What does a Human Resources Specialist do?

Within a large corporation, a human resources specialist oversees a specific division of labor relations. A specialist might focus on recruiting and training new employees, managing compensation and benefits, resolving employee complaints and disputes, or improving company policies. A specialist may work directly with employees or supervise a team of junior human resources workers and assistants, depending on the size and nature of the company.

Employees who are skilled and well-trained are critical to a company’s success. A hiring specialist is in charge of posting job openings, recruiting applicants, reviewing resumes, and interviewing candidates. He or she determines a person’s best fit within the company and sets pay and working hours. Another human resources specialist usually gives new employees explicit training, either on the job or in a classroom setting, to ensure that they are familiar with company policies, responsibilities, and equipment.

Employees rely on a competent human resources professional to manage their payroll and benefits packages. A company’s wages are set one or more specialists, who also keep accurate employee files, check time cards, and track benefits. Employees could use the assistance of a professional to set up health and life insurance plans, create pension plans, and agree on pay scales. Compensation and benefits specialists must be extremely organized, as they are often in charge of maintaining records for dozens, if not hundreds, of different employees.

Other professionals assess employee performance, address issues, and communicate with management. They may observe people at work or conduct periodic interviews to address issues with performance. When an employee has a concern about a policy or a coworker, he or she usually contacts a human resources specialist, who can assess the situation and assist in the planning of a solution. Problems that can’t be solved right away are brought to management’s attention.

A bachelor’s degree or higher in labor relations, business administration, or a related field is required to work as a human resources specialist. By gaining sufficient experience in a company, some successful human resources workers are able to obtain specialist jobs. Many new and seasoned professionals choose to become certified in their fields in order to boost their credentials and expand their job opportunities. Several nationally recognized organizations, including the Society for Human Resource Management in the United States, offer certification.

Human resources professionals who are well-established and well-educated are frequently given numerous opportunities for advancement. A person who has demonstrated their abilities may be promoted to human resources director, a prestigious and well-paid position. All other specialists and human resources workers in a company report to the director, who serves as their supervisor and authority. Some professionals with a strong business sense and years of experience can even advance to become general managers or top executives in a company.