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.
|Degree Level||High school diploma or equivalent; associate or bachelor's degrees often preferred|
|Degree Field(s)||Human resource management, business, or a related field|
|Experience||On-the-job training available|
|Key Skills||Computer software, data entry, communications, and basic office skills; ability to work with confidential information|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||5% growth|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)||$38,100 (for human resource assistants, except those involved with timekeeping and payroll)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Human resources assistants, also called 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.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates human resources positions will continue to grow. Jobs for human resources specialists (a similar position) are expected to increase by 5% from 2014-2024. The Bureau reported that as of May 2015 the median salary for human resource assistants, except those involved with timekeeping and payroll, was $38,100 per year.
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
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's 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.
In summary, HR assistants need a minimum of a high school diploma and can expect to perform a variety of tasks from data entry to preparing reports and interacting with the public.