How to Become a Human Resources Generalist

A human resources generalist needs to be very knowledgeable about all aspects of human resources, from employee management to benefits administration. Unlike specialists, a generalist is usually hired at a large company to maintain the productivity and satisfaction of their employees.

What Is a Human Resources Generalist?

Human resources generalists are all-around resources that need to know about all aspects of human resource management. They may recruit individuals, fire employees, investigate productivity issues and offer orientations to new employees. A generalist will often manage a company’s benefits programs, including any wellness programs that are being instituted. They may also identify any potential legal problems the company might face, such as ensuring that the company is up to OSHA standards and that the company is in compliance with all regulations.

Overall, it is the human resource generalist’s role to ensure that all of the employees within the company are satisfied and that all laws and regulations are being adhered to. Most generalists are highly skilled and highly educated individuals that have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Degrees are offered specifically in the field of human resources, as well as certain certifications that may make an applicant more attractive to potential employers.

What Does a Human Resources Generalist Do?

The human resources generalist may be assigned to a specific role within a company, but more likely they will comprise the majority of the human resources department. Thus, the generalist must be able to deal with many things at once.

How to Become a Human Resources Generalist

Throughout their career, a human resources generalist will likely need to go through continuing education programs as well as seminars within their industry.

Throughout the day the generalist will deal with any potential issues in regards to the company and its employees. They will often work with an internal software system that manages all of their personnel files.

Human resources generalists will often need to fill empty positions within a company as well as identify any potential redundancies. In larger companies, the generalist may have another individual working under them. The generalist may be called upon to navigate exceptionally difficult situations and may need to make very important decisions. They also may work together with a human resources attorney to ensure that everything is handled properly and that everything within the company is being done correct.

How Do You Become a Human Resources Generalist?

The first step towards becoming a human resources generalist is the procurement of a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources or Business. Very few generalists do not have at least a Bachelor’s Degree.

Bachelor's Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Once this has been done, the human resources generalist may enter the field. A generalist may then want to attend the appropriate accreditation seminars, training and exams to show to their potential employers that they have the working knowledge that is needed to successfully handle human resources issues.

Throughout their career, a human resources generalist will likely need to go through continuing education programs as well as seminars within their industry. As noted by O*Net Online, many of the human resources fields are growing at a moderate pace, offering job stability for those willing to proceed.

How Do You Advance as a Human Resources Generalist?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that those with one to five years of experience within the human resources field may quality to become a human resources manager. A human resources manager performs many of the same functions as a generalist but will work for a larger company where there are other human resources specialists and human resources generalists working under them. To achieve this type of position, the human resources generalist will need to display leadership skills and be able to handle many complex tasks at once.

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