Human Resources Generalist Career

Learn how to start—and advance—in your HR generalist career.

What Do You Do in a Human Resources Generalist Career?

human resources generalist

A human resources generalist is the link between management and employees. At the highest level, generalists serve as liaisons who balance the well-being of a company with that of its workers.

An HR generalist may be expected to recruit new employees, assist in matching employees to existing jobs, coordinate retraining efforts or manage benefits programs. Others may negotiate with labor unions or manage payroll and compensation. Creating and enforcing a company's employee relations policies is also often part of theĀ human resources generalist job description. Human resources generalists will often also work with HR specialists at private human resources consulting firms to find employees, set benefits and compensation or organize benchmarking.

Human Resources Generalist Career Path

  Entry Level Mid Level Senior Level
Types of Roles Recruiter, benefits specialist, training specialist HR manager, benefits manager, development manager HR director
Getting There
  • HR bachelor’s degree
  • Recommended courses: behavioral sciences, social sciences, economics, statistics and business administration
  • All entry-level requirements
  • HR or general business master’s or MBA, usually with associated specialty
  • Excellent people skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • All mid-level requirements
  • Management experience
  • Proven industry expertise
  • Multi-faceted problem solving skills
 Description  
  • Recruit new employees
  • Retrain existing employees for job reassignment
  • Resolve routine employee problems related to other duties
  • Enforce company employee relations policies
  • Supervise lower level HR generalists
  • Resolve complicated employee problems related to general HR issues
  • Design strategies to maximize the effective use of employees by a company
  • Report to top company executives