About Me

My photo
United States
I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Becoming an HR Generalist (Part 1 of 2)

Summary by: Ian B. Mondrow, M.A.

A Human Resources (HR) Generalist is someone who is the point of contact for all personnel issues. Unlike a specialist, a Generalist is expected to be knowledgeable in all HR functions including hiring, organizational development, compensation/benefits, and the well-being of employees. He/she is often assigned to one or more departments within an organization (depending on the company size). This position is often a junior position to the highest HR position in the organization. Working in a matrix structure, this individual usually reports to two individuals: a senior HR Manager and the department head.

They are a variety of career growth options once an individual is employed as an HR Generalist. He/she has the opportunity to grow into a separate specialist role focusing specifically on recruitment/hiring, compensation or employee relations. Staying within the HR Generalist role can also provide developmental responsibilities by taking on more responsibilities or managing other HR Generalist.

Being an HR Generalist has both its ups and downs. The great thing about being an HR Generalist is that the job entails a high level of variety. An individual in this position is exposed to different aspects of HR as well as playing an active role in the organization's development. Those who play an HR Generalist role have also identified that the position creates a sense of identity because they often are involved with all levels of the organization and are engaged in the company's growth. Finally, the position allows the opportunity to impact the lives of the employees. Generalists have a say in who is hired, compensation of employees and the termination of employees.

With advantages, comes disadvantages. Moving into the role of an HR Generalist can be extremely stressful because one is expected to learn a large amount of information with a little amount of time. Furthermore, the position includes responsibilities that are not always pleasant. In fact, some of the responsibilities can be heart breaking, such as conducting individual and large-scale terminations. It should also be noted that the position requires tasks that be repetitive and simple including providing benefits information, updating information systems and/or getting the appropriate documentation filled out.

Before pursuing an HR generalist opening, it is recommended to research the company to determine what is expected from an HR Generalist as it can vary from company to company. The job description should also be reviewed carefully to understand the organization's expectations of a Generalist.

To be Continued.....
Part 2: From an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist to an HR Role. Available October 2nd, 2010.

Original Source: Martin, S.L., Latham, V.M. (2010). Moving into an HR generalist roll: a good career move? The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. 47(4), 29-34.

Picture from: http://www.staffordshire.police.uk/media/images/largeheaderimages/20138/20175/Human-Resources.jpg

No comments:

Post a Comment