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HR Generalist Job Description
  • Publish: April 2, 2021
  • Author: StrongerTeams Editorial
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HR Generalist Job Description

An HR Generalist deals with all HR functions in an organization on a daily basis. As an integral part of the HR department, an HR Generalist is responsible for various aspects of the HR field, including recruitment, onboarding, administering payroll, keeping records, and making sure company policies are adhered to. 

HR Generalists are often regarded as the first point of contact for all HR-related queries from the workforce and must therefore possess broad knowledge of many different fields.

Although multifaceted, the HR Generalist role is an entry-level position and provides an excellent opportunity to learn from senior members of the HR department and advance the career. 

Similar Job Titles:

HR Director, HR Assistant, Senior HR Specialist, HR Coordinator

What Does an HR Generalist Typically Do?

An HR Generalist administers every aspect of the HR function in an organization. This is a broad field, and the specific tasks could encompass:

  1. Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new staff
  2. Onboarding new hires
  3. Maintaining HR records
  4. Administering payroll
  5. Administering performance reviews
  6. Learning and development coordination
  7. Ensuring compliance with organizational policy and procedures
  8. Administering disciplinary procedures
  9. Administering staff exits 

Recruiting, Interviewing, and Hiring New Staff

HR Generalist’s duties encompass preparing and placing job postings internally and externally, vetting applicants, preparing shortlists, and possibly even running the first interview for shortlisted candidates.

Onboarding New Hires

All new hires must be onboarded successfully. This involves capturing all required data, as well as the organization and administration of the probation period, training, job shadowing, end-of-probation review, and transition into full employment.

Maintaining HR Records

The HR Generalist must keep all required employee data up-to-date and record and file any changes immediately.

Administering Payroll

Payroll administration includes calculating salary or wages, benefits, expenses, leave time, tax, and other deductions, all to a strict deadline and with complete accuracy.

Administering Performance Reviews

The HR Generalist is in charge of the annual or semi-annual performance review process, including explaining the process, ensuring all paperwork is ready, tracking progress, and collating the results for all staff members. Reports for management must also be generated and disseminated.

Learning and Development Coordination

In smaller organizations, the training function will fall to the HR Generalist to administer. This will involve identifying and recording the training needs, organizing training programs, ensuring the courses run successfully, and conducting post-training audits to confirm that the training goals have been met by both the facilitator and the trainees.

Ensuring Compliance With Organizational Policy and Procedures

The HR Generalist must make sure that all staff members are aware of organizational policies and procedures, that these are being adhered to, and that there are mechanisms in place to report breaches or lapses.

Administering Disciplinary Procedures

Depending on the structure of the organization, the HR Generalist may also be responsible for the administration of disciplinary procedures. They ensure that all disciplinary actions conform to the organizational procedure and legislative requirements and that logistics are organized around hearings.

Administering Staff Exits

This task involves updating records, ensuring the return of company property, conducting exit interviews, and reporting the outcomes to HR management.

Roles an HR Generalist Typically Collaborates With

Depending on the structure of the company, an HR Generalist can work closely with a number of different roles. Here are the most common ones:

Roles HR Strategists Collaborate With
Marketing DirectorAccount DirectorSenior Recruiter
Executive RecruiterBrand ManagerHuman Resources Manager
Director of Business Development Account ManagerAccount Executive

HR Generalist Salary

The national average salary for an HR Generalist will typically be between $45,000 and $71,000 per annum in the U.S. The median is around $57,550.  

What Is the HR Generalist Pay Difference by Location?

Average salaries for an HR Generalist differ by location as follows:

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$71,930
Seattle, WA$62,920
Denver, CO$58,200
Austin, TX$56,600
Washington, DC$64,060
Milwaukee, WI$56,950
Boston, MA$64,840
New York, NY$69,230

What Is the HR Generalist Pay Difference by Experience Level?

Depending on experience, pay will vary as follows:

Experience LevelAverage Salary
< 1 year$57,054
1–4 years$58,296
5–9 years$58,829
10–19 years$58,829
20+ years$58,829

HR Generalist Job Description Template

[Company Name] is looking for an ambitious and dedicated HR Generalist with an HR background to join our HR Department.

As an HR Generalist with [Company Name], you will be involved in all aspects of HR, from recruitment and staff training to payroll. You will be reporting to the HR Manager but will be expected, in a short time, to become independent and run most HR-related activities on a day-to-day basis.

Your role is critical to the smooth running of [Company Name], which prides itself on maintaining a happy team. The role is also a stepping-stone to HR supervisory and management roles.


The HR Generalist’s tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Running recruitment processes
  • Onboarding new hires
  • Capturing and maintaining employee data
  • Assisting with the payroll
  • Administering the Annual Performance Review process
  • Coordinating Learning and Development
  • Maintaining HR compliance with all company policies and relevant legislation

Required Skill Set

The HR Generalist should possess the following qualifications, skills, and attributes:

  • HR Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree in HR, or relevant HR experience
  • Certified knowledge of all major payroll software packages
  • Proven track record of detail focus and accuracy
  • Expert computer literacy
  • Ability to work under deadline pressure
  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Conflict-resolution and problem-solving ability
  • Working knowledge of SHE legislation, labor law, tax law, and other relevant legislation

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