What is an HR Advisor?
From weighing in on recruiting decisions to advising about overall human resources policies, an HR Advisor plays an important role in an organization’s human resources department. HR Advisors might act as consultants to help enhance HR processes, improve employee relations and encourage staff development. They work closely with management to implement changes and create reports regarding HR strategies and practices that summarize current processes and outline suggestions for improvements.
HR Advisors are generally part of the HR management team. They are typically hired by larger companies with many employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth for human resources professionals, such as HR Advisors, is expected to be 5 percent between through 2024.
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HR Advisor Duties and Responsibilities
Develop HR Policies and Ensure Legal Compliance
Resolve Employee Relations Issues
Advise on Hiring and Employee Development
HR Advisor Skills
To be successful in this position, HR Advisors must have strong communication and organizational skills. They must be able to work both with upper management and non-management individuals, be team players and possess strong interpersonal skills. Analytical and critical thinking skills are also essential. In addition to these professional and personal traits, potential employers are seeking HR Advisors who display the following skills.
Core skills Based on job listings and other sources we looked at, employers want HR Advisors with these core skills. If you want to work as an HR Advisor, focus on the following.
- Coaching HR managers in performance management procedures
- Advising companies on payroll, employment law, labor relations and related areas
- Reviewing HR policies and practices
- Creating and implementing HR plans and strategies
- Conducting employee relations training
Advanced skills While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your HR Advisor toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Advanced knowledge of state and federal employment laws
- Professional management certification
- Ability to work with Microsoft Word, Excel and similar applications
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HR Advisor Q & A
What are some of the core duties performed by an HR Advisor?
Core duties can be very vast, or focused. An HR Advisor will provide a range of support in a lot of the HR function areas, including employee relations, recruitment, training, compensation, benefits, policy development, performance management, employment law, and so forth. Many HR Advisors are generalists and it is a great way to build experience and get to know the various aspects of HR and determine whether or not you want to specialize.
Core duties will usually include providing feedback and advice to managers and supervisors on employee performance and conduct issues; carrying out full cycle recruitment activities such as creating job postings, screening resumes, arranging and participating in interviews; and answering questions from staff about payroll, benefits, etc.
What challenges does an HR Advisor face?
A big challenge is that the foundation of HR activities is somewhat fluid, so what may have been set advice on how to deal with an issue last year is not the way things need to be handled this year. HR professionals need to stay on top of changing employment issues in addition to changing internal policies and processes. Other challenges can include dealing with often conflict-laden situations such as disciplinary actions, including terminations.
What skills do HR Advisors use most?
Skills used most include communication and interpersonal skills. You need to be able to be compassionate and empathetic, but firm. You need to be an ear for upset staff, a resource for managers trying to figure out how best to deal with underperforming staff and an investigator when trying to get to the bottom of issues. You have to have an adaptable communication style that you can flex depending on the situation.
What should someone consider before becoming an HR Advisor?
HR is a great career, particularly because it offers so much in terms of where you can specialize and grow your skills. You could become an expert in Compensation and Benefits, or in Training & Development, and really focus on implementing best in industry practices for your organization.
What type of person is successful in this job?
Successful people in this type of role don’t take things personally, can handle conflict and emotional situations, and are able to maintain confidentiality.
What do you find to be most rewarding about being an HR Advisor?
For me, the most rewarding thing about being in HR is the ability to help an organization align its people with its purpose, through recruitment, training, and performance management, that allows the organization to be successful.
HR Advisor Salary
HR Advisor Resources
Use the resources we have assembled below to find out more about being an HR Advisor. Find helpful links to resources addressing career responsibilities, networking opportunities and more.
On the WebHR Daily Advisor
A site designed for HR managers, directors and advisors, you’ll find helpful and insightful articles about best practices, required skills along with free webinars, videos, webcasts and more.The HR Blog
In this blog, you’ll find many articles directly related to finding success as an HR Advisor, with discussions about leadership development, team retention, motivation and change management.HR Advisors Conference Blog
Learn how to develop effective management skills, meet the challenges of being an HR Advisor and other management tips by reading the articles offered in this blog.
On LinkedInRichard Rose Now
shares podcasts and articles about working as an HR Advisor.Liz Ryan
Provides articles drawing on her extensive background in HR.Amy Howard
Amy Howard is an HR Advisor sharing several insightful articles about this career.
Industry GroupsNational Human Resources Association (NHRA)
Prospective and current HR Advisors will find various useful resources from the NHRA, including professional development events, networking and leadership conferences.Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Serving more than 165 countries, this extensive organization provides HR professionals, including HR Advisors, with conference, webcasts, online publications, articles, HR management certification information and more.
BooksFrom Gatekeeper to Trusted Advisor: Success Strategies for Today’s HR Professional
An indepth look at how to become a successful HR professional by using specific leadership techniques and methods.HR Advisor Resume Hacking: Shortcuts to outshining your peers and getting interviews
A short guide designed to help you make your HR Advisor resume stand out, with reallife examples and helpful tips.