Human resources (HR) coordinators—also known as HR specialists, HR generalists, and HR assistants—provide a variety of HR activities and programs involving compensation, benefits, staffing, training, and workplace safety to organizations. They may work onsite to coordinate and organize activities, events, and initiatives related to one or several of an organization’s HR functions. HR coordinators plan and negotiate with managers, employees, and HR staff to ensure they work together effectively to operate and support their assigned functions.
The HR coordinator may also work offsite in a field, department, or unit operating in a location that is away from the central HR office. In this role, the coordinator is viewed as an offsite HR manager by employees.
Human Resources Coordinator Duties & Responsibilities
The job duties of HR coordinators depend on whether their role is functional or in a field unit or department. The job title is frequently interchanged with other HR job titles such as HR generalist, HR specialist, and HR associate. Commonalities exist, though, and include the following:
- Report to an HR manager or director to advise them on their functional area.
- Stay current on governmental requirements and laws in their functional area.
- Provide administrative support to the HR department, as needed, in areas such as research, record-keeping, file maintenance, and HRIS entry.
- Maintain the records necessary to demonstrate the impact of their functional area.
- Interact professionally and communicate well with all internal customers who are served by the function they coordinate.
- Measure the success of their HR function and make changes based on the data.
The HR coordinator usually has no reporting staff members. They perform internal customer service functions by answering employee and management requests and questions in their functional area.
They may be assigned additional HR departmental responsibilities as compensation coordinator, training and safety coordinator, or unit or field operation coordinator. Based on these additional roles, duties generally include the following:
- Research, establish, and maintain a company's pay system.
- Coordinate employee pay communication.
- Stay on top of market rates so that the organization’s pay is competitive to attract and retain employees.
- Conduct and supervise training and development programs for employees.
- Assess where training is most needed.
- Conduct or hire training, and evaluate its effectiveness.
- Provide all HR activities at a remote office.
The compensation coordinator communicates the organization’s pay philosophy to employees. They help employees understand the cost of their benefits and they champion the concept of personalizing and customizing benefit plans. They often play a leadership role in recruiting and orienting new employees.
The training and safety coordinator conducts workplace safety initiatives, gives safety talks, and fills out government-required paperwork. They frequently participate in prospective employee facility tours, new employee onboarding programs, and training and safety record-keeping.
The unit or field operation coordinator is often responsible for all HR activities at a remote office. For example, in a large university setting where the campus may be located on miles of countryside, individual units may want an HR coordinator on-site rather than having to send employees to a central HR office. This coordinator serves as a compensation coordinator, a training coordinator, an employee assistance counseling coordinator, a management coach, an employee relations specialist, an onsite recruiting coordinator, and a problem solver.
They perform many of the roles of the centralized HR function in coordination with the employees in the central office in the functional role and are expected to confer with the central office to ensure their handling of HR issues is consistent with other units.
Human Resources Coordinator Salary
The salary of an HR coordinator can vary widely, depending on the individual's role and responsibilities. According to PayScale, HR coordinators generally earn the following:
- Median Annual Salary: $45,381 ($21.82/hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $59,678 ($28.69/hour)
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $34,735 ($16.70/hour)
Source: PayScale.com, 2019
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides salary information for human resources specialists as follows:
- Median Annual Salary: $60,880 ($29.27/hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $104,390 ($50.19/hour)
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $36,270 ($17.44/hour)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
Education, Training, & Certification
Human resources coordinators generally require the following education and experience:
- Education: This position generally requires a four-year bachelor's degree with a major in a related field, such as human resources, business, or social studies. Coursework typically includes business, industrial relations, psychology, professional writing, human resource management, and accounting.
- Training: Employers typically prefer at least one to five years' experience in human resources or a similar occupation.
- Certification: Although certification is usually voluntary, some employers may prefer or require it. Professional associations in this industry offer courses to strengthen the skills of their members and may offer certification programs. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). In addition, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers a range of certifications for varying levels of expertise. For qualifying candidates, certification usually requires passing an exam. The examination tests human resources knowledge and how to apply that knowledge to different situations.
Human Resources Coordinator Skills & Competencies
Individuals in this profession should have the following skills:
- Communication skills: Listening and speaking skills are essential. HR coordinators must convey information effectively, and pay careful attention to questions and concerns from job applicants and staff members.
- Decision-making skills: HR coordinators use decision-making skills when reviewing candidate qualifications or when working to resolve disputes.
- Detail-oriented: Coordinators must be detail-oriented when evaluating applicant qualifications, performing background checks, maintaining records of employee grievances, and ensuring that the workplace complies with labor standards.
- Interpersonal skills: Coordinators continually interact with new people and must be able to converse and connect with people from different backgrounds.
In terms of the soft skills qualifications, the HR coordinator is responsive, ethical, confidential, critically evaluative, value-driven, knowledgeable about their HR responsibilities, organized, and cares about customer needs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HR coordinator positions are expected to increase 7% until 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. HR professionals will be needed to handle increasingly complex employment laws and healthcare coverage options. Most growth is projected to be in the employment services industry. Those with a bachelor's degree and certification will have the best job prospects.
HR coordinators generally work in offices. Those involved in recruitment may travel to attend job fairs, visit colleges, and meet with applicants. Travel may also be required for unit or field operation coordinators who work remotely as well as those who visit other offices to train employees.
HR coordinators work full time during regular business hours. Occasional overtime may be required, depending on an individual's current duties and workload.
How to Get the Job
Visit company websites to search for job postings in the industry. You may need to apply directly on the site and should have your resume and cover letter ready to upload.
USE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
A well-written and current resume is key to getting the right job. Check out available resources on job boards, as well as other career sites for the latest tips and tricks to make your resume stand out among the competition. These sites offer helpful resources such as templates, samples, formatting, and resume-building, as well as tips on preparing for and mastering an interview.
BUILD A NETWORK
Also, join a local human resources professional organization in your home state. Through a local organization, you can connect with fellow HR professionals, learn about job opportunities, and build a network of contacts.
Comparing Similar Jobs
People interested in a job as an HR coordinator may also want to consider the following careers, along with their median annual salary:
- Compensation and Benefits Manager: $121,010
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist: $63,000
- Human Resources Manager: $113,300
- Training and Development Specialist: $60,870
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018