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A personnel analyst performs work that involves human resources, compensation, labor relations, information systems, benefits and job analysis. Actual job titles can vary widely: benefits analyst, human resources specialist, personnel management analyst, labor relations specialist and compensation analyst. According to May 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for human resources specialists is $61,560. The top 10 percent in this field earn an average of $96,470 annually and the bottom 10 percent receive a yearly salary that averages $33,240. States with the highest employment levels include California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. Personnel analyst positions are common in both private companies and the public sector.
Advise and Assist Executives
Personnel analysts typically serve as human resources experts in one or more areas of specialization such as pensions, information systems, health care and employee relations. In this role, an analyst is regularly asked by department heads and other senior officials to interpret legal and operational guidelines that apply to the organization. For example, the head of a public government agency could ask a labor relations specialist to review civil service guidelines that apply when staffing levels are reduced.
Conduct Personnel Studies
With lean management and staffing becoming more common in both public and private organizations, senior executives will periodically ask the personnel analysis staff to conduct detailed research of current employee assignments. Based on findings, the company or public agency can use results to formulate a reorganization plan that involves downsizing or employee reassignments. Personnel analysts often have wide discretion in how they accomplish organizational research -- observation, survey or interview techniques are three approaches that are common in personnel studies.
Evaluate and Prepare Examinations
Personnel analysts often write test items and prepare written examinations that are used in human resources activities. This role can also involve test research and evaluation of hiring procedures. For example, a personnel management analyst could be assigned a project on how to assess different levels of education and experience during the hiring process.
Training duties are common for some personnel analyst positions. This can involve training and supervising subordinate personnel as well as handling specific instructional needs for the organization. For example, a benefits analyst will often be asked to train new recruits regarding different benefits plans and procedures.
Presentation of Reports
In most personnel analyst positions, a key duty entails report preparation. Because reports are often presented in a group setting such as a committee or task force, this role requires a combination of written and verbal communication skills. A personnel analyst's typical “final report” represents the culmination of several separate duties for human resources specialists -- advising, consulting, researching, analyzing, problem-solving and formulating recommendations for management.
2016 Salary Information for Human Resources Specialists
Human resources specialists earned a median annual salary of $59,180 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, human resources specialists earned a 25th percentile salary of $44,620, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $78,460, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 547,800 people were employed in the U.S. as human resources specialists.
- Onet Online: Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Human Resources Specialists and Labor Relations Specialists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Human Resources Specialists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Human Resources Specialists
- Career Trend: Human Resources Specialists
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