Employee Relations Specialist Job Description

An Employee Relations Specialist manages a company’s relationship with its employees. They oversee this relationship from the hiring process to current employees to the exit process. In order to manage employee relations, they participate in recruitment and hiring, compensation and benefits, communicating Human Resources policies, conducing exit interviews and ultimately analyzing employee data and make recommendations to management accordingly.

Employee Relations Specialists work in conjunction with and support the Human Resources department. They work with executive management in an advisory capacity. Typically working in offices, Employee Relations Specialists can work for major companies in-house as well as staffing agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this position is expected to grow about 5 percent through 2024.

 

Employee Relations Specialist Duties and Responsibilities 

In order to maintain and improve employee relations, an Employee Relations Specialist performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Employee Relations Specialists in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Maintain Employee Files

The Employee Relations Specialist starts, organizes and updates employee files. They track employee progress, noting promotions, recognitions and policy violations and documenting them accordingly. They ensure that former employee files are maintained according to law.

Recruit Employees

In order to assist with the recruitment process, the Employee Relations Specialist will advertise positions, identify and communicate with potential candidates, conduct interviews, perform employment verification and background checks and assist with notifying candidates with their decision. This part of the job may require travel to job fairs, college campuses or candidates.

Oversee the Hiring Process

Once a candidate has accepted an employment offer, the Employee Relations Specialist works with other human resources staff members to complete the hiring process. This includes completing and filing all hiring paperwork, educating employees in regards to compensation, benefits and company policies and designing and implementing the orientation and training process.

Manage Employee-Employer Relationship

In an ongoing capacity, Employee Relations Specialists act as a liaison between employer and employee, overseeing employee relations. This involves receiving and effectively handling employee complaints, escalating these complaints to the level of disciplinary or legal action when necessary, updating employees with any changes in company policy, advising supervisors on treatment of staff and company policies, responds to employee violations of policy and generally helps to resolve conflict in the workplace.

Oversee Employee Exit Process

Employee Relations Specialists facilitate the layoff, firing or departure process of employees who leave voluntarily. They conduct exit interviews and administer severance, and often they assist with firing decisions and notification of termination.

 

Employee Relations Specialist Skills

Employee Relations Specialists are empathetic individuals with great interpersonal skills who are able to build relationships with their employees. They exercise good judgment and problem solving skills in order to regularly resolve conflicts. Friendly and persuasive, Employee Relations Specialists can be trusted by both employee and employer to work as a liaison who finds solutions to both of their problems while maintaining important confidential information.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Employee Relations Specialists with these core skills. If you want to work as an Employee Relations Specialist, focus on the following.

  • Having Human Resources experience
  • Demonstrating a solid knowledge of employment law
  • Showing proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel and Word
  • Demonstrating an ability to work with confidential information

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Employee Relations Specialist toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification
  • Industry-specific experience
  • Experience processing relevant forms
  • Master’s degree in Human Relations

 

Employee Relations Specialist Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as an Employee Relations Specialist. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

The HR Capitalist – Insight from a young HR professional

Fistful of Talent – A blog about leading HR into the modern era

HR Ringleader – A blog from a major HR professional

Industry Groups

Society for Human Resource Management – Leading organization for Human Resource professionals

National Human Resources Association – Society of Human Resources professionals

Academy of Human Resource Development – Society for the study of the Human Resources field

Employee Relations Specialist Books

The HR Answer Book – A comprehensive guide to human resources

The Essential HR Handbook – A handbook for HR professionals

The Big Book of HR – Information and resources for HR professionals

 

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