Human Resources Assistants assist Human Resources Managers and other Human Resources specialists by completing several administrative tasks such as managing incoming job applications, scheduling interviews, and assisting current employees with their queries. Although Human Resources Assistants often work in the shadows, their role is crucial to ensure the success of their department activities.
An HR Assistant might also take part in the following activities: recruitment, training and development activities, labour relations, and budget administration and tracking.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Human Resources Assistants are required to complete.
- Processing accurate information that will support the management team:
- Maintaining an updated database with all the information about current employees of the company they represent, including personal information, salary, time in the company, and past grievances, if any; and
- keeping documents related to the aforementioned activities stored in an orderly fashion.
- Assisting with the recruitment process:
- Posting job openings;
- gathering information on new applicants;
- assisting in screening and rating of applicants;
- scheduling and setting dates for interviews;
- testing the skills and abilities of potential candidates;
- running background checks on potential candidates as well as verifying their references; and
- following up with successful candidates.
- Assisting with the new hire process:
- Opening up a new file for newly hired employees;
- ensuring that all benefits and compensations that were offered to employees are delivered;
- providing guidance and assistance to new employees;
- evaluating the initial performance of new employees; and
- answering and addressing all questions and queries employees may have regarding their position.
- Assisting with maintaining grievance and employee records:
- Maintaining an updated file with all employees’ documentation and information;
- keeping records of employee performance reports, grievances, and vacation time, among others; and
- drafting and filing the necessary paperwork during employee termination.
- Assisting with payroll and benefits administration:
- Approving payrolls;
- keeping track of employee’s off time, either due to vacation or sick leave;
- addressing and answering all payroll related questions and queries;
- ensuring that payroll is handled according to procedure and that all salaries are correct;
- providing conflict resolution between employees and company executives regarding special permissions, benefits, and payments; and
- keeping accurate records of all employee benefits and extra compensations.
- Assisting with internal event organization and coordination, including recreational events and training activities.
- Making the necessary arrangements when a company employee needs to travel.
- Addressing and answering questions and queries from any employee regarding their position, salary, promotion, or benefits.
- Receiving and answering incoming phone calls and emails.
- Writing and handing out documents.
- Maintaining an updated database of all employee information and documentation.
- Liaising with employees and company executives to provide conflict resolution.
- Scheduling appointments and interviews with employees and new candidates.
The average Human Resources Assistant salary is $39,543 per year or $20 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $28,000 while most experienced workers make up to $55,000. These results are based on 137 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with employees, members of the HR management team, and during group presentations and meetings; and
- displaying strong customer service skills and be a demonstrated team player.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Prioritizing and planning work activities as to use time efficiently while managing a high volume, diverse workload; and
- multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills:
- Being able to gather and interpret a large amount of information;
- presenting curated data in an organized manner; and
- identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner.
- Strong attention to detail:
- Being able to accurately and thoroughly monitor work for quality;
- ensuring standard specifications are met, including high-level proofreading;
- entering and reviewing data efficiently and accurately; and
- staying focused during highly repetitive tasks.
- Computer and administrative skills:
- Being able to create organizational charts, reports and other documents; and
- having experience in note-taking during meetings.
In addition to the aforementioned skills, Human Resources Assistants must be able to follow instructions accurately, adapt to company procedures and standards, and promote good performance among employees by addressing their queries in a prompt manner. They should also be able to work with little supervision and are usually expected to be highly motivated self-starters.
Aside from the skills listed above, HR Assistants are sometimes required to have work experience in an administrative setting, usually between one (1) and three (3) years.
Most HR Assistant jobs are entry-level jobs and require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Labour Relations or Industrial Relations. Candidates may also choose to pursue additional degrees in areas such as Finance and Business Administration, which is guaranteed to give them an edge over other applicants. In fact, any higher level of education is often recognized as experience and will eventually allow candidates to apply for higher positions.
In Canada, an additional certification is available for HR professionals and is sometimes required when applying for certain HR positions. The Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation ensures that HR professionals across the country all meet the same national standards of excellence in terms of HR management policies and practices.