2023

What is the HR Analyst Career Path?

An HR analyst collects and analyzes data related to employee performance and turnover. They identify trends and recommend changes in HR policies and procedures based on analysis results.

A human resource analyst also conducts training on new HR systems and initiatives. They exhibit strong analytical and problem-solving skills. If you are looking to get into this field, you must exhibit strong communication skills to effectively share your findings with both HR professionals and non-HR personnel.

The average salary of an HR analyst role is $63,000, according to ZipRecruiter.com.

This guide explains the complete career path for an HR analyst role. It describes where you should start in HR to get into the HR analyst seat and how will your future career look like. Let’s start.

What is the HR Analyst Career Path?

An HR analyst, also known as the HR data analyst, is a human resources professional who is adept at data analysis, data management, and data analytics techniques. They study the organization’s data relevant to hiring and retaining staff to find to extract meaningful trends.

This HR career path starts with a junior HR analyst position. While this may seem like an easy job role, you must have strong experience with statistical software. This is because you will collect, compile, and analyze data analysis techniques to make recommendations on recruitment, retention,  people operations, and legal compliance.

HR Analyst Career Path

HR analysts study employee data to derive conclusions and help define the strategies for human resources. If you’re good at statistics and data analytics, then this post is an excellent choice for you to start your career in HR data analytics.

If you’re interested in learning via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

 

To start your career as a junior human resource analyst, you need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. You can increase your selection chances by joining online courses and staying updated with advanced human resources skills to strengthen your HR knowledge. HR University offers advanced human resources certification courses that help you master technical HR skills, and become a skillful human resources analyst.

Human Resources Certifications

What Does an HR Analyst Career Path Look Like?

The career ladder starts with a junior HR analyst, then progress to an HR analyst, and then the Director of HR Technology. Have a look at these job roles in detail:

Junior HR Analyst

A junior HR analyst is an entry-level position in the human resources department. They conduct research, analyze data, and prepare reports. Moreover, they also maintain employee records and track changes in benefits and compensation packages. Junior analysts work under the supervision of HR analysts.

They also help their HR departments by designing and administering employee surveys based on metrics extracted from the employee data. In general, a junior HR analyst holds at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. A candidate’s proficiency in research, data analytics, and communication skills is essential for this junior role.

Job Responsibilities

Here is the list of duties:

  1. Analyze data and statistics for trends and patterns with attention to recruitment and hiring practices
  2. Prepare reports of data results, presenting and explaining findings to the human resource analyst and senior HR professionals
  3. Make recommendations to senior HR peers, HR analysts, and senior human resource management for improving the company culture
  4. Assist the HR analyst in collecting, compiling, and analyzing employee retention data
  5. Develop training materials for new and existing staff as per the instructions from the HR analyst
  6. Provide administrative support to the HR analyst in compiling reports of business performance, compensation programs, employee development, and job evaluation
  7. Assist the HR department in conducting classification audits to ensure that the job description and job duties are well-defined
  8. Ensure compliance with data privacy regulations

Preferred Qualifications and Skills

Here are the preferred qualifications for the junior HR analyst:

  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Excellent grip on labor statistics, HR roles, and employee benefits
  • Minimum bachelor’s degree
  • Excellent collaboration skills with the entire HR community, including HR practitioners, and line management

Are you looking to become an HR analyst? Enroll in our people analytics course to master the fundamentals of the human resource analyst position to excel in your career:

People Analytics Certification Course

HR Analyst

The human resource analyst is a senior position in the human resources department with crucial job responsibilities but with better job perks. Once you gain the trust of your employer with your experience and excellent skills as a junior HR analyst, they can consider you for the senior position of HR analyst.

Your duties include analyzing reports, creating presentations, and contributing towards HR strategies with your analytical skills.

Steps to Become an HR analyst

Many companies are now data-driven and looking for HR analysts with a strong grip on statistical software and analytical skills.

Job Responsibilities

Below are the job responsibilities of an HR analyst:

  1. Gather HR data about jobs, compensation, benefits, and other important HR analytics
  2. Conduct performance management surveys
  3. Report to the HR manager, and HR director with suggestions on employee training programs
  4. Suggest strategic processes to improve recruitment and talent acquisition programs
  5. Identify and recommend long-term goals and benchmarks for key performance metrics
  6. Guide the HR analytics team on performance management programs
  7. Assist the HR manager in understanding and solving employee relations issues
  8. Forecast costs of training programs, benefits, and business administration for each department and help create budgets
  9. Work in liaison with the HR business partner to achieve the business objectives of the company
  10. Improve the current company policies on training and development
  11. Implement relevant HR metrics to reduce employee turnover rates
  12. Conduct data analysis on recruitment practices, motivation, turnover, and compliance with employment laws
  13. Optimize and implement new HR processes and systems
  14. Conduct exit interviews, compile data, and suggest changes to company policies
  15. Identify why employees choose to work with or leave the company and recommend areas of improvement
  16. Review job descriptions and job titles for each employee to increase employee retention

Preferred Qualifications and Skills

Here are the preferred qualifications:

  • Strong communication skills: As HR analysts communicate with employees and the executive staff of the company, they must exhibit excellent communication skills.
  • Solid data analysis skills: HR analysts must hold a strong understanding of data analysis and a grip on using statistical software to generate reports and presentations.
  • Good people skills: HR analysts must exhibit the ability to build relationships with employees and create a positive work environment
  • Strong understanding of federal laws: A HR analyst position demands a strong understanding of federal laws to ensure compliance
  • Bachelor’s degree: The human resource analyst seat requires at least a bachelor’s degree in data analytics or computer science. Some companies may demand HR certification from SHRM or HRCI.
  • Experience: ~5 years
  • HR strategy: Expertise in managing the HR department and helping subordinates

Director of HR Technology

The next senior position after an HR analyst role is the director of HR technology. Note that, this job role is different from a regular HR Director’s role. You can think of it as an “IT expert of the human resource department.”

The HR director of technology is responsible for leading and managing the human resources analytical functions for the technology business unit. This includes developing and executing strategies and HR programs to attract, retain, and develop top talent.

Interview Process for an HRIS Analyst Role

The HR technology director is responsible for the implementation and delivery of all HR technology and operational programs. It is a strategic leadership position and provides innovative solutions to maximize HR efficiency through software implementations, resource utilization, and service delivery.

The HR technology director has hands-on experience in using Oracle HCM cloud, or relevant HR cloud-based solutions, and delivered excellent results using technology.

The director is a key member of the HR leadership team and plays a vital role in supporting the success of the technology business unit.

Job Responsibilities

Here are the job responsibilities of a director of technology:

  1. Ensure that HR technology strategy and roadmap are in line with business objectives
  2. Oversee effective project management for human resources system upgrades, integrations, and implementations
  3. Identify cost reductions and develop mitigation plans
  4. Develop and maintain HR metrics and dashboards for performance management
  5. Develop and implement a company-wide HRIS program that users can implement and monitor
  6. Ensure the execution of appropriate data governance for human resources systems and relevant financial data
  7. Design, develop, implement and maintain processes and procedures, to support the organizational goals

Preferred Qualifications and Skills

Here are the preferred qualifications for the director of the technology role:

  • 10+ years of HRIS management experience
  • Experience managing employees and the HR department
  • Experience in quantitative data analysis, queries, metrics, and reporting
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Access, and Outlook
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in data analytics or human resources information system
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and organizational skills
  • Maintain confidentiality of sensitive information

The director guides and works with the business unit leadership team to ensure the HR department meets business objectives.

Conclusion

Becoming an HR analyst is not easy but you can achieve this goal by taking small steps in the right direction. Now that you’ve made it this far, it is time you start mastering the fundamental skills, and gaining the right education and certifications to start your career in the HR analyst field.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR Analyst’s role, we recommend taking our People Analytics Certification Course, where you will learn how to build your skill set in HR analytics, build your people analyst network, craft a great HR analyst resume, and create a successful job search strategy in the human resources analyst field.

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Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.