Career Guide: A Day in the Life of an HR Pro
Updated By Staff Writer on May 20, 2020
When it comes to working in human resources, is the job as boring as it sounds?
Read this rundown of HR roles and responsibilities, what a day-in-the-life looks like, and some statistics to think about. Then you can judge for yourself if this is a career you could be interested in pursuing.
Human Resources: A Job of Varied Tasks
Considered an administrative professional, human resource professionals perform a variety of tasks that are focused on the well-being of a company’s employees. This can range from clerical duties such as filing paperwork to training.
Duties vary depending on the entry-level, mid-level, or executive-level position held. Depending on the size of the organization, duties may be performed by one person, a team, or an entire department. Most business leaders consider HR an important strategic partner in any organization.
A human resources assistant performs many clerical duties required for the team to operate efficiently. This includes drafting department correspondence (e.g., employee handbooks and interoffice memos), collecting and maintaining contracts, and filing new employee forms (e.g., social security verification, etc.).
As applicants apply for positions within the company, HR collects and screens each resume, zeroing in on the most qualified persons to interview. When a successful candidate has been identified, HR drafts and presents the candidate with an offer letter, coordinates pre-employment activities (such as drug and criminal background screenings), and leads the new-hire orientation procedures.
Gathering pertinent data related to a business’s employees is an important part of the HR job. Each employee’s file needs to be created and maintained. This includes gathering contact numbers, educational history, professional experience, current job title, and salary information.
An HR employee is often called upon to identify high-potential team members for new positions as well as gathering statistics and data that can be used in team development. An HR rep may also conduct performance appraisals and determine appropriate compensation.
It is also the responsibility of HR to investigate potential issues and terminate employees, when necessary.
Find out how you can start your career in Human Resources
Motivation and morale are two very important things that every employer should offer their employees. Otherwise, the potential for losing valuable employees is high. That’s why human resources works to improve employee satisfaction by coordinating an attractive benefits package. Salary and health benefits are important and are always reevaluated to attract good candidates and retain employees by offering what employees value. These could include tuition reimbursement, a gym membership, on-site daycare, paid time off, and flexible work arrangements.
Training of employees is always needed at an organization—it could include new employee orientation or how to use systems or equipment. A trainer needs to use psychology and behavior skills to design, develop, implement, and evaluate a company’s training program.
There are so many other functions in HR that must meet legal and government requirements. An HR generalist is a resource in areas of FMLA (Family and Medical Leave) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to unemployment to human resource information systems. HR generalists are typically sought-after in today’s market as they are knowledgeable in many different areas that help the company’s employees and managers.
A Day in the Life
Here is an example of what a day in the life of a Human Resources employee may look like.
Katherine has always been a good communicator and team player. That’s why she accepted a human resources job at a local law firm.
Her morning starts by advising the office receptionist on how she can improve communication with her supervisor about a sensitive subject. She makes notes and sets up a follow-up chat later in the week to see if the situation has been resolved.
Next, Katherine counsels with her manager on a stack of resumes. Together, they whittle down the stack of applicants to only a handful of resumes and then pass those on to a manager.
After lunch, Katherine spends a couple of hours putting the final touches on a presentation about how reallocating employees rather than eliminating positions is beneficial to everyone.
Before she leaves her office for the day, Katherine contacts the company’s health insurance provider to make sure she understands the new benefits package that is being offered. This way she can be ready to answer any questions from employees that may arise due to the change.
Katherine enjoys performing a variety of employee-focused tasks throughout her day, making effective decisions, and taking prompt actions.
The Future of HR
According to Glassdoor's HR and Recruiting Statistics for 2017:
- Sixty-six percent of Millennials expect to leave their organization by 2020.
- Thirty-nine percent of women say the reputation or brand of a company is “very important” to them when considering a job move.
- Fifty-seven percent of U.S. job candidates report benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job.
If these statistics peak your interest and make you feel like you’d be good at contributing to employee satisfaction, a career in human resources may be the right place for you. Learn more about Independence University’s Business Administration with a Human Resources emphasis program.*