So you want to work in HR? Who can blame you, very few companies don’t have an HR function, and its influence in the overall strategy of companies is growing. To forge out your career in the field, chances are, you’ll be starting out as an HR assistant.
What does an HR assistant do?
An entry-level role, HR assistants will be asked to perform a number of regular and ad hoc tasks under the supervision of a manager, consultant or specialist. You will be asked to assist in the administration of the function and will be the first point of contact for employees in other departments of the business.
Sample HR assistant responsibilities
As an HR assistant, you can expect to be responsible for the following:
- Providing administrative and organisational support for senior HR professionals
- Supporting on monthly payroll
- Entering new starters and leavers onto company systems, and welcoming new employees to the business
- Being the first port of call for employees that have an HR query
- Assisting in the resourcing of candidates
- Submitting employee data reports by assembling, and preparing data
HR assistant skills and competencies
To apply for an HR assistant role, you may be expected to hold a Bachelors’ degree, however many roles do not have this specification. A business or psychology related degree may give you an advantage over other candidates.
As an entry-level role, you will not be expected to have had professional training. Many companies will provide you with an opportunity to gain a CIPD qualification while you work, through revision leave and financial support. You will be expected to have the following skills:
- Communication skills – you will liaise with people from around the business, not just in your team. You will need to be friendly and approachable, and be sensitive when your colleagues approach you with a problem. You must also respect your colleagues’ right to confidentiality
- Organisational skills – an assistant will be required to work on regular and ad hoc projects. You will be required to prioritise conflicting demands on your time
- Open-minded – HR assistants will need to be flexible. As this will likely be your first role in the industry, a desire to learn is also essential
HR assistant salary expectations
According to PayScale, the median salary for an HR assistant in the UK is £19,998; the average is £19,840. HR assistants can expect to earn between £15,650 and £26,100 a year.
Find out more
If you’re interested in finding out more about being an HR assistant, consider the following:
- Search for HR assistant jobs
- Get advice on planning your career
- Find out how to grow your leadership skills