HR SPECIALIST: Job Description and Salary

LSU Online

Some firms don’t have an HR specialist job description because they feel it is not necessary, that they can do it on their own. HR consultants help firms grow by acquiring and retaining skilled employees. An HR Specialist is a professional who is in charge of overseeing all human resource functions. This article talks about HR specialists, the job description, salaries, skills, requirements, certification, and interview questions for the HR specialist.

Who is an HR Specialist?

A human resources specialist or HR specialist assists employers in finding employment candidates that are most suited to the organization’s needs.

Human resources (HR) professionals are generally in charge of their organizations’ employment operations. They collaborate with a company’s recruiting manager to develop ideal applicant criteria, post job opportunities on the company’s website and job boards and manage applications. In addition, they schedule interviews between applicants and hiring managers, contact the applicant’s references, and review required papers. When a worker is employed, HR specialists handle the contract.

Human resources (HR) specialists are personnel management professionals who handle hiring, employee relations, salary, benefits, and training. These professionals often pursue education and training in a general HR discipline and may choose a specialization as their careers progress. HR specialists might work as generalists or specialize in areas such as recruitment and staffing, development, safety and health, remuneration, or labor relations.

HR Specialist Salary

The compensation of a human resources professional varies by industry and organization. All HR specialists earn a nationwide median yearly pay of $61,920. However, entry-level HR professionals may earn less, while those in senior roles may make far more. Some  HR experts who want to progress to HR manager positions may expect to earn an annual average salary of $116,720.

According to the BLS, HR specialist occupations will grow at a pace of 7% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the average rate for all careers (4%). Furthermore, it anticipates a 6% increase in the number of HR managers within the same period. Before 2035, around 713,500 roles for HR specialists could be accessible, as even more elaborate benefits and employment legislation would likely necessitate a bigger number of professionals in this industry.

HR Specialist Job Description

A specialist job description includes creating compensation and benefits packages, establishing company policies, and keeping employee data current and accurate. To be effective in this capacity, you should be well-versed in full-cycle recruiting as well as labor legislation.

Furthermore, you will promote a healthy workplace by ensuring that your HR specialist processes have their description at all times. The specialist job description skills are below.

  • A description of an HR job specialist is to prepare and review pay and benefits packages.
  • Health and life insurance schemes must be administered.
  • Another description of a job specialist is to plan for training and development.
  • Schedule quarterly and annual performance reviews.
  • Inform employees about any additional benefits to which they are entitled.
  • Employee records should be updated with new hiring information and/or changes in employment status.
  • Keeping organizational charts, comprehensive job descriptions, and salary records is a good description of an HR specialist.
  • Forecasting recruiting needs and ensuring a seamless recruitment process
  • Develop and apply human resources policies throughout the corporation.
  • Budgets should be monitored by the department.
  • Reply to employee concerns appropriately. It is a good description of the skills of an HR job specialist.
  • Maintain compliance with changes in labor regulations. It is also a good description of the skills of a job specialist.

Human Resources Manager vs. Human Resources Specialist

Human resource managers are in charge of all areas of human resources, including compensation and benefits, hiring and recruiting, training, workplace safety and compliance, and the development of personnel policies and procedures. HR specialists, on the other hand, frequently specialize in a single field of human resources.

An HR generalist is someone who has a wide variety of talents and can handle a variety of human resources tasks. An HR generalist may handle all aspects of human resources for a company or work as part of a team led by a director. Their roles may shift from day to day as their company’s needs alter. HR generalists also assist employees in resolving workplace conflicts and disseminating policies.

An HR specialist is someone who has received special training to specialize in a certain field of human resources, such as benefits administration. These professionals are typically trained as HR generalists before deciding to specialize in a certain field of human resources. Most HR experts work as part of a broader HR team that includes other specialists, generalists, and managers. The responsibilities of HR specialists are often less diversified than those of HR generalists.

What Are Some Role Examples of HR Specialties?

The following are some popular HR specialties:

  • Benefits consultants.
  • Specialists in human resource information systems (HRIS)
  • Payroll professionals.
  • Specialists in recruiting and staffing.
  • Compensation experts.
  • Specialists in training.
  • Risk management experts.

What Are the Responsibilities of an HR Generalist?

Here is a list of typical HR generalist responsibilities:

  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Development and training
  • Policies in the workplace
  • Benefits
  • Pay
  • Employee interactions
  • Evaluations
  • Workplace security

How Do You Choose Between Being an HR Generalist and an HR Specialist?

To choose whether you want to be a human resources job path is best for you, you can take steps in either direction and alter your mind based on your preferences. Many employees begin their careers as HR generalists and progress to specialty roles later in their careers. Starting as an HR generalist might also help you determine if you have an interest in any specialty.

HR Specialist Skills.

An HR specialist must possess a number of skills in order to advance in their jobs. Here are the skills of an HR specialist below:

#1. Communication Skills

One of the skills of an HR specialist must be a communicator who understands how to process information, pay attention to employee inquiries, and provide complete replies. If the HR consultant is not good at communicating, it will delay the company’s process, especially in recruiting employees.

#2. Problem-Solving Abilities

Because HR experts help build company cultures and mediate workplace disputes, they should be able to generate creative solutions to a wide range of potential challenges. When disputes come up a good HR specialist uses the skills to settle the matter.

#3. Detail-Oriented

These experts work on a wide range of processes that necessitate close attention to detail. HR specialists, for example, must be detail-oriented in order to efficiently evaluate applications, conduct background checks, maintain records, and adhere to statutory workplace regulations.

#4. Interpersonal Skills

As recruiters and key players in employee development, human resource professionals must be able to communicate with others on a personal level. The connections people develop as a result of these interactions can tremendously enhance the development of a company.

#5. Organizational Skills

HR specialists manage a wide range of activities that include paperwork, record keeping, and compliance. As a result, they must have exceptional organizational skills in the HR specialist department.

#6. Social Skills

HR professionals should be able to practice ethics throughout their activities as managers who handle crucial corporate matters. To succeed in their roles, they must work with sincerity, integrity, and discretion.

HR Specialist Requirements.

Individuals obtain valuable knowledge by participating in an internship during college, which may be useful when competing for human resources specialist positions. The following are the HR specialist’s requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, or a closely related discipline is required.
  • A minimum of three years of proven experience in a similar job is required.
  • Solid understanding of labor laws and payroll procedures.
  • Excellent understanding of the entire recruitment process.
  • Excellent oral and written communication abilities.
  • Excellent problem-solving and team-management skills.

How to Become a Human Resources Professional.

The HR specialist position could be a stepping stone to human resource management or another executive-level career. To begin that journey, an individual must complete the educational and certification criteria for the role. The following are the steps to becoming an HR specialist;

#1. Obtain a Degree

A bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, public administration, or a comparable discipline is often required for prospective HR experts to begin their careers. HR management, company policy, employee placement, and human behavior in organizations, among other courses, educate students about the work activities they will need to accomplish.

Excellent writing and verbal communication abilities, problem-solving, interpersonal intelligence, budgeting and accounting, attention to detail, and leadership are all required for HR specialists. Understanding human psychology, labor relations, and business are also required.

#2. Acquire Certification

While certification is not required by all employers, it can help individuals improve their abilities and become more competitive in the job market. HR specialists and managers can obtain several qualifications from organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Before seeking certification, entry-level HR professionals with a bachelor’s degree should have at least one to two years of experience in the industry. Other organizations, such as the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), provide a range of certificates for professionals of various levels of expertise.

#3. Improve Your Abilities

As you study toward your bachelor’s degree, try to concentrate on acquiring the abilities you’ll need to be a successful HR professional. Honing your communication, conflict resolution, management, and organizational ethics skills will help you succeed as you explore experiential learning opportunities and develop in your profession. Take advantage of classes that include hands-on applications so you can practice your abilities.

#4. Consider Doing an Internship

While your HR resources study advances, you should consider pursuing an internship or discovery learning course in the field of human resources. You can look for a position with a charitable organization or assist as an HR representative on your campus. Internships will give you on-the-job experience and training in your field while working alongside industry professionals who can provide valuable insight into your career.

#5. Create a Professional Network

As a potential HR specialist, you must build a business network and form connections in the business. These contacts may be able to assist you to find work in the future, developing your talents, and establishing yourself as a professional. Furthermore, because engaging interpersonally with people is an important element of the HR industry, networking is a beneficial habit. As you approach your senior year of college, strive to broaden your network by reaching out to your school’s alumni, joining professional organizations, or contacting other aspiring HR professionals.

#6. Look For Work in Human Resources

After receiving your bachelor’s degree, developing your abilities, and gaining experience in the HR area, you can begin looking for work as an HR specialist. You can search for and apply for vacant positions in a variety of workplaces, as practically all firms that employ people require HR specialists. You may be able to reduce your search by considering the type of business you’d like to work for. Once you’ve identified any positions that pique your interest, follow the application and interview procedures that have been supplied to you.

#7. Make a Commitment to Professional Development

Once you have a job as an HR specialist and are comfortable in your career, you should try to advance professionally. Professional development can not only help you perform better in your work, but it may also help you grow in your career. Consider earning an advanced degree, professional certifications, or other options that will help you to hone your skills and keep current on HR trends.

How Long Does It Take To Become an HR Specialist?

It can take three to six years to become an HR professional. Most HR specialist professions require bachelor’s degrees in a relevant discipline, and these programs can span three to four years, depending on your educational background. Furthermore, some HR professionals choose to further their education with postgraduate degrees, such as a master’s degree in human resources or in business administration. While these degrees are not required to work in the field of human resources, they may give candidates an advantage in the job market. These programs might take up to two years to complete.

HR Specialist Certification.

An HR specialist certification is a professional designation that certifies your knowledge of human resource topics. Typically, being a credentialed HR professional entails attending a course or passing an exam. Obtaining an HR specialist certification demonstrates your mastery of industry-standard human resource procedures, which can help you find work, qualify for advanced jobs, or boost your earning capacity. It is accessible in person as well as online.

What Are the Types of HR Specialist Certification?

The following are the several forms of HR specialist certification(s):

  • Human Resources Professionals and Senior Professionals to obtain the Specialist Certification.
  • Senior Certified Professional (SHRM) and SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM)
  • Compensation Professional Certification
  • Talent Development Certified Professional for specialist certification.
  • HR specialization certifications to obtain a specialist certification.
  • Additional International Certifications. For those that want to acquire the HR specialist certification aboard.

What Are the Responsibilities of an HR Specialist?

On a daily basis, HR specialists may be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Interact with organizational leaders to identify job openings.
  • Recruit talented individuals to apply for employment within a company.
  • Candidates are interviewed and their experience, education, and competencies are evaluated.
  • If required, contact applicant recommendations and carry out background checks.
  • Inform candidates about the application process.
  • Hire competent people and manage the onboarding process.
  • Maintain employment records and handle legal documents.
  • Control employee pay and perks.
  • Create training programs to help employees grow professionally.
  • To boost employee satisfaction, establish and grow the company’s culture.
  • Workplace conflict resolution and problem-solving
  • Excellent precise attention when multitasking.
  • Capability to manage difficult circumstances while maintaining strict confidentiality.
  • PC savvy, including knowledge of Microsoft Office products.
  • Outstanding organizational abilities.
  • The ability to form and nurture relationships.
  • The ability to carry out daily duties with little supervision.
  • Keep records or files, as well as reply to visitors and phone calls.
  • The ability to exercise initiative, independent judgment, and be a self-starter who works with integrity while still being a strong team player is required.

HR Specialist Interview Questions

As an HR specialist, you will be given duties inside the firm. The following are the HR specialist interview questions:

  • One of the interview questions of the specialist is “What piques your interest in this position?”
  • Another of the interview questions of the specialist is, “What is your strongest suit?”
  • One of the good questions in the interview of a specialist is, “What qualifications do you have for this position?”
  • How would you go about forecasting our hiring needs?
  • How would you use incentives to promote employee work/life balance?
  • The employer can ask questions in the interview of a specialist, like “What do you consider to be an effective onboarding process?”
  • The specialist can ask the interview questions about, “how are turnover rates calculated?”
  • What HR tools and technologies have you utilized in the past?
  • How do you ensure that staff understands corporate policies?
  • The specialist can ask questions in the interview to the employer, saying, “Can you recall an occasion when an employee disobeyed corporate policy?” How did you solve the problem?
  • What are your professional objectives?
  • How do you deal with stress?
  • What is your proudest achievement?
  • What techniques or processes have you implemented to keep all employee records up-to-date?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you were able to settle a disagreement between an employee and management?
  • What would you include in a parental leave policy at your company?
  • Have you ever encountered regulatory concerns at work? What occurred?
  • How do you stay current on labor law changes?
  • What has been your most challenging project as a human resources specialist?
  • What did you enjoy the most and least about your most recent job?


Some individuals studying human resources don’t know what to do or know the benefits of HR in an organization. To become one, you have to have a degree, a job, and the wide skills of an HR specialist. You also have to have a description and certification in your HR specialist department. This article explains more about “HR specialists.”

HR Specialist FAQs

Do you need a degree to work in HR?

You don’t have to be a human resources graduate to work in HR, recruitment, or learning and development (L&D), as most firms consider graduates from any discipline. A degree in business management, economics, finance, human resources, or psychology, on the other hand, may boost your chances of finding a job.

Is HR a good career?

Considering human resources is so important in keeping businesses running efficiently, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2028-2030, an extra 65,000 HR roles would be added to the business, which makes a good and well-paying career.

How can I get into HR with no experience?

One way to get into HR specialist without prior expertise or skills is to work as a recruiter for a staffing firm.

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