Human Resources Assistant: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Human resources assistants require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and skills required to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Human resources assistants are primarily responsible for maintaining employee records. These assistants may perform additional job duties, especially tasks involved with hiring employees. Human resources assistants need only a high school education to begin a career in this field. Strong computer and interpersonal skills are also necessary. These workers often receive on-the-job training.

Required Education High school diploma; some may be required to have associate's degrees
Other Requirements Computer and interpersonal skills
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 1% decline for human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping
Median Salary (2013)* $37,680 annually for human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description for a Human Resources Assistant

Human resources (HR) assistants are generally assigned to help HR directors and managers keep track of employee information. This information could include an employee's name, address, job title, compensation, tax withholding information and benefits, such as retirement and insurance plans. HR assistants also help with documentation concerning grievances, terminations, absences and performance reports.

Human resource assistants are also typically involved in recruiting, hiring or training new employees. Tasks could include posting job openings, gathering information from applicants, verifying prior employment, contacting references and letting applicants know whether they got the job. HR assistants also may answer questions from employees or the public concerning the company.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for human resources assistants are expected to decline by 1% during the years 2012-2022. The BLS reported in May of 2013 that the median salary for human resource assistants, except those involved with timekeeping and payroll, was $37,680 per year.

Human Resources Assistant Job Duties

Human resources assistants may be required to complete a wide variety of duties. Common tasks include answering questions, opening mail, receiving and transferring phone calls, giving directions, creating and distributing documents and providing customer service. Assistants may be required to use either traditional paper filing systems in their work, or more commonly, a computer data entry system.

Other functions human resources assistants may fulfill include setting appointments, arranging meetings, maintaining calendars, copying files, entering data into computer systems and tracking payments or other financial information.

Assistants may also be required to write reports for their managers, compile spreadsheets and prepare presentations. Because they work with the public, human resource assistants must be able to present themselves well and have good communication skills. Assistants must also be aware of privacy concerns and the importance of keeping information confidential.

Education and Career Requirements for Human Resources Assistants

Most HR assistants have a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor's degree in human resource management, business or a related field. Certificate and associate degree programs in human resource management are also available.

One important requirement that most human resources assistants must have is computer software and data entry skills. For human resource assistants who wish to advance to managerial positions, higher education and work experience may be important.

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