What are the Different HR Jobs?

D. Jeffress

Employees of the human resources (HR) department of a business handle a number of essential duties. Professionals ensure that employees are treated fairly, trained properly, and compensated for their work. Any concerns or questions are brought to the attention of management and executives in a timely manner. In large corporations, there are many HR jobs available to skilled individuals in new employee recruitment and training, payroll management, and labor relations. A director is usually placed in charge of an entire HR department in a large company, while a generalist typically handles the majority of HR duties in a smaller organization.

HR recruiters play a central role in the hiring process.
HR recruiters play a central role in the hiring process.

Many HR jobs involve recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. Recruiters advertise job openings by creating job posts online and in newspapers, and actively seeking out new employees at career fairs, high school and college events, and community gatherings. Under guidance from management, hiring experts review applications, interview potential workers, and make decisions about where to place new employees within a company. The requirements and responsibilities of trainers differ between companies and industries, though many professionals provide detailed, hands-on training to employees to acquaint them with the different types of equipment, procedures, and duties involved in their new jobs.

HR professionals might take care of claims filed for workers compensation.
HR professionals might take care of claims filed for workers compensation.

Individuals who work in payroll and labor relations HR jobs are responsible for making sure that all employees receive appropriate compensation and benefits. Professionals keep detailed records, analyze time cards, set wages, and address any concerns that employees may have. When there is a dispute between coworkers or management, labor relations managers attempt to mediate and resolve conflict. Many HR jobs entail evaluating performance, suggesting that certain workers receive promotions, and reprimanding or firing unproductive employees when necessary.

Any questions or concerns from an employee can be taken to a human resources representative.
Any questions or concerns from an employee can be taken to a human resources representative.

Most companies staff directors to oversee large HR departments and settle disputes that cannot be resolved by other HR managers. Directors frequently work alongside top executives and company officials evaluate the company's goals and performance and suggest improvements to policies and procedures. In smaller companies, HR generalists may be placed in charge of all HR duties, including hiring, training, assessing, compensating, and firing employees.

To obtain most HR jobs, individuals must have college degrees and work experience in office settings. Many employers require hopeful HR workers to hold associate or bachelor's degrees in human resources or business administration, though some large companies prefer individuals to hold master's degrees or higher in a specialty, such as labor relations. Often, people are able to advance from entry-level employment to HR jobs by gaining months or years of experience and showing competence in their work.

HR personnel may place ads in local newspapers for job openings.
HR personnel may place ads in local newspapers for job openings.

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Discussion Comments


@Mutsy - I think that it is really a problem when a company hires the wrong person, but there are usually some red flags that might help lower the chances of hiring the wrong person.

When I was in HR, I always looked at continuity of employment along with how they handled hypothetical situations that would probably come about on the job during the interview process.

I also considered the salary requirement and the educational background of the applicant because if you hire someone that is clearly overqualified for the position, either by education or salary they may take the job initially, but the minute that they find something else that might be better they will leave the position immediately. This is why a lot of companies will not hire people that they perceive as overqualified.

I also considered how they spoke of their previous employer and why they are looking to leave. These answers can also tell you a lot about the motivation the person has for wanting the job. But sometimes you do everything right and you still hire a dud. It does happen.


@Subway11 - I agree. I was a recruiter for an information technology staffing firm and we sometimes would receive resumes from people that had MBA’s but no practical or hands on IT experience and we really could not place them anywhere.

Most of our clients wanted people with experience so I had to tell a lot of these people to get a certification in a technology discipline and try to get at least an internship. We really needed at least 6 months of experience for the few entry level jobs we got.

I think in this field the experience matters a little more than the education in the beginning. I the hardest thing about this job is when you hire the wrong person for the job. Sometimes even if you check a person’s references and their background looks great and they interview well they can still disappoint the client.


I wanted to say that I really enjoyed being a recruiter. I liked having to fill open jobs and interview people for different positions. Normally when we had positions to fill, we would place ads on different job posting boards in order to receive resumes. We really didn’t do too many newspaper ads because the internet postings were more effective. Sometimes we went to trade association meetings in order to recruit people with very specific backgrounds.

I think that the screening of the resumes was really important because we would get so many resumes for every position that we had open. A lot of the resumes were from people that were not qualified or had a totally different background. I think that even when a resume looks good you still have to screen the applicant over the phone because you may find that they may not be a fit for your organization.

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