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HR Specialist: Reviews & Advice

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How to Get a Job as a HR Specialist

If Segal was hiring a new specialist, she says she would consider “someone who is smart, understands that HR is part of the management function, has business savvy and a keen analytical mind.” Like other areas of business, HR focuses on innovation and return on investment, she says. “HR needs creative, innovative thinkers to take us past the traditional paper processing and compliance focus to show our value and ROI in the global economy in new ways,” she says. In addition to having fresh ideas, Segal says you must demonstrate good writing skills, be able to work with financial data and have a solid understanding of your industry. “Being in HR in a startup tech company is not the same as being in HR in a bank or a manufacturing company or in the entertainment industry,” she says. “While there is some obvious overlap, if you want to be truly effective, be seen as more than a paper pusher and have a seat at the table, you need to show that you understand the business you’re in and how HR can support the bottom line.”

Interview Questions Submitted by Real HR Specialists

"How can you contribute to our team and the success of our organization?" - LexisNexis Human Resources Candidate (Dayton, OH)

"What is your least favorite type of person to work with?" - Advantage Sales and Marketing Human Resources Generalist Candidate (Location Unknown)

"What tangible value can we expect you will create in the first year?" - Navarre Director of Human Resources Candidate (Location Unknown)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility fair Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility poor Below Average

What is the Job Like?

Jobs vary widely by the size of the employer and the business sector it's in. Most jobs are in office settings with stable work hours. But field world and longer work weeks are common, especially at companies with seasonable employment fluctuations, labor unions, and project work for large clients. "HR workers are not clock pushers," Cohen says. "They're not people who get there at 9 and leave at 5. If there's a problem, you need to deal with it now. So, it's a job that's demanding." The jobs are, not surprisingly, people-intensive. Small employers tend to have a single HR professional who fills every duty. Positions at larger employers are more specialized.

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Last updated by Evan Taylor.


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