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Human Resources Assistant: Career Information

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An administrative worker on the phone.

A human resources assistant talks on the phone while looking through a document.

Reza Estakhrian / Stone / Getty Images

Job Description

A human resources assistant (HR assistant) supports a company's or organization's human resources specialist(s). He or she tends to clerical tasks such as writing correspondence, answering telephone calls and scheduling appointments  One of the most important parts of an HR assistant's job is maintaining personnel records. This involves keeping track of confidential information like employees' address changes, performance evaluations, benefits and salaries.

HR assistants may also help with the recruiting process. This could including posting job announcements, pre-screening applicants, administering assessments to candidates and informing people of their acceptance or rejection for the job for which they applied. They may also explain health, disability and life insurance as well as other benefits to new hires, collect completed paperwork, and help current employees who wish to change their benefit plans during open enrollment periods.

Employment Facts

There were 147,000 people employed as HR assistants in 2012. Most people in this occupation work in offices. Jobs are typically full time during normal business hours.

Educational Requirements

Human resources assistants need at least a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) although some employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate or bachelor's degree. Successful applicants also have training in performing general clerical tasks, using computers, maintaining filing systems and in human resources practices.

Why Do You Need to Know About Educational Requirements?

Other Qualifications

One also needs certain soft skills, or personal qualities, to succeed in this occupation. He or she must have strong communication skills including good listening, speaking and writing skills. Because an HR assistant is responsible for handling a lot of information, he or she needs good organizational skills. Integrity is another required attribute since much of this information is confidential and must not be shared with others.

Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of human resources assistants will not change (neither increase or decrease) through 2022.

Why Do You Need to Know About Job Outlook?

Earnings

Human resources assistants earned a median annual salary of $37,680 and median hourly wages of $18.12 in 2013.

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much human resources assistants currently earn in your city.

A Day in a Human Resources Assistant's Life

These are some typical job duties taken from online ads for human resources assistant positions found on Indeed.com:

  • Work closely with the HR Manager to provide support as needed on highly confidential human resource matters and special projects.
  • Interact with benefits providers regarding enrollments and changes in status, track employee enrollment timing, monitor benefit billing, etc.
  • Respond to employee policy inquiries.
  • Assemble, distribute and track candidate offer packets and required actions.
  • Maintain all electronic personnel/benefits files.
  • Work with new hires to collect necessary paperwork.
  • Explain medical, dental, life insurance, disability, 401(k), etc. benefits to employees.
  • Participate in all corporate led training initiatives.
  • Assist HR specialist with processing of terminations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Information Clerks, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm (visited June 10, 2014).
Employment and Training Administration, US Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Human Resources Assistants, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/43-4161.00 (visited June 10, 2014).

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