Every company has a complete human resources department that’s designed to handle people-related issues. However, as a company grows and ads to the workforce, it requires new HR positions. The HR analyst is one of those positions.
There are tons of HR roles that you don’t see in startups and small businesses. That’s because small businesses usually only have an HR manager and a few HR professionals under them.
However, as an organization grows and gets more people on board, the HR department needs an HR analyst for data analysis, especially when there are policy changes, regulatory adjustments, or if new HR processes are being introduced.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the HR analyst role, their responsibilities, skills, and qualifications, along with how you can become an HR analyst today.
Let’s dive right in.
What Does an HR Analyst Do? Typical Roles in Organizations
HR analysts are responsible for compiling, structuring, and analyzing data to develop insights and conclusions that help streamline HR processes throughout an organization.
Typically, human resources analyst jobs vary based on the size of the company.
For example, a medium-sized business would want an HR analyst who works directly under the HR manager, keeps them updated on the status of all queries, concerns, and issues, and collects relevant statistics.
Therefore, they would be expected to analyze the appropriate compensation to tie to job openings, develop a job summary for each position, analyze employee satisfaction survey data, evaluate all the training results, and more.
On the other hand, an HR analyst at a bigger company or enterprise will work differently. Since there is much more data involved, bigger companies break down the HR analyst role in specializations, including the following.
- Benefits Analyst
- Compensation Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Performance Management Analyst
- HR Systems Analyst
There are also some industry-specific HR analyst roles in some industries. In most cases, their general roles and duties usually remain the same.
That’s why you won’t find many discrepancies in the HR analyst job descriptions for differently named job titles.
Furthermore, the hierarchy of the HR department also determines the HR analyst’s role.
For example, in small and medium-sized companies, HR analysts work directly under the HR manager and alongside human resources generalists.
However, in bigger companies, HR analysts may answer to human resources specialists or assistant HR managers.
At times, the HR analyst role is important enough for them to be in direct contact with upper management. That’s when they may also get a chance to work directly on business administration.
Therefore, the HR analyst role depends on the organization’s size, hierarchy, and industry.
HR Analyst Duties and Tasks
The duties, tasks, and overall responsibilities of an HR analyst depend on their specific role within a company.
As mentioned above, there are a few factors that determine the overall role of an HR analyst.
While most responsibilities remain consistent, there may be some minor changes in the duties. For example, in larger organizations where there are specialized analysts, they would only have to worry about one part of data analysis.
Other than that, the following duties and tasks are what the typical human resources analyst has to manage:
- Compile relevant HR data and metrics from the HRIS (Human Resource Information System) and various payroll outputs.
- Collect and share information on new employment regulations, labor laws, government labor statistics, and more.
- Gather information and design employee surveys, exit interviews, and staffing policies.
- Help recruiters by providing relevant data, statistics, trends, and patterns to make the recruiting process more efficient.
- Conduct employee performance evaluations and share them with upper management.
- Educate team members and other employees on HR practices and company policies.
- Assess current employee benefits, compensation packages, and policies
- Analyze labor relations and employee relations within the organization.
- Work with the HR business partner for organizational development.
- Develop templates for reports to make it easier to present findings to senior leadership.
- Assist in the implementation of new employee development, recruiting, training, and other initiatives.
- Continually analyze competitor practices to make appropriate recommendations to upper management.
- Go over internal data and analyze retention rates and the decision-making processes to make internal processes more efficient.
Most of the duties and tasks listed above are a requirement, and companies tend to ensure that their HR analysts are capable of doing all of the above.
HR Analyst Skills and Abilities
Depending on the overall role of an HR analyst and their subsequent responsibilities, their skills and abilities might be different too. However, for the most part, they remain consistent.
That’s why the HR analyst typically needs to have the following skills and abilities.
- A complete understanding of Microsoft Office programs, including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
- Working knowledge of various database management and HRIS systems.
- Complete knowledge of HR practices, laws, regulations, and policies. This includes external and internal company policies.
- Should be aware of HR best practices (especially of the industry they’re working in).
- Systematic knowledge and understanding of key HR processes, their effects on the inner working of the HR department, and how to manage them.
- Complete knowledge of data analysis techniques, tools, and software.
- Knowledge of various statistical models, metrics, and KPIs.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Great interpersonal skills are needed to work hand-in-hand with HR professionals and upper management.
- Ability to maintain strict discretion and confidentiality due to the sensitive data involved.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, to resolve data issues and any other barriers to progress.
- Excellent research and analytical skills, to conduct primary and secondary research, as well as effectively analyze the accumulated data.
While the skills and abilities listed above are what every company expects from HR analysts, there will be other skills they need.
Those usually depend on your industry, organization size, and specialization.
HR Analyst Qualifications
Based on the skills and abilities listed above, there are certain qualifications that every HR analyst needs. These qualification requirements may change slightly, depending on your industry.
However, the following qualifications and requirements are the bare minimum that’s expected from HR analysts.
- A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Human Resources Management, or any related field.
- A master’s degree is not a requirement, but some larger organizations may ask for it.
- At least 1–3 years of experience in the HR space.
- Human resources certifications are not absolutely necessary, but they give a huge boost to your CV. The most weight is held by the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification from SHRM.
- At least one year of experience in HR analytics or data analysis.
- Being certified on using specific HR software is an added plus point.
- At least one example of your work as an HR analyst. For example, if you’ve successfully analyzed compensation data and developed a report on it. However, you have to make sure you’re not sharing any sensitive data with people who are not cleared to view it.
- In some cases, where 3–4 years of experience is required, you may need at least one year of experience with compliance and labor relations. Similarly, one year of experience in performance management may be required.
The qualifications listed above take the various requirements of companies. However, in large organizations with compensation analysts and similar roles, the qualifications may be more specialization-specific.
How to Become an HR Analyst
A lot of companies have realized that the HR analyst role is crucial to running their company. That’s because they can help manage the most important part of the company — the people.
Becoming an HR analyst isn’t hard, and you don’t need to plan for it beforehand. You can go through with your bachelor’s degree and get some experience under your belt before going into analytics.
It’s best to first become a proper HR professional, understand various HR processes, and learn about data analytics.
After you have the necessary experience, knowledge, and technical expertise, you can apply for an entry-level HR analyst job. Don’t worry about the entry-level position — the HR analyst salary will be according to your HR experience.
According to Glassdoor, the HR analyst salary in the US is around $63,952.
The average salary range is between $45,000 and $91,000. However, in both cases, the average salary is above the average HR salary.
Meanwhile, you should focus on getting some relevant certifications. Getting certified is a sure-fire way of succeeding in the HR industry. After you’ve completed some relevant HR courses and certifications, you should focus on getting some data analytics and HR analytics certifications.
Becoming a Great HR Analyst
If you want to become a great HR analyst, you need to have excellent HR knowledge and understanding. You also need to be good with analysis, statistics, and research.
More importantly, you need to be able to use both schools of knowledge together.
Getting certifications and completing courses helps you fast-track your HR analyst career. However, the best way to become a great HR analyst is still to get as much experience as possible.
That doesn’t mean you should keep working until you have sufficient years of experience. It just means you should use your time for more than just your job.
For example, you can work on side projects of perform research on related subjects such as historic compensation policies within your state.
Once you have the necessary knowledge, understanding, qualifications, and experience, you can become a great HR analyst.