What Does an HR Assistant Do?

A human resources assistant is a professional who aids the company’s HR manager with daily tasks such as recruitment, benefits administration, and payrolls. Additionally, an HR assistant ensures a company’s HR operations run smoothly.

The bigger the company or an organization, the more critical it is for the institution to have an HR assistant. An HR assistant will maintain the personnel records to ensure information is constantly up-to-date. In addition, the HR assistant has to have everything ready to go if the HR manager needs to start hiring or managing employees.

While the HR manager makes more significant decisions, the HR assistant is there to manage smaller tasks or implementation of plans. Therefore, they deal with various tasks and must be confident in time and task management. You should learn about the role in detail to understand what duties they have to handle during an average office day. It will help you train better and become a talented HR assistant.

This article explains what an HR assistant is, what responsibilities they undertake, and how they are crucial for the HR department to run efficiently.

The Human Resources Assistant Role

Whenever a company recruiter is onboarding an HR administrative assistant, they want to ensure the potential candidate has exceptional administrative task handling and communication skills. Even an entry-level candidate must possess excellent organizational skills and effectively manage the entire department’s time and resources.

Exceptional management skills are critical for the HR assistant role, regardless of the company is hiring full-time or part-time. After all, the entire human resources department‘s efficiency is dependent on the HR assistant’s ability to handle and coordinate important human resources functions.

Furthermore, since the assistant acts as administrative support, they must be capable of multitasking and knowing how to resolve potential conflicts and staffing dissatisfaction.

Companies don’t expect an assistant to have deep knowledge of human resources information systems. However, the candidate must be a fast learner, have solid problem-solving and general HR skills. If you wish to gain crucial HR assistant skills through an organized approach, you should check out our quality HR certifications at HR University to help you become a competent HR assistant.

Human Resources Certifications

HR Assistant Responsibilities

If you look across the human resources field, the HR Generalist role is significantly similar to the HR Assistant job in terms of description and responsibilities to the HR Assistant role. While both need to handle identical HR tasks, the HR assistant will have less decision-making power and fewer responsibilities. Therefore, you can imagine a human resources generalist to be a step up from an HR assistant.

Such comparisons are helpful to understand the HR Assistant role because, much like other human resources roles, it isn’t easy to pinpoint the specific duties of an HR assistant since it varies across industries and organizations.

Depending on the company, an HR assistant focuses on one of the two significant aspects: administrative assistant and executive assistant.

An administrative assistan helps with file management and general human resources department jobs. For example, ensuring files are well organized, everybody knows about meetings, events, and more. On the other hand, an executive assistant has to deal with specific positions and duties related to higher-level roles.

Nevertheless, organizations expect their HR assistants to do a little bit of everything. Therefore, some of the primary HR Assistant duties are described in detail as follows.

Assist in the Application Process and Orientation of New Hires

The HR executive assistant helps the HR team throughout the whole hiring process. Although the HR assistant never makes the final decisions (unless instructed by the HR manager), they must know the ins and outs of every hiring process.

In some cases, the assistant will also act as the bridge between the manager and the candidates. Finally, after hiring, the assistant introduces new employees to the company or organization. They also serve as the go-to person if new employees have any questions or uncertainties. Additionally, if the company hires several new candidates, HR Assistants overlook their progress and ensure they have everything a newcomer needs.

Coordinate Termination Processes

Similar to how the HR Assistant helps with hiring, they also handle terminations. When terminating, it’s the backward process of when the employee gets hired, and the HR Assistant has to coordinate with each stage.

HR Assistants must check that all relevant data records get updated, relevant people involved in the termination are updated, and that the terminated employee gets their final compensation. HR Assistants also conduct exit interviews to collect feedback on possible improvements to the overall company’s ecosystem.

The terminating process is as important as the hiring process since it’s essential to end the employment on a good note. After all, several bad terminations can compromise the entire HR ecosystem in a company and earn it a bad reputation.

Carefully Manage Payrolls and Records

Although the HR Assistant will never execute payrolls, they need to ensure that all details are correct before payouts. In case of any payroll errors or other payroll processing mishaps, the HR assistant must mend the mistakes efficiently.

The HR Assistant will collect and check that billed hours are correct, compensation includes employee benefits, and sick time or possible vacations are part of the calculations.

Similar to acting as a bridge between a human resources specialist and hiring candidates, the assistant will also communicate between employees and the human resources manager. Although the HR manager is the one who makes final decisions, it’s impossible to make tailored decisions that simultaneously benefit the company and its employees without a proper assistant.

General Clerical Support

The HR assistant acts as general support for the overall human resources department. They interact with colleagues and assist HR managers within the department, but they also coordinate with those outside their HR manager’s jurisdiction.

If an HR specialist needs help with department filing or any other miscellaneous HR functions, they might ask the HR Assistant for help. As a result, the HR assistant gets involved in multiple assignments. When the job load exceeds individual capabilities, the organization posts a job alert for an additional assistant.

Conclusion

There are many benefits of starting a career as an HR Assistant. Being an entry-level job means you get on-the-job training and experience. As long as you fulfill the basic requirements, especially communication skills, you can earn an opportunity and learn quickly. Besides a full-time job, you can work part-time or as an interim.

The HR Assistant is a great role to test the waters and see if the world of human resources is for you. It’s also a great way to climb the human resources job hierarchy. Depending on your strong points, you can move up quickly to the HR Specialist or HR Generalist position. Being an open-ended job, you can try multiple things before deciding what you want to pursue further.

Some HR assistants specialize in becoming human resources coordinators, while others focus more on managing and ensuring best human resources practices in a company. Finally, since you’re likely to be in touch with your company’s business partners, it’s a great way to stay on the lookout for better job positions. The HR assistant is also responsible for ensuring other employees are happy during employee orientation and perform at their optimal capacity.

If you can see yourself hunting for great job candidates, doing interviews, and helping others, the HR Assistant is the right job.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a Human Resources Assistant role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after HR Assistant job.