Human resource generalists have a variety of responsibilities. The generalist is the workhorse of the human resources department, as he is responsible for a wide range of activities from benefits, recruiting, documentation and compliance. The generalist is also the first point of contact or the first person to interview incoming candidates.
Compensation and Benefits Consultation
The HR generalist must act in a consulting capacity to managers on employee issues, including compensation, benefits and employee relations. HR professionals follow trends in salary increases and development. Competitive salaries are important in attracting and retaining top-notch candidates. This issue includes benefits, which are a part of the overall package. Salary without adequate benefits does not create an optimum hiring advantage.
Recruiting Assistance Tasks
Generalists are often in charge of, or assist in, the recruiting process. Generalists are not recruiters. However, they assist in developing the packages and approving any potential offers. Timing is critical in hiring a top-notch candidate. Most candidates have more than one option open to them. Working directly with the HR generalist gives the recruiter a significant advantage.
Employee Records Maintenance
The HR generalist is responsible for the proper entry, storage, security and use of employee personal data. This includes the resume, application, tax forms and all other forms related to benefits, wages, vacation, sick time and company travel. Generalists also keep all of the compensation records for the entire period of the employee's tenure. Employee records are subject to certain regulations regarding proper use and storage. For example, employee medical records cannot be filed with general records. The generalist must stay current on all regulations concerning employee records. She is also in charge of tracking an employee's required training and development classes and in-house courses.
Employee Attendance Responsibilities
The human resources department is responsible for an employee’s attendance, sick leave and vacation time. The generalist tracks the employee’s adherence to the company attendance policy. He records all non-protected leave and sick time as well as all approved and protected leave. Generalists are responsible for compliance with all applicable laws in relation to leave, including Family Medical Leave Act and short-term disability.
Safety and Health Issues
Generalist are often called on to double in safety coordination roles. They act as consultants to managers and supervisors on issues related to health and safety. They are allowed access to employee files regarding disabilities and health-related issues that could effect the work environment for the employee. HR makes sure that all disabilities are accounted for and concessions are made to make the environment a productive and an equal place to work.
Disciplinary Process Involvement
An HR generalist assists in the disciplinary process of employees. When employees have been tardy too many times, missed too many days of work or violated company policy, they may be disciplined. HR consults with line managers as to the proper treatment of employees during disciplinary proceedings. Most supervisors and managers are not up to speed on regulations regarding disciplinary proceedings.
HR Salary and Outlook
In 2012, the median salary for a human resources manager was $99,720, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS predicts a 13 percent increase in the field between 2012 and 2022.
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