Definition

human resources (HR) generalist

Contributor(s): Emma Snider

A human resources (HR) generalist is an employee in the HR department who handles a wide variety of HR responsibilities.

While large companies often have bigger, more specialized HR teams, smaller companies only employ a few generalists. HR generalists are often responsible for both compliance-oriented and strategic duties. Compliance-oriented tasks include keeping track of and reporting on employee documentation, administering benefits and payroll and providing employee services and training. Strategic duties may include tasks such as recruiting new staff, managing performance reviews and handling organizational development and succession planning.

An HR generalist may also be in charge of selecting and working with human resource information systems (HRIS) as well as any other specialty HR technology a company might have, including workforce management software, talent management software or niche recruiting tools. 

This was last updated in May 2014

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