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What Does a Human Resources Specialist Do?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2014
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A human resources specialist manages a certain division of labor relations within a large company. A professional might specialize in hiring or training new employees, managing compensation and benefits, handling employee concerns and disputes, or improving company policies. Depending on the size and nature of a corporation, a specialist might work directly with employees or supervise a team of junior human resources workers and assistants.

Skilled, well-trained employees are essential to the success of a company. A hiring specialist is responsible for advertising job openings, recruiting applicants, perusing resumes, and conducting interviews. He or she determines where an individual would best fit within the company and establishes pay and hours. Another human resources specialist usually provides explicit training to new employees, either on the job or in a classroom setting to ensure that workers become familiar with policies, duties, and equipment.

Employees depend on an efficient human resources specialist to oversee payroll and benefits packages. One or more specialists at a company set wages, maintain accurate employee files, check time cards, and keep track of benefits. A professional might help employees set up health and life insurance plans, create pensions, and agree on pay scales. Compensation and benefits specialists must be very organized, as they are frequently responsible for managing records for dozens or even hundreds of different employees.

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Other specialists evaluate employee performance, address concerns, and communicate with management. They may watch individuals as they work or conduct periodic interviews to address performance issues. When an employee has a concern about a specific policy or coworker, he or she usually informs a human resources specialist, who can analyze the situation and help organize a solution. Problems that cannot be immediately resolved are brought to the attention of management.

An individual who wants to become a human resources specialist can pursue a bachelor's degree or higher in labor relations, business administration, or a related subject. Some successful human resources workers are able to obtain specialist jobs by gaining sufficient experience in a company. Many new and established professionals choose to gain certification in their specialties to improve their credentials and bring about job opportunities. Certification is offered by several nationally recognized organizations, including the Society for Human Resource Management in the United States.

Established, educated human resources specialists are often awarded with many advancement opportunities. An individual who has proven his or her skills may be promoted to human resources director, an esteemed and well-paying position. The director acts as the supervisor and authority to all other specialists and human resources workers in a company. Some professionals with strong business sense and years of experience can even become general managers or top executives within a corporation.

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Discuss this Article

anon138852
Post 4

@zenmaster: Don't know if you live near any casinos, but I know that would be a good place to get a taste of human resource life. In the casino I worked in, they had their own HR building with lots of workers.

anon136912
Post 3

The Army also has Human Resources Specialist 42A. if one can't afford to go to college then military is a great way!

pleats
Post 2

@zenmaster -- Good for you, making the effort to find out about HR before starting to work towards a human resources career.

I think you could try to find an internship working with a human resource specialist, or maybe sit in on some classes at a university, if there's one around.

Other than that, the only other think I can think of to tell you is research it online, or maybe even set up some interviews with people working as HR specialists, so they can tell you about it.

Good luck!

zenmaster
Post 1

What are some pre-undergraduate places that I can get some idea about human resources training?

I am looking into careers, and think that a human relations specialist might be a good fit, but wanted to sort of try it out before I start pursuing that.

Does anybody know where I could get a little taste of the human resource specialist life?

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