Every HR department relies on HR assistants highly skilled in administrative tasks such as hiring, payroll processing and record maintenance. Furthermore, HR assistants play an essential role in every organisation because they support all employees throughout their tenure with the company.

This HR assistant job description guide will help you understand what an HR assistant does, their duties and responsibilities, the necessary skills and qualifications required, salary expectations, and the steps to becoming one.

What is an HR assistant?

An HR or human resources assistant is a certified professional who performs daily administrative and human resources duties in an organisation. Their responsibilities include assisting HR managers with recruitment, record maintenance, payroll processing and providing clerical support to all employees.

What does an HR assistant do

An HR assistant supports the human resources department of a company in the day-to-day administration of its activities. They help with employee relations, recruitment and training. HR assistants contribute to creating a productive workplace by designing, implementing and overseeing management’s employee development processes, programmes and policies. In addition, HR assistants act as a liaison between the HR department and employees to facilitate effective communication and conflict resolution. HR assistants also coordinate meetings and keep personnel records. 

Duties and responsibilities

An HR assistant’s specific duties and responsibilities can vary depending on the organisation and the HR department’s needs. However, some common duties and responsibilities are as follows:

  • Assisting with job postings, resume screening and interview coordination. They may also conduct preliminary phone interviews with candidates.
  • Assisting new hires with paperwork, conducting new employee orientation and organising training sessions.
  • Keeping employee records, such as personnel files, attendance records and performance evaluations.
  • Assisting employees in enrolling in benefits programmes, answering benefit questions and tracking employee eligibility for various benefits.
  • Helping with payroll processing, calculating overtime and other pay adjustments, and resolving payroll issues.
  • Assisting with implementing human resources policies and procedures such as anti-discrimination, leave, and employee conduct policies.
  • Supporting HR-related training programs and workshops.
  • Assist with employee relations issues such as complaint investigation, conflict resolution, and answering employee questions.
  • Supporting internal and external enquiries and requests related to the HR department.
  • Maintaining employee records and assisting with audits to ensure that the organisation complies with employment laws and regulations.

Overall, the HR assistant is essential in assisting the HR department and ensuring that employees have the resources and support required to succeed in their roles.

How much do HR assistants make?

The average salary for an HR assistant in the private equity sector in New York City is $85,000-$100,000 per year and £40,000-£45,000 per year in the UK. However, salaries can vary based on factors such as the specific company, the candidate’s experience level, location, education and other factors.

How to become an HR assistant?

To become an HR assistant, you typically need to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or a related field.

Here are some steps you can take to become an HR assistant:

  1. Get an education: Consider getting a degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or a related field. This can give you a strong foundation in HR principles, policies, and procedures.
  1. Gain experience: To gain relevant experience, look for internships or entry-level positions in human resources. This can assist you in developing practical skills and knowledge in the field.
  1. Develop relevant skills: Develop skills such as strong communication, organisational skills, attention to detail, data entry, customer service, and computer skills. Knowledge of HR software systems such as HRIS (Human Resource Information System) can also be beneficial.
  1. Apply for HR assistant positions: Look for job openings for HR assistants and apply. Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and education in your application and resume.
  1. Prepare for interviews: Research the company’s culture and HR policies. Prepare to answer questions about your experience, skills, and understanding of human resources policies and regulations.

HR assistant education and experience

Human Resources Assistant positions typically necessitate a combination of education and experience. Depending on the role and employer, HR assistants may need a university degree, an apprenticeship, or specialist courses in the human resources industry. The typical education and experience requirements for an HR assistant are as follows:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required
  • A bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or a related field is often preferred
  • In-depth knowledge of human resources practices and labour laws
  • Experience in recruitment processes, conducting background checks and assisting with interviews 
  • Entry-level positions may require little to no work experience, but HR-relevant experience is preferred
  • Mid-level positions require 2-5 years of experience, while senior positions five years or more
  • Some employers may require candidates to have CIPD qualifications, which can benefit career progression and increase job opportunities and earning potential in the future.

Key skills required

A successful HR assistant candidate has various prerequisite skills needed to perform duties effectively, including:

  • Strong organisational and time management skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Knowledge of HR policies, procedures, best practices and employee laws
  • Understanding of payroll practices
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency in MS Office Suite and HR information systems
  • Customer service skills and the ability to work collaboratively with others and remain calm under pressure
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion

These requirements can vary depending on the organisation and the specific job description. 

Final thoughts

HR managers require assistants with exceptional conflict management and decision-making skills, a solid understanding of employee relationships, and experience in payroll and benefits administration to ensure an HR department’s smooth and successful operation. HR assistants provide vital administrative support to the HR department and ensure that HR processes and procedures are adequately implemented.

If you’re looking for a job as an HR assistant, Joss Search can connect you with positions in top equity and alternative investment firms.

You can look at our current openings or speak with one of our friendly consultants about your next career steps. We can be reached at 020 3096 7050 or hello@josssearch.com.

Find out more job descriptions here.