement Plans, as needed
  • Support the business in compiling termination documentation, attend termination meeting, and complete exit interviews
  • Administration of vacation, attendance management, and leaves of absence processes for the facility, including follow-up
  • Assist the HR Manager in communication of HR and company related matters to business unit employees
  • Liaise between employees and payroll/benefits regarding pay and benefits issues
  • Attend social committee meetings and provide any support needed
  • Other duties, as assigned

Education, experience, certifications and skills required

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, Management, or related field
  • 3+ years Human Resources Generalist experience (including talent sourcing, recruiting, employee relations, compensation, and benefits administration)
  • Intermediate proficiency with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word)
  • Intermediate proficiency with Kronos Time and Attendance platform
  • Valid U.S. Driver’s License

Preferred education, experience, certifications and skills

  • Masters’ Degree in Human Resources, Labor Relations, or Business Administration
  • Previous experience in a food manufacturing
  • PHR / SPHR Certification preferred
  • Experience with labor and employment laws
  • Ability to be confidential with personal information in various situations
  • An organized problem solver, able to prioritize effectively in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to handle stressful situations and remain calm
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication with an excellent command of the English language

Sample job description #2

What you will do

  • Perform HR Operational functions including but not limited to:
  • Payroll processing and maintenance
  • Benefits support and Open Enrollment
  • Leave of absence/FMLA compliance
  • Guide and coach managers in managing or counseling personnel with performance, personal issues, or discipline problems
  • In-Office HR representation
  • Support internal and external inquiries and requests related to the HR department such as basic benefits related questions, unemployment, and work verifications
  • Collaborate with HR team to continue improving processes and people experience


  • 3 to 5 years of professional HR experience in a business setting
  • Knowledge of employment laws and regulations, payroll and benefits laws and requirements
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with the utmost discretion
  • Ability to thrive in a rapidly changing environment with shifting priorities
  • An organic interest in continuous process improvement and effective project management
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment; detail-oriented; not afraid to roll up your sleeves; and a customer-service spirit toward all employees

Sample job description #3

Primary duties

  • Partner with line management to identify and develop business solutions that support company and center objectives. Manage related projects
  • Provide proactive counsel to management regarding all employment issues (such as, performance, coaching, communication, discipline, training, etc.)
  • Manage performance management process
  • Act as point of contact for all distribution center personnel to resolve problems or provide consultative advice in the areas of employee relations, benefits, payroll, policies and procedures, etc.
  • Manage the employment process resulting in high quality hires, achievement of retention goals and assuring compliance with OFCCP requirements for Affirmative Action. Assist all departments with applicant sourcing, job fairs, application review, and with the interviewing and selection process using Targeted Selection
  • Facilitate continuous improvement in key HR areas such as retention, performance management, employee satisfaction, strengthening of the front-line supervision, and HR processes
  • Maintain and update all personnel files and remit all changes to the corporate payroll department
  • Review all termination decisions prior to implementation to ensure all policies and procedures have been followed
  • Complete all facets of payroll processing
  • Coordinate employee events, maintain bulletin boards, coordinate employee communications, and maintain/update all job descriptions for local facility
  • Maintain the compensation program and perform annual compensation analysis
  • Conduct new hire orientation, administer all benefit programs, and communicate benefit changes
  • Coordinate the annual open enrollment process

Education and experience

  • Minimum of 3 years generalist HR experience
  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in Human Resources or equivalent is required
  • Strong employee relations and employment background is necessary
  • Candidate should possess solid relationship building skills, familiarity with applicable Federal, State and Local laws, and the ability to multitask and manage projects/action plans

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a HR generalist is $72,350 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$71,950$97,350
Los Angeles, California$81,200$109,850
Denver, Colorado$67,650$91,500
Washington, DC$82,400$111,500
Miami, Florida$67,350$91,100
Orlando, Florida$62,100$84,050
Tampa, Florida$62,750$84,850
Atlanta, Georgia$65,800$89,050
Chicago, Illinois$75,650$102,350
Boston, Massachusetts$81,800$110,650
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$65,200$88,200
New York City, New York$86,100$116,500
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$70,100$94,850
Dallas, Texas$68,250$92,350
Houston, Texas$67,650$91,500
Seattle, Washington$78,700$106,500
National Average$61,500$83,200

Sample interview questions

  • When creating an HR policy or guideline, what are the factors you take into consideration?
  • Do you have any certifications which will prove to be useful to the position of HR generalist?
  • How would you process a sexual harassment claim and go about ensuring the validity of the claim?
  • Can you list some of the skills you have which are relevant to being an HR generalist?
  • How do you stay organized when you are under pressure?
  • Are you able to work efficiently and effectively on a wide variety of issues?

HR Generalist Jobs in Ashburn

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