what is an HR administrator?

As an HR administrator, your work is a combination of admin and human resources responsibilities. Some companies utilise HR administrators for administrative functions, while others require you to do both roles. Technically, the role of an HR administrator has less to do with employee services and more to do with administering company policies, data management and evaluating employee relations.

what does an HR administrator do?

Most people often confuse an HR administrator with an HR generalist, but they are separate roles. For instance, a generalist manages all employee-related issues while an administrator assists the HR manager with daily tasks like processing new hires, HR data systems and documenting policies. In large organisations, the HR administrator role is broken down into different areas of specialisation like payroll administration or data entry. However, in smaller companies, your role as an HR administrator will cover all the human resources functions, including recruiting, training and employee relations. That is why HR admins in small organisations get more exposure and broader experience.

As an HR administrator, you need to understand the intricacies of data management. Since you play a crucial role in managing the information flow between employees and managers, you need communication and people skills.

Would working as an HR administrator suit your data management skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an HR administrator role.

HR administrator

average salary of an HR administrator

According to ONS, the average salary of an HR administrator is £21,517 annually or £11.03 per hour. At entry-level, your earnings start at £19,069 per year, but when you gain more experience, your earnings increase to £26,500. Apart from your basic salary, most companies offer allowances and benefits like health insurance and house allowance. Some companies also pay end year bonuses and overtime wages for working long hours.

what factors affect the salary of an HR administrator?

Multiple factors determine your salary as an HR administrator. If you want to boost your compensation package, you need to improve your credentials. Becoming an HR administrator requires formal training, and the level of education impacts your salary range. That is why acquiring additional certification or qualifications makes you eligible for a bump in salary. Aside from wages, the scope of the job also affects your pay. For instance, if you manage a small group of employees, you will earn less than an HR admin in charge of thousands of employees. 

Some job responsibilities also offer an array of benefits. If you handle complex personnel matters, typically, you are awarded higher wages. The location also influences the compensation package due to the varied cost of living and demand for human resources services in various places. Large cities have better opportunities for human resources administrators and a higher cost of living hence the higher salaries. Small towns have a low cost of living, which reduces the compensation package.


types of HR administrators

As an HR administrator, you can specialise in one of the responsibilities. Some of the types of HR administrators include:

  • HR coordinator: as an HR coordinator, you facilitate human resources programmes. Your tasks include scheduling orientations, coordinating training and dealing with employee problems. You also research industry trends and help the company create better HR processes.
  • employee relations: as an HR administrator in charge of employee relations, you maintain a harmonious work environment. That includes addressing behaviours in the workplace and finding ways to resolve conflicts among employees.

working as an HR administrator

If you want a career as an HR administrator, read on to find out the work schedule and the specific duties.


education and skills

Multiple routes are available into a career as an HR administrator: 

  • you can start with a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 3 in personnel support or Level 4 NVQ in personnel management. 
  • alternatively, get an undergraduate degree in human resources, business management or psychology. 
  • you can gain experience as an intern in a general administrative role or human resources department with a degree.

While most HR administrators receive on-the-job training, some employers require a certification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). When you finish training, you receive a Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP). It gives you basic skills in personnel management while a Certificate in Recruitment and Selection (CRS) provides specialist knowledge.

HR administrator skills and competencies

As an HR administrator, you need a firm set of skills, also soft skills, to succeed, including:

  • computer skills: as an HR administrator, you need basic computing skills to aid in data management and other HR functions. Knowledge in MS Office applications like Excel, PowerPoint and Word makes your job simpler.
  • organisational skills: your role involves juggling numerous tasks, and some will fall behind schedule without organisational skills. Administrative skills help you prioritise tasks and improve efficiency.
  • communication skills: as an HR administrator, you need good communication skills to assist employees with their queries and requests. Most of your duties also involve communicating with job applicants, and communications skills will come in handy.
  • integrity and approachability: you need to be approachable and trustworthy to make employees feel safe. That way, they can discuss sensitive issues with you. You should also give workers good advice on their queries.


FAQs about working as an HR administrator

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