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Become A Human Resource Specialist

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Working As A Human Resource Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Staffing Organizational Units
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $60,523

    Average Salary

What Does A Human Resource Specialist Do

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle tasks related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.


Human resources specialists typically do the following:

  • Consult with employers to identify employment needs
  • Interview applicants about their experience, education, and skills
  • Contact references and perform background checks on job applicants
  • Inform applicants about job details, such as duties, benefits, and working conditions
  • Hire or refer qualified candidates for employers
  • Conduct or help with new employee orientation
  • Keep employment records and process paperwork

Human resources specialists are often trained in all human resources disciplines and perform tasks throughout all areas of the department. In addition to recruiting and placing workers, human resources specialists help guide employees through all human resources procedures and answer questions about policies. They sometimes administer benefits, process payroll, and handle any associated questions or problems, although many specialists may focus more on strategic planning and hiring instead of administrative duties. They also ensure that all human resources functions comply with federal, state, and local regulations. 

The following are examples of types of human resources specialists:

Human resources generalists handle all aspects of human resources work. They may have duties in all areas of human resources including recruitment, employee relations, compensation, benefits, training, as well as the administration of human resources policies, procedures, and programs. 

Placement specialists match employers with qualified jobseekers. They search for candidates who have the skills, education, and work experience needed for jobs, and they try to place those candidates with employers. They also may help set up interviews.

Recruitment specialists, sometimes known as personnel recruiters or head hunters,” find, screen, and interview applicants for job openings in an organization. They search for applicants by posting listings, attending job fairs, and visiting college campuses. They also may test applicants, contact references, and extend job offers.

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How To Become A Human Resource Specialist

Human resources specialists must usually have a bachelor’s degree.


Applicants seeking positions as a human resources specialist must usually have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field.

Coursework typically includes business, industrial relations, psychology, professional writing, human resource management, and accounting.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some positions, particularly human resources generalists, may require previous work experience. Candidates can gain experience as human resources assistants, in customer service positions, or in other related jobs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many professional associations that specialize in human resources offer courses intended to enhance the skills of their members, and some offer certification programs. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

Although certification is usually voluntary, some employers may prefer or require it. Human resources generalists, in particular, can benefit from certification because it shows knowledge and professional competence across all human resources areas. 


Human resources specialists who possess a thorough knowledge of their organization, as well as an understanding of regulatory compliance needs, can advance to become human resources managers. Specialists can increase their chance of advancement by completing voluntary certification programs.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Human resources specialists use decisionmaking skills when reviewing candidates’ qualifications or when working to resolve disputes.  

Detail oriented. Specialists must be detail oriented when evaluating applicants’ qualifications, performing background checks, maintaining records of an employee grievance, and ensuring that a workplace is in compliance with labor standards. 

Interpersonal skills. Specialists continually interact with new people and must be able to converse and connect with people from different backgrounds. 

Listening skills. Listening skills are essential for human resources specialists. When interviewing job applicants, for example, specialists must pay careful attention to candidates’ responses, understand the points they are making, and ask relevant followup questions. 

Speaking skills. All specialists need strong speaking skills to be effective at their job. They often give presentations and must be able to clearly convey information about their organizations and jobs within them.

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Human Resource Specialist jobs

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Human Resource Specialist Career Paths

Human Resource Specialist
Human Resources Consultant Human Resources Business Partner Human Resources Manager
Corporate Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Director Of Human Resources
Director Of Human Resources Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Recruiting Coordinator Recruiter Human Resources Manager
Director, Human Resources And Administration
9 Yearsyrs
Recruiting Coordinator Technical Recruiter Human Resources Generalist
Employee Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resource Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Recruiter Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Supervisor
Human Resources Administration Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Human Resources Consultant
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Contractor
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Generalist/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Senior Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Recruiter/Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Recruiter Recruitment Manager Staffing Consultant
Human Resources Staffing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager
Regional Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Senior Director Human Resources
13 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Senior Human Resources Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Recruiter Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Consultant
Senior Human Resources Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Analyst Human Resources Generalist
Senior Human Resources Generalist
7 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Human Resources Manager
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Recruiter Recruiter
Talent Acquisition Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Human Resource Specialist Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Mandarin

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Korean

  • Chinese

  • Arabic

  • Russian

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Vietnamese

  • Hindi

  • Cantonese

  • Tagalog

  • Carrier

  • Gujarati

  • Urdu

  • Turkish

  • Croatian

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Human Resource Specialist

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Human Resource Specialist Education

Human Resource Specialist

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Real Human Resource Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Human Resources Specialist III Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jan 08, 2016 $140,000
Human Resources Specialist Zenpayroll, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 29, 2016 $138,000
Human Resources Specialist Bravens Inc. Ridgefield, NJ Jul 13, 2015 $135,655
Human Resources Specialist Zenpayroll, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 14, 2015 $130,000
HR Operations Specialist III Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 27, 2016 $125,000
Expert HR Specialist (Technical Trainer) Acxiom Corporation Redwood City, CA Sep 16, 2016 $119,870
Human Resources Specialist H Mart San Diego LLC. San Diego, CA Oct 09, 2016 $116,371
Human Resources Specialist H Mart Logistics Inc. Whittier, CA Oct 09, 2016 $116,371
HR Specialist Sysnet Technology Solutions South Plainfield, NJ Oct 19, 2015 $115,918
HR Operations Specialist Mongodb, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $110,000
Expert HR Specialist (Training & Development) Acxiom Corporation Redwood City, CA May 01, 2016 $109,845 -
HR Reporting & Data Quality Specialist Flowserve U.S. Inc. Irving, TX Dec 09, 2016 $105,000
Human Resources Operations Specialist Stripe, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 28, 2016 $102,710 -
Talent Management and Human Resources Specialist Mondelez Global LLC Santa Clara, CA Aug 15, 2016 $101,220
Human Resources Specialist New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ Aug 31, 2016 $59,966
Human Resources Operational Excellence Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Aug 01, 2016 $59,900 -
Human Resources & Global Support Specialist USA 111, Inc. Columbus, OH Oct 26, 2015 $59,883
Human Resources Specialist Thato International, LLC Tustin, CA May 13, 2016 $59,696
Human Resources Specialist Chinese American IPA, Inc. Day, NY Sep 20, 2016 $59,259 -
Human Resources Specialist Crystal Window & Door Systems, Ltd. NY Nov 05, 2016 $59,259
Human Resources Specialist/ Compass Tech International, Ltd Dublin, OH Sep 24, 2015 $48,859 -
Human Resources Specialist Compass Tech International, Ltd Dublin, OH Aug 29, 2016 $48,797
HR Specialist JYC International, Inc. Duluth, GA Oct 27, 2016 $48,797
Human Resources Specialist XCMG American Research Corporation Saint Paul, MN Jan 06, 2016 $48,298
Human Resource Specialist John's Automotive, Inc. Montclair, NJ Feb 08, 2016 $48,293
Human Resources Specialist Collabera Inc. Morristown, NJ Aug 25, 2016 $48,250
Human Resources Specialist Maricopa Association of Governments Phoenix, AZ Jul 01, 2015 $48,235
Human Resource Specialist Yourmembership.Com, Inc. Lombard, IL Jun 14, 2016 $48,151

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Top Skills for A Human Resource Specialist


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Top Human Resource Specialist Skills

  1. Human Resources Policies
  2. Personnel Records
  3. Payroll System
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Interpret and explain human resources policies, procedures, laws, standards, or regulations.
  • Entered and retrieved personnel records using an automated information system.
  • Collected employee time and payroll data and input on payroll system.
  • Provide general advice to managers and employees about the organization's benefit policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Developed and communicated company policies to new and existing employees.

Top Human Resource Specialist Employers

Human Resource Specialist Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Human Resources Manager by Jennifer C (Full Version)

Day In The Life: Human Resources New Hire at P & G