The functions of human resources continue to evolve, as professionals blend traditional soft skills – compassion, attentiveness, time management – with data-driven strategies to cultivate a diverse, fully engaged workforce.

What is a Human Resources Coordinator?

Human resources coordinators, also referred to as HR generalists, HR specialists, or HR representatives, serve as a vital link between an organization and prospective employees. They oversee tasks that range from recruitment and screening to conducting interviews and placing new hires in appropriate roles. HR coordinators are knowledgeable in core areas that include HR disciplines, compensation, benefits, training, and employee relations. This knowledge is essential because coordinators must guide new (and established) employees through HR procedures, while also addressing policy-related inquiries, administering benefits, and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

What Does a Human Resources Coordinator Do?

Human resources coordinators are responsible for multiple tasks, often under the direction of a human resources manager. Some of the core responsibilities of HR coordinators, according to O*Net, involve:

  • Interpreting and explaining human resources policies, procedures, laws, standards, or regulations. This is essential for understanding and communicating HR guidelines.
  • Hiring employees and processing hiring-related paperwork. This is a core responsibility of the HR department. 
  • Addressing employee relations issues, such as harassment allegations, work complaints, or other employee concerns. This is important for fostering a positive work environment, as HR plays a role in shaping company culture.
  • Scheduling or conducting new employee orientations. This is vital for integrating new employees into the organization, and coordinators may be involved in designing the onboarding process.
  • Maintaining current knowledge of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action guidelines and laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is crucial for ensuring compliance and fair employment practices.

How Do I Become a Human Resources Coordinator?

Your path to potentially becoming an HR coordinator begins with your education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agency that analyzes and reports employment data, the role typically requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources, communications, or business.

Here’s a closer look, via Indeed, at the academic paths you could take to consider pursuing a career as an HR coordinator:

  1. Undergraduate Requirement: HR coordinators typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, with majors in human resources, finance, business management, business administration, or related fields.
  2. Advanced Degrees: Many HR coordinators pursue master's degrees in human resource management, business administration, or related subjects to enhance their knowledge and skills.
  3. Graduate Programs: These programs offer a comprehensive understanding of organizational operations, business administration, and decision-making processes related to HR management.
  4. Coursework Focus: HR graduate programs cover various topics such as oral and written business communication, business management functions, and ethical decision-making processes in a business context.

Additionally, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a professional human resources membership association that advocates for the HR profession, offers education and certification that is recognized throughout the industry.

The most widely known SHRM credential is the SCHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). The SHRM-CP exam features two types of multiple-choice questions: stand-alone knowledge-based items evaluating factual information understanding, and scenario-based situational judgment items assessing decision-making skills. The exam lasts four hours, with 134 questions, including 80 knowledge items and 54 situational judgment items. These can be taken in person at an authorized testing center or remotely from home through live remote proctoring. The question types cover HR-specific knowledge, situational judgment, and leadership topics associated with HR functional areas and behavioral competencies.

Successful HR coordinators may also have previous experience working in the areas of training and development or recruitment.

What Skills are Needed to Be a Human Resources Coordinator?

Human resources coordinators need a combination of soft and hard skills to succeed in their roles. Communication, for example, is a core tenet of the HR sector. Still, today’s HR teams must also master a growing number of software tools in the workplace, while also navigating the challenges of ever-evolving government and industry regulations and compliance framework.

Here's are some of the skills and tools you’ll need in your repertoire to succeed if you were to pursue a role as an HR coordinator:

Technology skills:

  • HR software (ex: ADP Workforce Now; Oracle Taleo; Tempworks)
  • Document management software (ex: Adobe Acrobat; Adobe LifeCycle Enterprise Suite)
  • Project management software (ex: Microsoft Project; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project
  • Portfolio Management)
  • Business intelligence/data analysis software (ex: IBM Cognos Impromptu; Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition; Tableau)

Soft skills:

  • Active listening
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Negotiation
  • Time management
  • Complex problem solving
  • Monitoring
  • Writing

How Much Does a Human Resources Coordinator Make?

Like all jobs, the salary for an HR coordinator may vary depending on factors such as location, company, and the applicant’s previous experience. O*Net online is a helpful resource for providing up-to-date data on HR coordinator salary information. You can find that here.

What Is the Job Outlook for Human Resources Coordinators?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has analyzed HR industry data and made its predictions on the future of the industry, as well as employment of HR coordinators. For more information, visit the BLS website here.

Is Human Resources a Growing Field?

SHRM analyzed LinkedIn data to examine the growing role of HR as a “business-critical function.” Among the group’s findings:

  • HR positions, including HR coordinators and managers, but also emerging roles such as HR analytics managers and diversity and inclusion managers, rank among the fastest-growing in the U.S., occupying five spots in the “Top 25 Fastest Growing Job Titles” list.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the business landscape, leading to an increased demand for educated HR professionals capable of innovating the employee experience.
  • The increased diversity of HR and HR roles will lead to a shift toward niche and necessary functions that transform companies for the better.
    The growing importance of HR will lead to a focus on enhancing the employee experience to retain and attract talent, making HR crucial in achieving overall business goals.

How Do I Find Jobs in Human Resources?

In addition to traditional networking and online research methods such as LinkedIn or, for example, a university job board, SHRM maintains a database of HR job postings from more than 110,000 employers. Additionally, the group offers a Career Planning Portal with resources in the following categories:

  1. Resume writing: SHRM’s resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn resources will connect you with the group’s team, and help you create a resume that stands out. You can get a free resume review or pay for a professionally written resume that is fully optimized for HR-related keywords. This can help you avoid being overlooked by Applicant Tracking Systems, also referred to as “resume robots.”
  2. Insights: SHRM resources can help prospective HR coordinators understand more about the industry and role. There is also an educational tool that will provide you with a number of learning paths, as well as informative career videos, employment opportunity projections, and a job overview resource that can show you a typical day in the life of an HR coordinator.
  3. Career coaching: SHRM has assembled a group of career coaches to offer HR professionals advice as they ascend the industry ladder. Coaches have a variety of credentials and give users access to content they share on their social networking feeds. However, coaching is not free, and prices vary by service.

Summary: What Is a Human Resources Coordinator?

Human Resources coordinators play a crucial role as a liaison between organizations and potential employees. They are often responsible for recruitment, screening, interviews, and onboarding; and are well-versed in various HR disciplines, including compensation, benefits, training, and employee relations. The path to becoming an HR coordinator typically involves a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or related fields, with additional certification from organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). HR coordinators need a mix of soft skills, such as communication and active listening, along with proficiency in HR software and data analysis tools. For more information about the outlook of the HR industry and which role could suit you, visit the BLS website here.

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