Characteristics for a Human Resource Assistant

By Grace Ferguson
...
association_b image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com

According to Indeed, the average salary for a human resource assistant was $38,000 as of April 2010. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that human resource assistants have the best job opportunities if they have the skills and general office functions that the position requires.

Communication Skills

Generally, the human resource assistant is responsible for maintaining the personnel records of the company’s employees. This information includes employees’ names, addresses, wages, benefits and withholding taxes. In some companies, the human resource assistant is responsible for screening applicants for minimum qualifications relating to applications and questionnaires. Furthermore, she might be required to perform reference checks of prospective employees and to explain test procedures and results to applicants. The human resource assistant must have good communication skills to ensure she accurately and effectively relays information to the appropriate individuals.

Interpersonal Abilities

She is also often required to work with other departments within the organization, such as payroll, to ensure that employee benefits are properly monitored and paid. Furthermore, she is sometimes the go-to person when managers, supervisors and/or employees have questions or concerns about benefits. Consequently, the human resource assistant must be an approachable and professional individual who knows how to connect with others.

Confidentiality

The human resource assistant has access to employees’ personal information. Furthermore, complaints from coworkers and incidents involving employee conflict are often brought to the human resources department. Those working in the department must keep such matters and information confidential. For instance, the human resource assistant cannot divulge an employee’s wages to another employee, except if the individual is an authorized person, such as a manager.

Software Knowledge

Many companies use computer software for their human resources data entry, data monitoring and data information needs. Software such as HRIS and Ultimate Software is specifically designed to manage the company’s HR, payroll and some accounting needs. Employers prefer HR assistants with software knowledge because it reduces time and money spent on training.

Personal Attributes

The human resource assistant should be a self-starter and a team player and be detail-oriented and flexible. He must have multitasking and follow-up skills. He should also be an innovative individual with ideas that can help to improve the department and the organization.

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.