Top Five Skills for an HR Generalist

A human resources generalist is a professional who is trained in the various aspects of the job, including benefits administration, recruiting and adherence to federal and state employment laws. The HR generalist applies her skills to working with company managers to maintain the current staff and and anticipate future staffing needs. Five skills are essential to succeed in the career.


The list of responsibilities that an HR generalist has is long and daunting. They include arranging and conducting interviews, recruiting candidates, checking with departmental managers to make sure all staffing needs are being met, staying up to date on employment laws and meeting with individual employees on HR issues. To complete these and more, an HR generalist he needs to be able to multitask and remain organized at all times.

Public Speaking

An HR generalist always is looking for employment candidates who can fulfill company needs. The generalist needs to be ready to speak to potential candidates that he meets at trade shows, college recruiting functions and through the course of daily life. To interest potential employment candidates, the HR generalist addresses groups at high schools, colleges and professional organizations. Trade show and job fair booths require the HR generalist to have adequate public speaking skills.

Analytical Skills

An HR generalist needs to review many different kinds of documents, understand their meaning, gather the necessary information and process that information. These documents include benefits applications, salary comparisons, resumes, applications and legal compliance forms. The HR generalist needs to quickly and accurately pull essential information from these documents and act on it.


An HR generalist needs to assume the responsibility of a leader. Employees and managers look to the generalist for instructions on following proper employment protocols. HR generalists also work directly with corporate managers to anticipate staffing needs for the future, outline the requirements for new positions within the company and keep a steady supply of employment candidates available should a current employee be terminated or quit. The rest of the company looks to the human resources group to maintain proper staffing levels, and that requires the skills of a corporate leader.

Future Planning

An HR generalist must live in the present when it comes to maintaining records for current employees. But she also must be able to look at the company trends and anticipate future needs. As the company updates its business plan and creates new marketing plans, the HR generalist must be able to analyze those plans and help create a vision for future staffing levels.

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