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hr generalist Jobs

about about HR generalist jobs

While big corporations have large HR departments with a variety of specialists, many smaller businesses hire just one trusted advisor to handle all of their human resources needs – a HR generalist.

In a HR generalist job, you are a valuable resource to everyone in your organization as they come to depend on you for advice and information about things that affect their work. Your work could involve HR policies, wages, benefits, training, job descriptions, and processing promotions, and hiring or termination.

what HR generalist jobs entail

Consulting with senior executives or business owners, you craft HR documents and policies. For example, you may provide advice and develop policies on hiring and promotions. You could be administering benefits packages or explaining them to staff. You could also be guiding managers through sensitive situations involving staff disputes.

average HR generalist salaries

Depending on your experience and location in Canada, you can earn between $50,000 and $77,000 a year as an HR generalist. If you have several years of experience, you’re more likely to earn closer to the top of this range.

Average HR generalist salaries in Canada are about $52,000 per year. Those working in large metropolitan areas, such as Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto usually earn more due to the high demand for qualified workers.

your day to day tasks

A typical day in an HR generalist job may require working on a recruitment strategy one minute, answering a question about benefits the next, then rushing off to a meeting about employee engagement. You’ll often juggle many priorities at once. HR generalist jobs can include:

  • developing policies, practices and procedures
  • guiding managers and employees
  • creating job descriptions with managers
  • using an applicant tracking system and searching for qualified candidates
  • recruiting or making hiring recommendations
  • providing orientation for new employees
  • answering employee questions about salaries, benefits and vacations
  • researching compensation and overseeing the payroll administration
  • keeping records on confidential staff issues
  • performing employee reviews
  • drafting disciplinary letters and advising managers on the disciplinary process
  • assisting with the termination or resignation

where you can work

HR generalist jobs are found in all types of organizations. As a result, they can work in any sector. The current growth outlook is positive for most industries, including manufacturing, construction, technology, services and tourism. Qualified and experienced human resources generalists can find jobs in the highest growth areas of Vancouver, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Victoria and Montréal.

what you bring to the table

To be successful in an HR generalist job, you'll need skills such as diplomacy and an ability to relate to all kinds of people, whether they work on the shop floor or in the boardroom. You understand business and interpersonal situations from all perspectives. You have an innate understanding of what makes people tick and combine that skill with your business acumen and professional training. In HR generalist jobs, you’ll need:

  • verbal and written communication
  • interpersonal skills
  • ability to exercise tact and discretion while handling confidential information
  • problem-solving, negotiation and conflict management skills
  • leadership and the ability to motivate people
  • proficiency with email, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software

training and certifications

To qualify for an HR generalist job, you’ll need a post-secondary education in human resources management. A degree or college diploma focused on human resources is the place to start.

Successful HR generalists usually take additional courses to complete a professional certification. The nationally recognized level of achievement in Canada is Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) granted by HRPA.

where your career is headed

A CHRP designation can boost your earning potential in HR generalist jobs and demonstrate your commitment to professional development. HR professionals with a CHRP designation are more likely to be hired in management roles within five years of working in the field.

With the right certifications, skills, and experience, your prospects are good. In recent years, corporate staffing needs and policies have become more complex, dictating an increasing need for experienced human resources professionals. As your career progresses you'll find opportunities as an HR manager, HR business partner, or even an executive.

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