What Does an HR Specialist Do?

A human resources specialist recruits, interviews, screens, and places workers within an organization. They guide workers throughout the human resources procedures and make sure they understand the processes. They also play significant roles in other human resource tasks such as training, employee relations, benefits, and compensation.

The senior leadership of a human resources department in an organization is essential for the department’s success and growth. It needs to consist of experienced individuals with significant knowledge about the human resource field and skilled in complex human resource management. Therefore, organizations look for a human resources specialist who focuses on a specific area within HR and can provide experienced guidance.

Human resource specialists in an organization take some of the most critical decisions regarding HR. Therefore, you should know the general duties HR specialists handle to understand the role better and gain the necessary experience to become a talented HR specialist yourself.

This article takes you through the everyday responsibilities of human resource specialists, what the general job description looks like across different industries, and how it differs from other HR roles.

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The Human Resources Specialist Role

The human resources department’s work involves a variety of different tasks. As the name suggests, HR specialists are responsible for a particular human resources management task. Their day-to-day tasks include processing the necessary paperwork, maintaining employment records, and ensuring that the HR procedures comply with organizations like The Bureau of Labor Statistics along with local, federal, and state regulations.

HR Specialist ResponsibilitiesThe key takeaway is that most human resources specialists focus on a single area like training or recruiting. They are unlike human resource generalists, whose primary job description involves simultaneously handling several human resources tasks.

Therefore, large companies with different departments devoted to specific services require human resources specialists. However, small companies typically hire HR generalists who can single-handedly take up more types of tasks.

You can find many human resources specialists in professional HR consulting firm solutions. Companies that cannot hire a human resource specialist full-time partner with such firms to still benefit from the guidance and experience of the human resources specialists working there.

Some of the critical tasks an human resources specialist has to look into are as follows:

  • Offer expert-level advice on intricate position classification matters and ensure that these position standards are consistent and accurate through knowledge about labor statistics.
  • Advise subordinate and top management levels on selection, examination, and recruitment processes.
  • Forecast short-range and long-term staffing requirements and construct recruitment approaches to fill these positions.
  • Perform background checks and contact references.
  • Offer direct disciplinary procedures, supervise and coordinate staff and specialists’ work.
  • Advise managers on crucial policies like sexual harassment and equal employment opportunities.

The human specialist role requires proficiency in a particular human resources domain and experience with general human resources knowledge. If you want to gain such an education and train towards an HR specialist role, you should check out our courses at HR University.

Human Resources Certifications

Duties and Responsibilities

An experienced human resource specialist’s responsibilities depend on their specialization, but they also involve many general human resource tasks. For example, recruitment specialists focus on hiring the best talent and even travel to college campuses and attend job fairs to meet with potential applicants. However, human resources specialists specializing in compensation and benefits planning have to prepare ideal incentive plans that favor the employee and the organization simultaneously.

Steps to become an HR SpecialistAdditionally, they may conduct contact references and background checks on the applicants. All in all, they explain job requirements such as working conditions, benefits, and duties relevant to the applicants. Most importantly, they help with new workers’ orientation and refer or hire applicants for the company.

The primary responsibilities HR specialists have to handle regardless of their job description are explained below.

Recruit Ideal Candidates

HR specialists need to be recruitment specialists inherently. Unfortunately, organizations don’t always provide enough details to create a well-rounded job description. Therefore, HR specialists have to work with different stakeholders, survey them about their needs and the role requirements, and make the appropriate job description. Additionally, they have to look for suitable candidates for roles and ensure they fit the description while also fitting the organization’s culture.

Manage Employee and Resource Relations

The success of a human resources department and HR professionals is visible by employees’ satisfaction with the organization’s work culture. Therefore, HR specialists must closely monitor any employee concerns and address shortcomings appropriately.

HR Operations Specialist SkillsHowever, such a responsibility requires them to be mindful of the employees along with the organization. Therefore, an HR specialist must know how to handle expectations from both parties reasonably and avoid bias so that there is a minimum chance of conflict.

Develop and Conduct HR Training

Since HR specialists are experienced human resource professionals, they are responsible for conducting and organizing new workers’ orientation. They have to provide a constant stream of education to new team members about essential HR policies and the work culture. They should also design workshops & materials suitable for introducing new members to the organization’s HR strategy.

Maintain Compensation and Benefit Plans

HR specialists have to supervise the planning and preparation of salary packages and benefits. They must ensure that they fit the workers’ needs and are solid incentives that encourage employee retention. HR specialists also serve as the first contact between workers and insurance companies, develop pay structures, establish stock & bonus option plans, and design performance reviews.


Human resource specialists are crucial to an organization’s HR department since they handle many fundamental tasks. First, they consult with the employer to understand the job requirements. Afterward, they interview the applicants to determine their education, experience, and skills. Finally, human resources specialists recruit the most relevant individuals from the pool of applicants.

The right HR specialists help efficiently satisfy an organization’s growing and varying human resources needs. They are experienced individuals that can contribute to strategic planning and investigate any employment challenges an individual faces. They are the HR professionals that can enable an organization to cultivate a dedicated and happy workforce.


Here’s a list of commonly asked questions about the human resources specialist role:

A major requirement for HR specialist roles involves proficiency in human resources management and specialization in a particular domain within human resources. Therefore, you can still land a job as a human resources specialist without a bachelor’s degree based on your experience and knowledge.

However, senior human resource professionals recommend that you attain a bachelor’s degree in HR to show professional competence and land a human resources managerial position. A master’s degree will similarly allow for more opportunities.

What Are the Most Marketable Human Resources Disciplines?

Some of the most marketable disciplines within human resources include workplace safety & compliance, development & training, benefits & compensation, and talent management.

HR jobs are growing faster because more and more organizations want to ensure a dedicated and satisfactory work culture. As a result, most human resources disciplines are highly marketable, and as organizations become more people-centric, job opportunities will only grow over the coming years.

What Are the Critical Employment Services of Senior Human Resource Management Like Human Resource Specialists?

Human resources specialists are skilled in numerous services, but their focus is offering development & training, labor law compliance, benefits & compensation, employer-employee relations, and maintaining a safe workplace.

In addition, organizations hire them to help formulate effective hiring mechanisms, search for unique skillsets, invigilate applicants, recruit and train new workers about their new workplaces. Above all, they help the companies to strategize on the best benefits plans for their workers.

If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into the HR Specialist 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 helps you achieve a rewarding HR Specialist role.