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What does a Personnel Assistant do?

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  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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A personnel assistant, also commonly referred to as a human resources assistant, works primarily with an organization’s employee files and records. Often he or she reports to a personnel director or human resources director. Typical responsibilities can include working with the organization’s current staff members, as well as recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. Additional job duties normally depend on the size of the company and its staff. Some examples might include performing general administrative tasks and mediating employee conflicts. Personnel assistants are generally expected to have a range of professional skills.

One of the primary responsibilities of a personnel assistant is record-keeping. He or she usually maintains the personnel file of each employee. These typically contain information such as personal contact data, time and attendance reports, and performance evaluations. Salary information, including tax withholding, is normally included in a personnel file as well. The personnel assistant also usually maintains employee benefits information, like life and health insurance plan details.

Aside from their principal duty to maintain human resource records, personnel assistants might also have other broad administrative responsibilities. For example, one of their tasks might be to stay current on labor laws, and to address employee grievances as necessary. They also might be the main contact person at the organization, serving as an administrative assistant as well as a labor relations manager. Many personnel assistants also perform research and compile data in order to produce reports on various topics.

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Furthermore, they often represent their organizations at job fairs. During the hiring process, the personnel assistant might also advertise open positions, collect and review applications, conduct job interviews, and check references. He or she may be responsible for the actual hiring of qualified candidates. Once the staff members are hired, he or she might also facilitate new employee orientation programs and help them enroll in benefits plans.

A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required to become a personnel assistant. Many also have an associate’s degree or vocational school training in management or human resources. On-the-job experience is usually considered a valuable asset as well. Desirable professional qualifications might include excellent organizational skills and the ability to maintain confidential information. Some positions can require some degree of technical expertise in areas such as accounting or the use of specific computer applications. In addition, a career in human resources typically involves having good interpersonal communication skills.

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