What They Do
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle tasks related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training. Typical duties include the following:
- Consult with employers to identify employment needs
- Interview applicants about their experience, education, and skills
- Contact references and perform background checks on job applicants
- Inform applicants about job details, such as duties, benefits, and working conditions
- Hire or refer qualified candidates for employers
- Conduct or help with new employee orientation
- Keep employment records and process paperwork
Human resources specialists are often trained in all human resources disciplines and perform tasks throughout all areas of the department. In addition to recruiting and placing workers, human resources specialists help guide employees through all human resources procedures and answer questions about policies. They sometimes administer benefits, process payroll, and handle any associated questions or problems, although many specialists may focus more on strategic planning and hiring instead of administrative duties. They also ensure that all human resources functions comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
Communication skills – Listening and speaking skills are essential for human resources specialists. They must convey information effectively, and pay careful attention to questions and concerns from job applicants and employees.
Decision-making skills – Human resources specialists use decision-making skills when reviewing candidates’ qualifications or when working to resolve disputes.
Detail-oriented – Specialists must be detail-oriented when evaluating applicants’ qualifications, performing background checks, maintaining records of an employee grievance, and ensuring that a workplace is in compliance with labor standards.
Interpersonal skills – Specialists continually interact with new people and must be able to converse and connect with people from different backgrounds.
Employment of human resources specialists is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Companies are likely to continue to outsource human resources functions to organizations that provide these services, rather than directly employing human resources specialists. In addition, the services of human resources generalists will likely be needed to handle increasingly complex employment laws and benefit options.
The median annual wage for human resources specialists was $61,920 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $105,930.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Human Resources Specialists, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/human-resources-specialists.htm (visited November 21, 2020).