how to hire an HR generalist.

how to hire an HR generalist.

share this article:

If you're in line to hire an HR generalist, you may have noticed the crowd around you. In fact, labor market analysis provider Burning Glass reports more than 31,000 HR generalist roles were posted in the past 12 months alone. And considering how a good HR generalist plays a big role in every aspect of your human resources department, from talent acquisition to employee retention and beyond, it can really hinder a company to be without one for long.

So how do you find the best candidate out there? To help you out, we've broken down the process for you. Follow these steps and you'll be on the road to finding your next great hire:

Ready to begin tackling each step? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

HR generalists are a key part of the employee lifecycle at a company. They help with recruitment, employee engagement and retention, compensation leveling — and so much more. To ensure maximum business continuity, you'll need to find the right person quickly, yet effectively. Use the following diagram to identify areas where you could streamline your hiring process.

2. develop a competitive compensation package

Since an HR generalist has their fingers on the pulse of the latest compensation, benefits and workplace trends in human resources, the job offer must be competitive for both your industry and market. Check out Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide to make sure the salary and benefits package you have in mind is up to snuff.

To kick things off, here are the salary averages for HR generalists, depending on experience:

entry-level
$56,631 – $67,910

mid-level
$62,123 – $74,497

senior-level
$69,868 – $83,783

But keep in mind, these are just averages. While they're a good starting point, we recommend taking a look at our salary calculator to ensure the offer you're putting on the table is competitive for your area.

3. identify the top skills for HR generalists

When writing a job description, you need to focus on the skills you truly require in a candidate. So before you put pen to paper, start brainstorming what these necessary skills are. For example, an HR generalist works with people all day, so communication and relationship-building skills are key, no matter what experience level they have. Once you've put together a list of skills, run it by your HR manager and recruitment team to get their take and make sure the bases are covered.

Another thing to consider is what skills should be required (the "must-haves") and what skills would be ideal (the "nice-to-haves") but could also be learned on the job. Something like employee relations is a skill the candidate can't do without, whereas project management is something that can be cultivated through professional development or educational initiatives. By taking this approach, you'll be able to quickly sort through candidates and find those who match all of your necessary skills.

Here's a list of the top requested skills for HR generalists, based on the past year's 31,000 job postings:

employee relations

onboarding

human resources information systems (HRIS)

performance management

new-hire orientation

benefits administration/management

workers' compensation

4. write an eye-catching job description

An effective job description is one that not only excites a potential candidate, but also gives them the information they need in order to truly understand the job and what it will be like to work for your company. (Remember, HR professionals thrive on positive workplace cultures!) When writing your next one, keep these three things top of mind.

don't write like a robot
Dry, stiff language isn't going to make someone want to apply to your company. In order to engage a potential candidate, you need to think past just a list of duties — HR pros already have an idea of what the position entails. Someone applying to an HR generalist position is expecting to deal with the widest range of human resources operations, so identifying which will be prioritized and why — using clear, conversational language — will give them greater clarity. But be sure to speak to what their team looks like and the culture of the company as a whole.

show how the job is meaningful
More and more job seekers are looking for roles that have a real impact on the company, their team or a charitable cause. Calling out the opportunities someone in the role will have to get involved in company initiatives or social programs gives a potential candidate a glimpse into what working at the company would really be like.

Candidates also want to be valued by their employer. So be sure to answer questions like: How do I fit into the larger team/organization? How much interaction will I have with coworkers/other teams? Will there be professional development courses or opportunities for continued education? That way, they will have a true idea of what a day in the role entails and what potential there is for growth and development.

make it easy to skim
A job description needs to find the balance between being short and sweet yet informative and interesting. Think about how to package the essential information into a short write-up that makes skimming a breeze (think bullet points and shorter paragraphs). After all, candidates will only read for a few seconds before deciding if the role might be a good fit.

If you're still feeling stuck and want some additional help, head over to our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

HR generalists have a broad knowledge of the human resources industry, so showing that your company is also informed and up to date on industry trends is important when trying to attract the right candidates.

Here are a few trends to be aware of right now:

  • Open positions for HR generalists are expected to increase by seven percent by 2026 — on par with the national average for all other occupations.

  • The highest number of open positions will be at organizations providing HR solutions to other companies, like staffing agencies.

  • Job seekers are largely using their mobile devices in every aspect of their search, so candidates with experience using digital tools and keeping abreast of emerging HR tech will be in high demand.

For even more information, take a look at our full guide on hiring trends in the human resources space.

the number of open HR generalist positions will increase 7 percent by 2026.

6. choose your channels to find candidates 

There are a variety of ways you can go about trying to find the right candidate: posting on job boards, browsing candidates in a staffing agency's talent pool and leveraging network referrals from current employees are just the tip of the iceberg. But, not all options are created equally.

HR generalists play such a large role in maintaining employee relationships and ensuring your workplace culture is as great as it can be, it's important to find the right candidate the first time. So also try partnering with a staffing agency. Staffing experts know all of the ins and outs of HR and can give you access to a pool of top-tier talent — who are all prescreened, vetted and ready for new challenges. 

So if you're looking to get this critical role filled quickly, reach out to the human resources experts at Randstad and see how our decades of experience can relieve some of your burden. Or, head on over to our Find Employees portal to browse the candidates in our talent pool today.

binoculars

looking to solve a hiring problem? let us help you

how to hire an HR generalist.

Posted by Michael Cirigliano on Sep 27, 2019, 2:50:19 PM

If you're in line to hire an HR generalist, you may have noticed the crowd around you. In fact, labor market analysis provider Burning Glass reports more than 31,000 HR generalist roles were posted in the past 12 months alone. And considering how a good HR generalist plays a big role in every aspect of your human resources department, from talent acquisition to employee retention and beyond, it can really hinder a company to be without one for long.

So how do you find the best candidate out there? To help you out, we've broken down the process for you. Follow these steps and you'll be on the road to finding your next great hire:

Ready to begin tackling each step? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

HR generalists are a key part of the employee lifecycle at a company. They help with recruitment, employee engagement and retention, compensation leveling — and so much more. To ensure maximum business continuity, you'll need to find the right person quickly, yet effectively. Use the following diagram to identify areas where you could streamline your hiring process.

2. develop a competitive compensation package

Since an HR generalist has their fingers on the pulse of the latest compensation, benefits and workplace trends in human resources, the job offer must be competitive for both your industry and market. Check out Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide to make sure the salary and benefits package you have in mind is up to snuff.

To kick things off, here are the salary averages for HR generalists, depending on experience:

entry-level
$56,631 – $67,910

mid-level
$62,123 – $74,497

senior-level
$69,868 – $83,783

But keep in mind, these are just averages. While they're a good starting point, we recommend taking a look at our salary calculator to ensure the offer you're putting on the table is competitive for your area.

3. identify the top skills for HR generalists

When writing a job description, you need to focus on the skills you truly require in a candidate. So before you put pen to paper, start brainstorming what these necessary skills are. For example, an HR generalist works with people all day, so communication and relationship-building skills are key, no matter what experience level they have. Once you've put together a list of skills, run it by your HR manager and recruitment team to get their take and make sure the bases are covered.

Another thing to consider is what skills should be required (the "must-haves") and what skills would be ideal (the "nice-to-haves") but could also be learned on the job. Something like employee relations is a skill the candidate can't do without, whereas project management is something that can be cultivated through professional development or educational initiatives. By taking this approach, you'll be able to quickly sort through candidates and find those who match all of your necessary skills.

Here's a list of the top requested skills for HR generalists, based on the past year's 31,000 job postings:

employee relations

onboarding

human resources information systems (HRIS)

performance management

new-hire orientation

benefits administration/management

workers' compensation

4. write an eye-catching job description

An effective job description is one that not only excites a potential candidate, but also gives them the information they need in order to truly understand the job and what it will be like to work for your company. (Remember, HR professionals thrive on positive workplace cultures!) When writing your next one, keep these three things top of mind.

don't write like a robot
Dry, stiff language isn't going to make someone want to apply to your company. In order to engage a potential candidate, you need to think past just a list of duties — HR pros already have an idea of what the position entails. Someone applying to an HR generalist position is expecting to deal with the widest range of human resources operations, so identifying which will be prioritized and why — using clear, conversational language — will give them greater clarity. But be sure to speak to what their team looks like and the culture of the company as a whole.

show how the job is meaningful
More and more job seekers are looking for roles that have a real impact on the company, their team or a charitable cause. Calling out the opportunities someone in the role will have to get involved in company initiatives or social programs gives a potential candidate a glimpse into what working at the company would really be like.

Candidates also want to be valued by their employer. So be sure to answer questions like: How do I fit into the larger team/organization? How much interaction will I have with coworkers/other teams? Will there be professional development courses or opportunities for continued education? That way, they will have a true idea of what a day in the role entails and what potential there is for growth and development.

make it easy to skim
A job description needs to find the balance between being short and sweet yet informative and interesting. Think about how to package the essential information into a short write-up that makes skimming a breeze (think bullet points and shorter paragraphs). After all, candidates will only read for a few seconds before deciding if the role might be a good fit.

If you're still feeling stuck and want some additional help, head over to our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

HR generalists have a broad knowledge of the human resources industry, so showing that your company is also informed and up to date on industry trends is important when trying to attract the right candidates.

Here are a few trends to be aware of right now:

  • Open positions for HR generalists are expected to increase by seven percent by 2026 — on par with the national average for all other occupations.

  • The highest number of open positions will be at organizations providing HR solutions to other companies, like staffing agencies.

  • Job seekers are largely using their mobile devices in every aspect of their search, so candidates with experience using digital tools and keeping abreast of emerging HR tech will be in high demand.

For even more information, take a look at our full guide on hiring trends in the human resources space.

the number of open HR generalist positions will increase 7 percent by 2026.

6. choose your channels to find candidates 

There are a variety of ways you can go about trying to find the right candidate: posting on job boards, browsing candidates in a staffing agency's talent pool and leveraging network referrals from current employees are just the tip of the iceberg. But, not all options are created equally.

HR generalists play such a large role in maintaining employee relationships and ensuring your workplace culture is as great as it can be, it's important to find the right candidate the first time. So also try partnering with a staffing agency. Staffing experts know all of the ins and outs of HR and can give you access to a pool of top-tier talent — who are all prescreened, vetted and ready for new challenges. 

So if you're looking to get this critical role filled quickly, reach out to the human resources experts at Randstad and see how our decades of experience can relieve some of your burden. Or, head on over to our Find Employees portal to browse the candidates in our talent pool today.

binoculars

Topics: phase:explore, industry:human resources, topic:problems