Human Resources Generalist Job Description:
Carrie: I look after all of the basic human resources activities, from initial employee recruitment, and interviews, to representing our company at career fairs, making hiring offers, and arranging relocations as they arise. I also provide ongoing orientation and training for newly hired employees, plan various company events and resolve employee disputes or grievances, and perform exit interviews as needed.
I work with a broad range of employees that includes general laborers, skilled laborers, office employees, engineers, etc. Once they are hired and brought on board, I look after their orientation to ensure that they are settling in with the company and are engaged and excited to work.
Besides the general day-to-day requests, I get to plan parties such as holiday shut downs, BBQ's, and community support events. We like to celebrate our successes, as we are a growing company that was once considered a "ma and pa's" shop. We now have over 330 employees. I currently have the opportunity to get our Calgary location up and running and create a cultural environment that is safe and healthy as well as a fun atmosphere to work.
PayScale: How did you begin your career in human resources?
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Carrie: I started doing this type of work in high school at a very basic level by getting familiar with recruitment, resumes, employer needs and working with candidates. I combined my interest in psychology with business and found that the two overlapped when it came to HR. I worked in our career center in university and discovered my love for helping develop people and assisting them in finding their passion and seeing them grow.
I have a lot of areas to move into, which is a wonderful challenge. I'm currently working towards my CHRP designation.
PayScale: What do you love about your career in human resources?
Carrie: I love people. I love dealing with action and a variety of situations. I love the challenge that each day presents me. I always say there's never a boring day in my job!
This job really is a service job. I have a desire to help my employees and candidates in whatever situation it might be, whether good or bad. I do what I can to work with them to meet a common ground that works for them and the company. It's rewarding to know that you can impact someone's life by just taking a few moments to listen to them, acknowledge their ideas and help them grow with the company. I keep an open door policy and try to accommodate each employee as per the circumstance. With this said, happy employees equal productive workers here! Given the feedback that I have received from others, they really appreciate the fact that, although we have grown in size, they are still recognized as a name and not just a number. We try to maintain a personal level within the company that allows for openness.
PayScale: What are the biggest challenges you face with a career in human resources?
Carrie: Some of the biggest challenges come with keeping over 330 employees happy! It's a daily challenge and an uphill battle when you’re frequently communicating with people who have disagreements or different opinions! But whether it's the thrill of hiring a successful candidate for the right job, retaining employees, managing grievances and complaints, or creating procedures to ensure a safe and healthy work environment - the list goes on - it's a constant challenge and never a dull moment.
PayScale: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in human resources?
Carrie: Start small and just keep on growing. There are so many paths you can take in HR. If there are certain areas of HR that interest you and you have the opportunity to work in those areas, take it! As a Generalist, I have the opportunity to be involved in the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm pleased to say the good out ways the bad and the ugly, however, some days this isn't always true. With this said, like any job, it makes you appreciate the good.
Another piece of advice would be to stay current by attending HR courses, seminars, and classes. Work towards a designation that is appropriate. It may be challenging to do along with work, but it provides you with hands-on learning that pays off. Looking back I wish someone would have recommended I take more courses while in university, but on a bright note, I’m finding the courses are more applicable now that I'm working.
PayScale: What is the most amazing or interesting part of having a career in human resources?
Carrie: One of the craziest things would be that each year I have planned a birthday party for ‘our airplane’, which consists of a cake and food supplies for over 300 employees. We celebrate the success of the De Havilland Beaver as it signifies the success of the company. This helps bring the company together as we continue to grow.
Another interesting activity would be our United Way campaign. As a company we do a corporate fundraising campaign, and the company matches it. We have been very successful in the past few years in helping our local community by giving back. We offer prizes to donors and our prizes include many different items, but one of which is a scenic flight in our Turbo Beaver, or a day off with pay. We also have season tickets to the Canucks games and we do a draw on our shop floor for any employees who can make it for that game. However, the Canucks are in Vancouver and we are located at the Victoria airport. For the winners of these tickets, we fly the group of winners over in one of our airplanes and back that evening. It's a great opportunity to have employees actually fly in our planes as they are the ones who manufacture and help produce. This helps reward employees for their hard work, and creates a sense of ownership among the workforce.