Successful small businesses grow. And with that growth comes the need to incorporate the HR function into the management of the organization.
The duties and responsibilities of a human resource assistant can keep things running smoothly; and eliminate unnecessary conflict in the workplace.
What Does An HR Assistant Do?
The HR assistant is the person who deals with the day-to-day HR responsibilities and is the liaison between the organization, employees, and benefit vendors.
This essential role helps ensure that employee needs are met and that critical HR files are taken care of.
Managing the human resource function can be a part-time responsibility for small organizations or a full-time position for larger organizations.
9 Duties and Responsibilities of a Human Resource Assistant
1. New Hire Application Process
The HR Assistant helps with the entire new hire application process.
It also involves being the point person for applicant questions and information flow between the organization and the job candidate.
For instance, the HR Assistant may be the contact person who communicates information between the hiring manager and the job candidate.
2. New Employee Orientation
The HR assistant is often responsible for orienting new employees to the organization and is the point person for all new employee questions.
Onboarding is one of the key responsibilities of an HR assistant. This role helps to ensure new employees have a successful transition to the new work environment.
It may also include welcoming the new employee to the office by introducing them to co-workers and other key members of staff.
3. Payroll Processing
This position may also have responsibility for processing employee payroll.
Payroll processing may include making sure all worked hours are accounted for and any vacation or sick time is tracked and put into the payroll system.
The HR Assistant may also answer employee payroll questions and facilitate the resolution of paycheck errors.
4. Record Maintenance
Employee record maintenance is an important business function. And the larger the organization becomes the more critical these records are.
The HR Assistant is responsible for maintaining organized and up-to-date HR files. This includes paper files and digital HR records.
For instance, records may include information on employee benefits, employment status, paid time off, sick time, or any other employee nonproductive hours.
5. Vendor Liaison
The human resource assistant may serve as a liaison between the organization and insurance or retirement benefit vendors.
This includes adding or terminating employees from the benefit programs and helping to answer questions or resolve benefit-related issues that may arise.
For instance, the HR Assistant may call the insurance company when an employee leaves employment and enroll them in a COBRA benefit.
6. File Audits
Well-maintained HR files are the result of ongoing file audits. This critical job responsibility works to ensure that records are accurate and up-to-date.
The HR Assistant is responsible for performing HR file audits to ensure that all required documents are collected and are maintained in employee files.
File audits should be done at least annually.
For instance, a file audit may look at all employee files to ensure that I-9s are completed and available in each employee file.
7. Employee Advocate
Successful organizations pay attention to employee needs and ensure a process for employees to be heard.
The HR Assistant often acts as an advocate for employees and conveys employee issues and concerns to management for resolution.
They are the eyes and ears of employees and alerts management of underlying issues that may need to be addressed.
For instance, let’s say your organization just completed an employee satisfaction survey, the HR Assistant may be the person to communicate issues that were revealed through this employee feedback process.
8. Employee Recognition
Happy employees are those employees who feel valued by the organization.
An HR Assistant may help plan and oversee employee recognition events.
This could include planning the annual employee picnic, Christmas party, or overseeing an employee recognition dinner.
They are the employee cheerleader and helps to create a fun and engaging employee environment.
9. Clerical Support
Many aspects of an HR Assistant function are clerical.
This person provides clerical support duties for the HR manager.
These responsibilities may include departmental filing, answering the phone, travel arrangements, and other miscellaneous duties.
Smaller organizations have fewer employees and often manage the HR function with one person.
However, as the organization grows, employee support becomes more complicated. The more employees there is the more specialized HR becomes.
Larger organizations may have HR employees who are specialized in certain areas, such as compensation, benefits, hiring, or labor relations.
Regardless of the size of the organization, the HR assistant is a vital role that is the glue to maintaining a happy and productive workforce.