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HR Generalist

Career Overview

The career profile of an HR (human resource) generalist is one of the most interesting and varied in the HR department of any organization. HR generalists are knowledgeable about all aspects of their profession and have exposure to all of the specialty areas like ERP, payroll, recruitment & selection, training & development, performance appraisal and HRIS. As an HR generalist you wear different hats and get exposure to many fields within the vast gamut of HR. Hence the role is best suited for those who love variety and have the ability to multi task. The generalist route is the best one for most people looking out to start a career as an HR professional unless you want to specialize in a particular area like HR development, labour relations etc.HR Generalists find bright career opportunities with a lot of SME employers for their versatile and flexible skill set and can be deployed across different HR disciplines. The role of an HR Generalist provides one with a professional and broad feel of the HR spectrum which is arguably the most important for most organizations.HR Generalists are the backbone of the HR department and are expected to perform duties depending on the size of the organization. Their role in present times has evolved and responsibilities have moved from pure administrative tasks to the developing and changing needs of an organization. Some of the core responsibility areas include:

  • Joining formalities
  • Recruitment and hiring
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee relations
  • Performance appraisal
  • Training and development
  • Human Resource Development
  • Handling Payroll
  • Exit Interviews

Salaries and Job Outlook*

Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs
Projected Growth Rate

The HR Generalist role helps to prepare for the top HR job that involves leading the HR function of an organization. It allows one to build stronger relationships with line management that are critical for success in senior HR positions. Talent management, retention, training and development and employee Performance management are key factors for an organization's growth and success. Therefore competent HR Generalists are needed to handle all these aspects of HR development. Small organizations rely on HR Generalists to help them comply with safety, equal employment opportunity laws, administer healthcare, compensation and retirement programs.The average annual pay for HR Generalist at an entry level is INR 2.5 lacs p.a. Compensation however depends on the duties, the market, and the organization one works for. Pay increases with added number of years of experience, responsibilities, personal credentials and degrees held.

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelors degree MBA (H.R.)

The minimum educational requirement to become an HR Generalist is a Bachelor's degree and attaining a certification in HR will be an added advantage for future progression. Most employers often look for generalists with master's degrees in business or MBA as their role require an expertise subjects like employment law, industrial relations and other crucial areas of concern to employers. However, if you already have many years of HR and management experience, then you may be ready for an HR Generalist position.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Communication Skills
Leadership Skills
Analytical Skills
Time-Management Skills
Decision-Making Skills
Teamwork Skills

Career Opportunities

Given the wider range of responsibilities vested on HR Generalists, their position is vital to any organization. By choosing to start off your HR career within the generalist role also opens up a variety of career opportunity for future advancement as one gets to specialize in more than one area.Most public sector and private sector organizations are going through organizational change and are looking at ways to manage workforces better and improve their businesses. Therefore the demand for good HR generalists is driving the salaries for these candidates up. Job opportunities in HR consulting are also on a rise, as many organizations continue outsourcing HR functions. Some of the career opportunities for HR professionals in this field are:

HR Advisor

Responsible for the effective and consistent administration of any organization. They manage and retain valuable employees, provide assistance on policies and procedures, advise on staff development as well as managers on recruitment and selection strategies. Human resources advisers may work for large organizations, government departments or HR consultancies.

HR Business Partner

They are professionals who work closely with an organization's senior leaders as strategic partners. They are the change agents who develop an HR agenda that closely support the overall objectives of the organization. They essentially work around three key areas as, strategic advisor, service manager and Business Catalyst.

HR Consultant

A major role in the HR sector is that of a HR consultant. Many organizations take support of HR consultants who are generally outsourced for recruitment services. Within an organization they plan, direct, and coordinate human resource management activities to maximize the strategic use of human resources and maintain functions such as employee compensation, recruitment, personnel policies, and regulatory compliance.

Top Companies

  • Marriott
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Boeing
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Merrin & Associates
  • Amazon
  • Honeywell