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Guide To Human Resources Jobs: Entry-Level Positions and Qualifications

by | Feb 12, 2021 | Operations & HR

Do you love negotiating conflicts and making sure people feel welcomed in groups? Maybe you enjoy training people and offering advice for navigating work and school relationships? If this describes you and you’re fascinated by company culture, a human resources job may be the perfect fit for you.

As an HR employee, you’ll be tasked with finding the best talent to fill open roles and in charge of developing work conditions that adhere to government regulations and promote the happiness of employees. These roles are all about making your small part of the world as productive and beneficial as possible.

Want to learn more about human resources jobs? We’ve got you covered. Here, you’ll learn more about the general duties of human resources employees. Plus, you’ll discover the different human resources jobs and what each one requires. Finally, you’ll learn how an internship can help you stand out from the crowd if you want to land an entry-level human resources gig.

What Do Human Resources Jobs Entail?

human resources jobs: Man holding a paper and shaking hands with a woman

Human resources is an important department within a company. The main duties of this department include handling all employee relations from recruiting and hiring new talent to managing labor relations on the job. Human resources employees aren’t just tasked with hiring new employees, they also have a duty to assist existing employees. This includes offering guidance on benefits including healthcare and retirement plans as well as negotiating conflicts.

Here are some of the main duties you’ll encounter in human resources jobs:

  • Staffing various departments within the firm
  • Writing job descriptions
  • Creating job alerts and maintaining job postings
  • Recruiting new talent using targeted outreach to qualified job seekers
  • Managing talent acquisition platforms including conducting university outreach and creating an online presence on sites like LinkedIn
  • Onboarding new hires
  • Managing employee relations and mediating conflicts
  • Ensuring the company abides by labor laws including equal employment opportunity rules

As you can see, human resources jobs are about more than just hiring. If you decide to work in human resources, you’ll need to be able to recruit new employees, manage employee relations, and understand the legal environment when it comes to hiring and employing individuals.

As a human resources employee, you’ll work hard to ensure the company provides a healthy and happy work environment and help the company find top talent and new recruits to promote innovation and company success.

6 Human Resources Jobs From Entry-Level To Senior Positions

human resources jobs: Two men talking to a female applicant

While many of us are familiar with human resource managers, there are several different job types that fall under the umbrella of human resources. Here, we’ll examine a few different HR jobs and what each entails.

1. Human Resources Assistant

A human resources assistant is an entry-level job where you’ll help HR managers and higher-ups with general duties. In this role, you’ll record employee absences, hires, terminations, and other status changes. You may be required to create performance reports for each employee and create compensation information including benefits packages for new hires. You’ll also likely assist in the recruiting process by writing job descriptions, checking references, and fielding questions from applicants.

2. Employment Specialist

An employment specialist is someone who has expert skills in matching individuals with open jobs. Also known as job placement specialists or human resources specialists, these human resources workers work within a company’s HR department. You’ll need to know the company’s benefits packages and hiring conditions and conduct outreach to qualified candidates. This role is open to entry-level applicants as well as more advanced human resources professionals.

As an employment specialist, you may need to visit universities and colleges to recruit qualified candidates or conduct extensive searches on the internet. To excel in this role, you’ll need to be adept at building a network and understanding different candidate personality profiles that will best suit the company you’re recruiting for.

3. Recruiter

A recruiter is similar to an employment specialist, though they aren’t necessarily tied to one particular company. You can work within a company to hire for in-house positions or you can work at a recruiting firm where you place applicants at different companies. In most cases, recruiters work within a specific industry or field where they have expert knowledge about candidate qualifications. For example, you may be a recruiter for C-suite executives or a recruiter for solar technology firms.

As a recruiter, a significant portion of your time will be spent posting and managing online job listings. You’ll sift through applicants to find the most qualified candidates and then set up the next steps including interviews and assessments. You may also negotiate salary and benefits packages.

4. Human Resources Generalist

An HR generalist can be an entry-level role though it often requires more legal knowledge than other entry-level human resources jobs. That’s because HR generalists oversee compliance with regulatory laws and are in charge of reporting requirements. These HR employees also handle employee welfare duties, ensuring conflicts are kept to a minimum and developing the organization to cater to employee needs.

5. Human Resources Coordinator

A human resources coordinator works under the supervision of an HR manager or director. It’s considered an intermediate role, but entry-level applicants with some work or internship experience may also be accepted. This role involves more technical skills as you’ll be working on project management and planning tasks. As a coordinator, you’ll design and schedule orientations for new hires.

In addition, you’ll create and implement training programs for new talent and ongoing education platforms for existing employees. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest industry trends including common benefits packages and the latest HR practices and legal considerations.

6. Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers, also sometimes called human resources business partners, are in command of the entire HR department. This role typically requires some work experience in a previous HR role.

You’ll make sure employees are fulfilling their job duties while also conferring with executives to develop and tailor the hiring process. You’ll handle the most sensitive employee issues and disputes so great communication skills and negotiating expertise are a must. HR managers also conduct hiring interviews and guide candidates through more advanced stages of the hiring process.

Skills You’ll Need for Human Resources Jobs

Man shaking hands with a female applicant

Most human resources roles require a specific set of skills. Since you’ll be handling both internal employee relations as well as external community outreach, communication skills are among the most valuable. In addition, most human resources roles require a bachelor’s degree in HR or a related field such as business, public relations, or communications.

Here are some skills you’ll need and should highlight on your resume when applying for human resources jobs:

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate and work within a team environment
  • Experience with conflict mediation and negotiation
  • Legal knowledge of hiring laws including workers’ compensation regulations
  • Project management skills including the ability to manage time and risk management knowledge
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Data entry and spreadsheet skills
  • Technical knowledge of human resources information systems (HRIS)

Remember, most human resources roles are centered on communication and outreach. Whether you’re reaching out to qualified applicants as a recruiter or designing benefits packages as a human resources coordinator, communication is key. Work on developing your negotiating skills and don’t forget about customer service skills like good listening and empathy, which will be essential to your success in a human resources job.

How an Internship Can Boost Your Application

Man and woman doing high five while in a team meeting

Whether you’re looking for a full-time or part-time human resources job in a major metropolis in North America — like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco — or an international role, having internship experience can strengthen your application. An internship provides valuable on-the-job experience where you get to work on real-life problems and contribute to the success of the company. You’ll learn from human resources executives on how to manage certain employee situations and develop soft skills throughout your internship.

Completing human resources internships also shows that you’re dedicated and passionate about your future in the industry. You can show examples from your internship experience where you navigated a difficult situation or innovated programs to make the company more successful. Best of all, many companies hire from within, meaning your internship role could turn into a full-time position upon completion of the program.

Where To Find Human Resources Internships

Most major companies offer internships in their human resources departments. You’ll also find internships and open job opportunities at human resources firms like Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Strategic HR Inc., and Insperity. Make a list of the companies you’re interested in interning for. Visit the careers page of each company to learn more about available internship programs and how to apply.

Looking for an easy way to get notified about human resources internships? Sign up today to join Scholars. You’ll be able to create a profile and instantly connect with top companies in the industry. You’ll also get exclusive access to the latest job postings and news about your favorite companies.

Plus, you can find more information on different internship opportunities on our blog and get insider tips from our podcast interviews with hiring managers. You’ll discover what it’s like to intern at various enterprises and get advice on what you can do to land the gig at your dream employer.

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Want early access to insights, content, and news about your dream employer? Join our community! We send one email per week so we won't clutter your inbox.

Congrats! You've taken the step to gain early access to information about your dream employers.

The Report Card: January 2021

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