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

A Senior HR Specialist is in charge of implementing recruitment, payroll, learning and development, or compensation policies in an organization. Typically working in a team and reporting to an HR Manager, the Senior HR Specialist will be able to run all aspects of the HR function but will specialize in one or two fields. A Senior HR Specialist may also be tasked with supervising or mentoring junior team members. 

The Senior HR Specialist should be a subject expert on most HR matters, both general and organization-specific.

The Senior HR Specialist role is a natural progression from entry-level HR jobs and may be a precursor to an HR management position.

Similar Job Titles:

HR Specialist, HR Analyst, HR Consultant, Human Resources Generalist, Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources Consultant

What Does a Senior HR Specialist Typically Do?

A Senior HR Specialist is a subject expert and experienced operator in every aspect of the HR function in an organization. Tasks assigned to a Senior HR Specialist may include:

  1. Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new intermediate-level staff
  2. Planning onboarding for new hires
  3. Ensuring HR records are maintained
  4. Managing payroll
  5. Managing the performance review process
  6. Learning and development planning and management
  7. Ensuring compliance with organizational policy and procedures
  8. Running disciplinary procedures
  9. Coaching and mentoring junior team members

Recruiting, Interviewing, and Hiring New Intermediate-Level Staff

The Senior HR Specialist will interview applicants for intermediate–level positions and conduct interviews. In smaller organizations, this responsibility may even extend to final decision-making and hiring.

Planning Onboarding for New Hires

The Senior HR Specialist will be responsible for planning and organizing onboarding procedures, including induction training, job-specific training courses, and administrative matters, such as delegation of authority.

Ensuring HR Records Are Maintained

The Senior HR Specialist must ensure all statutory records are kept up to date and correct. 

Managing Payroll

The Senior HR Specialist collates payroll data, ensures correctness, and passes the data on for processing. While often not capturing or processing data themselves, Senior HR Specialists will be expected to collate and cross-check data inputted by junior HR staff members.

Managing the Performance Review Process

The Senior HR Specialist must ensure that all requirements for successful performance reviews are in place, including paperwork, reviewer and reviewee training, timelines, and the subsequent collation of results.

Learning and Development Planning and Management

The Senior HR Specialist coordinates L&D activities to ensure L&D spend is in line with organizational requirements and that training activities deliver tangible benefit to the organization.

Ensuring Compliance With Organizational Policy and Procedures

The Senior HR Specialists should have expert knowledge of the organization’s policies and procedures, as well as relevant legislation, to ensure that the entire organization is sustainably compliant.

Running Disciplinary Procedures

The Senior HR Specialist runs disciplinary procedures as required and will often be asked to recommend resultant action to HR management.

Coaching and Mentoring Junior Staff

The Senior HR Specialist may be tasked with coaching, mentoring, and developing junior or less experienced team members on HR functions.

Roles a Senior HR Specialist Typically Collaborates With

 A Senior HR Specialist typically works in conjunction with the following:

Collaborative Roles
HR ManagerHR and Administration ManagerHR Operations Manager
Payroll ManagerHiring ManagerCompensation and Benefits Manager
Benefits ManagerHR DirectorRecruiting Manager

Senior HR Specialist Salary

The national average salary for a Senior HR Specialist will typically be between $69,000 and $107,000 per annum in the U.S. The median is around $86,416.  

What Is the Senior HR Specialist Pay Difference by Location?

Average salaries for a Senior HR Specialist differ by location as follows:

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$108,021
Seattle, WA$94,488
Denver, CO$87,393
Austin, TX$84,991
Washington, DC$96,199
Milwaukee, WI$85,525
Boston, MA$97,365
New York, NY$103,959

What Is the Senior HR Specialist Pay Difference by Experience Level?

Depending on experience, pay will vary as follows:

Experience LevelAverage Salary
< 1 year$82,948
1–4 years$84,336
5–9 years$88,307
10–19 years$90,355
20+ years$90,355

Senior HR Specialist Job Description Template

[Company Name] is looking for an experienced, reliable, and knowledgeable Senior HR Specialist to take on a leading role in our HR department.

As a Senior HR Specialist with [Company Name], you will oversee and ensure the smooth running of all aspects of HR—from recruitment and staff training to payroll and performance reviews. You will be reporting to the HR Manager, but your experience should demonstrate that you are able to assume responsibility from day one.

Your role will be pivotal at [Company Name], providing stability, experience, and guidance to junior team members. You will also be expected to take on some coaching and mentoring responsibilities. The role is also a possible stepping-stone to an HR management role.


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

  • Recruiting new intermediate-level staff
  • Handling the onboarding of new hires
  • Ensuring employee data is correct and up to date
  • Running and coordinating payroll
  • Running the annual performance review process
  • Coordinating learning and development
  • Ensuring HR compliance with all company policies and relevant legislation

Required Skill Set

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

  • HR Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree in HR, or at least five years’ relevant HR experience
  • Certified knowledge of all major payroll software packages
  • Proven track record of success in all HR disciplines
  • Expert computer literacy
  • Excellent coordination and time management 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
  • Experience in coaching, mentoring, and team leadership

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