what is an HR generalist?

As an HR generalist, you handle a broad range of human resources (HR) responsibilities. Your duties cover most HR functions, and you support managers and company leaders in making people-related decisions. As an HR generalist, you handle talent management in the human resources department, from recruitment and onboarding to administering compensation and benefits plans.

Human resources generalists report to HR managers or directors. While companies also employ HR specialists to carry out various functions, such as payroll administration, an HR generalist often handles most of the organisation's HR tasks. In these cases, your job ranges from hiring new workers to training and development. You also use HR analytics to monitor data and utilise human resources management systems to manage employees.

As an HR generalist, you perform a range of HR administrative functions, like maintaining employee records, administering payroll, and distributing information to employees. You also perform compliance duties, such as making sure the company is compliant with government regulations, taxes and labour laws.

Since you rely on workforce management systems and HR software to manage employees, you need computer skills to work as an HR generalist. Being tech-savvy also helps you adapt to new technologies, like blockchain HR technology and artificial intelligence.

Would working as an HR generalist suit your people skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an HR generalist role.

HR generalist jobs

average HR generalist salary

According to the Economic Research Institute, you earn an average salary of €33,500 per year or an hourly rate of approximately €16 as an HR generalist. Your compensation package may range from €23,500 to €41,000 per year. The earnings fluctuate based on the size of the company and your experience.

what factors affect the salary of an HR generalist?

Your compensation package will be higher if you have additional qualifications and experience. In an entry-level position, you start with a low salary as you learn the ropes. With expertise and skills, you can negotiate a higher salary. Educational qualifications also boost your earning expectations. For instance, having certifications in human resources showcases your expertise, which improves your earning prospects.

The size of the company also influences your earnings. Small organisations have minimal duties and need more resources to pay HR generalists higher salaries. Large organisations also have many employees, making your duties more complex.

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types of HR generalists

Due to the generalised nature of the job, there are a few types of HR generalists. Most HR generalists fall into the same broad category of HR workers who do a little bit of everything. The only thing that distinguishes HR generalists is their experience and responsibilities.

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woman smiling

working as an HR generalist

Want to find out more about being an HR generalist? Here are some important things to know about your responsibilities and work environment.


HR generalist skills and education

To work as an HR generalist in Greece, you require the following educational qualifications:

  • Education: pursue a bachelor's degree in business administration or social sciences. A psychology and business management course improves your knowledge of business practices and prepares you for the role. Having post-graduate studies in human resource management is also an added advantage.
  • Work experience: you require a few years of experience in human resources to work as an HR generalist. Gain experience through internships and entry-level roles in the HR department.

competencies and characteristics of HR generalists

This position involves using a lot of different skills simultaneously. If you want to do well as an HR generalist, it's important to have these qualities:

  • Communication skills: being able to communicate well is essential. HR generalists need to communicate clearly through conversations, calls, emails and letters.
  • Interpersonal skills: being an HR generalist involves navigating many complex relationships. You solve employee disputes, discuss sensitive matters, or turn down job candidates. When handling these matters, it's important to be professional, thoughtful, calm and diplomatic.
  • Organisational skills: since you'll handle a broad range of tasks, organisational skills are very useful. You should be comfortable with everything from filing paperwork to managing a calendar. These organisational skills help you stay on top of all your tasks.
  • Logical thinking skills: most of your job involves looking at regulations or business needs and helping the company adhere to these requirements. Being able to think logically, analyse situations, and solve problems is helpful.
  • Technological skills: HR generalists benefit from knowing how to work with Microsoft Office programs and a variety of human resources information systems (HRIS). If you don't already know these software applications, you should be capable of picking up new technology and learning new systems.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an HR generalist.

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