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What is a HR Generalist?

by Mosaniy Editorial
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HR generalists handle a wide range of human resources management tasks for an organization, from hiring new employees to managing benefits and performance reviews. Even though these people work in human resources, they may be experts in one or two areas. Understanding what an HR generalist does can help you find a career path you might not have thought of before.

What is a generalist in HR?

A HR generalist is a person who works in human resources and has basic knowledge about a wide range of topics, like employee benefits, pay, hiring, onboarding, and evaluations. These people work in companies’ human resources departments and work with HR directors to tell department heads about new policies, changes to payroll, or hiring needs.

They are responsible for keeping track of employee records and checking on how employees are doing. They can also make sure that new or old rules are followed in a company. HR generalists make and implement policies that help the company run smoothly. People with good communication and employee management skills might want to work as a human resources generalist.

Roles and responsibilities of a HR generalist

A HR generalist has to do a lot of different things for their job. Here are some of their most common jobs and tasks:

  • Plan and implement employee policies
  • Work with management to create organizational guidelines
  • Manage human resources plans for all employees in the company
  • Implement and manage compensation programs
  • Write job descriptions, job offers, and termination letters
  • Train and help junior members of the HR team
  • Do some major tasks related to the company’s workflow
  • Monitor benefits administration and claims resolution

Skills for a HR generalist

A generalist in human resources often uses the following skills to do their job well:


HR generalists need to be able to communicate well with different groups of people. They can keep an eye on how they talk to each other so that they can adapt to different professional relationships. As part of their job, HR generalists talk to HR managers, coworkers, and company employees every day. So, they need to be able to talk with each other well.


Human resources generalists have a great track record of success in many areas of the human resources function. They do things that require leadership, cross-functional teamwork, time management skills, and the ability to solve problems. They can solve problems between coworkers without involving their manager because they know how to make decisions.


Using tools like payroll software, workforce analytics, and document management systems, HR generalists can keep track of employee information by using their organizational skills. The whole company can be more productive if the HR department is well-organized. For example, an HR generalist might make a digital filing system that separates personal employee data by department. When a member of the accounting department calls to ask for an employee’s tax information, the HR generalist can give them a quick answer.

Computer Literate

Most HR generalists do their daily jobs with the help of computers and other digital tools. For example, they might enter information about employees into a computer one day and update payroll and benefits programs on an application the next. They also need to know how to use computers when reviewing employee performance data before performance reviews with employees.


HR generalists can improve organizational productivity by using their creativity. These experts often find new and different ways to solve problems and make the onboarding process better. They may be able to come up with different kinds of fun team-building activities because of how creative they are.

How to be a generalist in HR

To become a generalist in HR, do these things:

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Human resources

You can get into this field with a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. During this class, students learn about important things like managing human resources, employment law, and accounting basics. After passing the Class 10th exam, many candidates also go on to take a diploma course.

2. Get human resource certifications

Even though most HR generalist jobs don’t require certifications, having one can help you feel more confident. Many companies prefer to hire HR generalists who have a certification in human resources. The certification proves that the candidate knows and understands how human resources work.

3. Join a work-study program

After you get your bachelor’s degree, you can get a job in human resources or do an internship. This helps you get better at what you do and gives you some HR work experience. By doing an internship, you can learn about general human resources policies and procedures.

4. Move up in your human resources job

In human resources, there are many ways to move up in your job. For example, getting a master’s degree in human resources management can help you make more money at your current job. You can also apply for positions at a higher or senior level.

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