How to Become a Human Resources Assistant

The human resources department is extremely vital to all companies and organizations. It deals with hiring, training, firing, education, and other personal issues among the employees. Human resources assistants are important personnel that keep the records of all the employees of the company or organization.

What does a human resources assistant do?

Human resources assistants are responsible for maintaining the records of all employees. The records include personal information such as name, address, phone number, job title, wages, tax withholding, and benefits (i.e. life and health insurance). They document information and answer any questions regarding employees. They obtain information such as job performance, vacation, or absences. They also update forms when employees switch jobs or change their health insurance plans. Often times, human resources assistants create reports for their managers.

Some human resources assistants perform different clerical duties such as answering telephones, responding to letters, ordering supplies for the office, distributing job opening or examination announcements, and issuing application forms. Many are involved in the hiring process and screen applicants to education and work experience and obtain professional references from the applicants. They also administer examinations, clarify the employment policies, and refer qualified candidates to other hiring personnel. They often contact applicants to let them know if they are hired or not.

What kind of training does a human resources assistant need?

Human resources assistants must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Many employers seek applicants with proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and other computer programs, experience with human resources practices, organizational skills, and training in maintaining filing systems. Many human resources assistants complete formal training programs at community colleges or proprietary schools. Some have associate degrees in human resources or office automation. Most employers provide on the job training to new human resources assistants.

What are the prospects for a career as a human resources assistant?

Employment of human resources assistant is projected to grow as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increasing emphasis put on human resources departments will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good, especially for human resources assistants with a wide knowledge of general office functions. Job openings will also arise from the need to replace employees who are promoted, retire, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do human resources assistants make?

As of August 2009, the middle 50% of human resources assistants earned annual salaries between $29,843 and $38,011. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $41,962 (2).

A career as a human resources assistant is a great choice for individuals who are interested in the human resources aspect of companies. Great communication and ability to interact with many different people in the company or organization is essential. Other desirable traits include tactfulness, diplomacy, poise, and great interpersonal skills to effectively deal with sensitive and confidential issues.

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