Dear Experts,
I am currently pursing a Master's course in Psychology with specialization in Human Resource Development Management. As part of the requirements , I was to intern in
an HR department of an organization. My supervisor's role was primarily that of a HR Generalist.
From what I have observed and drawn out of my interactions with the HR, I have understood that one of the key challenges faced in an HR Generalist role is that,
they have significant responsibility for delivering HR solutions to a business unit with little formal power or resources. Virtually all HR requests are directed to the generalist, but the generalist does not have the time, expertise, or budget to handle these requests. Support can generally be obtained from the HR specialists, but the generalist has limited control over how and when such support is provided. How can such an issue be tackled from the perspective of a HR Generalist?
7th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Greetings Reshma,
From my observation a HR generalist's primary area of focus is in being a strategic business partner for the organization by helping all of the departments create a work environment which motivates and inspires people to contribute at a high level. They can specifically concentrate on addressing current and future hiring needs and staffing plans with the recruitment team, collaborate with the line management on improving HR policies and procedures etc.
8th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Depends on the company you work for. In big organizations the HR profile is highly specialized and can be broken up into many departments such as legal, training, recruitment, etc. Thus if your company can afford it and the scale is big enough maybe you should try this approach. Other wise for once in a while issues that come up you could always hire a specialized consultant for a nominal fee.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
As far as I have known a HR generalist is a person who manages the HR operations everyday in a company. It is his responsibility to motivate and also keep his employees engaged.He can work more on the employee orientation, training and development.He has a major role required to develop compensation and benefits systems that fit the company’s HR responsibilities.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Thank you, Mr. Amresh Subramaniam , for your viewpoint on the role of a HR generalist. I agree on the aspect that being a strategic business partner does carry a lot of responsibility in terms of having an overview on the HR policies, procedures, analysing the current staffing trends through conducting exit interviews etc. in collaboration with the recruitment team.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Greetings Mr. Leo Thomas, I thank you for your valuable opinion on one of the primary areas of concern faced by a HR generalist in an organization. As you have stated, if the organization expands its operations and services on a large-scale basis then it will be beneficial to move into a HR specialist role where HR executives/departments can come under the purview of training and development, talent acquisition, recruitment etc.
In organizations where such provisions cannot be made under the present circumstances and also when the manpower/resources are not sufficient to complete the tasks efficiently., outsourcing certain procedures on a priority basis to consultants can help the HR Generalist in managing the various functions better.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Dear Ms. Kiran Jeevan, Thank you for providing your valuable inputs on my post. I find your suggestion interesting that of a HR Generalist working more on the areas of training and development, employee engagement practices in the organization to enhance productivity and manage the human capital effectively. By providing a generalist the creative freedom to come up with modules on motivation strategies during the orientation of employees can contribute significantly to gathering further insights while conducting exit interviews, handling staffing requirements etc. This might add to the significance associated with performing a variety of everyday operations in the organization.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Hello Ms. Reshma. I agree that it is very difficult for a HR Generalist to handle specific problems such as work-life balance, employee satisfaction and recruitment processes that are generally carried out by a HR specialist. I personally know a colleague who faced the same problem and felt extremely guilty that he wasn't efficiently able to tackle the employee and organisation related problems as an expert would. His organisation was really small and they felt it unnecessary to recruit a specialist. I presume in bigger organisations a sub team can be affordable and the HR Generalist could be more of a delegator and a supervisor. My colleague ultimately dealt with the problem by just learning through experience.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
Greetings Ms. Gowri Lakshmi, I thank you for giving your thoughts and viewpoint regarding the question raised in my post. The situation faced by your colleague is exactly the same difficulties expressed by the HR of the organization I interned with. Being a HR Generalist, She felt at times that she was unable to justify the various roles and responsibilities she was entrusted with such as drafting policies and procedures, conducing exit interviews, revising and implementing performance appraisals, designing training modules etc. It comes across as a situation where they are at times tasked with handling as well as learning a wide variety of functions with little time or guidance to fall back on. This can become repetitive in nature.
9th December 2015 From India, Bengaluru
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