A Human Resource (HR) trainee is an individual in an entry-level position in a human resources (HR) department, typically after having recently graduated from college. HR trainees may have a bachelor's or master's degree, depending on the organization for which they will be working, and their eventual career goals. The purpose of working as a human resource trainee is to learn how the entire department works, to gain valuable experience, and to eventually progress into a more permanent, higher-level position. He or she might provide assistance as needed throughout the entire department, typically doing anything from performing administrative tasks to sitting in on interviews, meetings, or orientation sessions.
It is likely that when a human resource trainee is first hired, he or she will still have a lot to learn and will initially be doing a lot of observing. Many will begin in a type of administrative role, which may include answering phones in the department, or performing other support tasks as required. He or she will also usually get to shadow a human resources officer or manager to learn how their job is done and begin to increase their skills and knowledge. After this introductory period, responsibility and job duties might increase.
Often, a HR trainee will need to begin by cultivating positive, professional relationships with the other employees in a company. This helps to ensure that the employees will come to him or her with problems or questions. The human resource trainee might also be responsible for attending meetings in the department, initially to learn what is discussed, and eventually to participate in the meetings and offer practical input. For instance, if a number of employees come to the HR trainee with a similar problem, it might be his or her responsibility to discuss this ongoing issue at a meeting, and suggest ideas on how to resolve it.
There are a few other tasks that a human resource trainee might participate in. Though they may not be allowed to conduct interviews, the trainee might be allowed to sit in on an interview to learn how it is done. If a company hires groups of new employees at once, the human resource trainee might be responsible for planning an orientation or running special educational sessions. He or she might also be instructed to make presentations to existing employees regarding new company policies, benefits changes, or anything else that needs to be shared.