Payroll HR Generalist Job Description


To ensure that employees get paid on time, companies hire human resources (HR) generalists to manage payroll duties for the firm. These professionals also manage a variety of other tasks, ranging from handling employee recruitment to resolving labor disputes. Payroll HR generalists perform an important role in organizations by hiring, retaining and paying employees.


  • Payroll HR generalists, also called HR generalists or payroll administrators, oversee the day-to-day operations of a company’s HR functions. For example, generalists screen, interview, hire and terminate employees. They also help facilitate their company’s performance review process, and serve as the main liaison for campus and professional recruiting. As payroll administrators, HR generalists prepare, process and distribute payrolls, as well as set up salary structures. Other duties that fall under a payroll HR generalist are developing employee training and professional development courses, and informing employees about insurance, retirement and health care benefits.


  • Most companies require that payroll HR generalists have a bachelor’s degree. However, undergraduate majors for this role vary due to the interdisciplinary nature of the job. College courses in organizational structure, industrial psychology, accounting, finance, labor economics and collective bargaining are helpful for preparing for a career in human resources. In addition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advanced degrees are becoming more common in top management and executive HR roles.


  • Candidates should have excellent writing, interpersonal and oral communication abilities, as they interface with different areas throughout their company. Payroll HR generalists are sometimes responsible for conducting on-the-job training and new-hire orientations, so the ability to effectively speak to large and small audiences is beneficial. Employers require that HR generalist candidates possess basic math skills; knowledge of federal and state employment laws; and proficiency in computer systems, databases, word processing and spreadsheet applications, and storage and retrieval software.


  • PayScale states that the average salary range for HR generalists with five to nine years of work experience fell between $42,610 and $59,174 in June 2010. HR generalists with ten or more years or work experience earned salaries ranging between $45,258 and $73,390 per year. In June 2010, there were 4,893 HR professionals working in the United States.


  • According to the BLS, jobs for human resources, training and labor relations managers and specialists will increase by 22 percent through the year 2018. Some of the factors contributing to job growth within the HR field include changing legislation regarding worker safety, health care, retirement plans and practices, and job earnings. In addition, as health care services become more expensive, HR professionals will be needed to develop comprehensive compensation packages that are attractive to prospective employees.

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