How to Hire an HR Generalist (Complete Guide)

Published by:
Joe Caccavale
July 25, 2022
min read

HR Generalist Interview Questions

What does a HR generalist do?

HR Generalists are responsible for running he day-to-day operations of an organisation’s HR department. This will often involve hiring, administering pay and leave as well as enforcing policies if necessary.

Although depending on the size and structure of an organisation, many of their duties will overlap, an HR Generalist differs from a HR Manager in that they generally work on the everyday tasks, whilst a HR Manager may be more responsible for the overall strategy.

HR generalist job description

About the role

The HR Generalist will run the daily functions of tour HR department - managing pay, benefits leave and hiring. 

We’re looking for a  HR Generalist who:

  • Exhibits great judgement and is a persuasive communicator
  • Is data-driven and analytical thinker, with attention to detail.
  • Has a passion for improving workplaces - whether it’s diversity and inclusion or culture, you’ll love what you do and want a world where everyone is free to be their true selves in a job they love.
  • Is organised and enjoys a varied role which involves higher order strategy and day-to-day office administrative tasks.
  • Loves learning - you’ll need to stay up-to-date with employment-related laws and regulations.

In your first 6 months, you’ll:

  • Be spearheading key HR processes including hiring and onboarding
  • Oversee office and team logistics
  • Make sure our office environment is fit for purpose (including keeping it stocked and procuring equipment)
  • Liaise with our bookkeeper on expenses and invoicing
  • Work on travel and event coordination
  • Take the lead on developing and drafting company policies and procedures in areas from HR to legal
  • Track and manage key compliance and governance processes 
  • Gather and analyse data with useful HR metrics, like time to hire and employee turnover rates

Psst… You can grab our (free) Job Description Template here.

HR generalist interview questions

Core skills: Communication, Empathy, Conflict resolution, Organisation, Strategic thinking, Passion, Attention to detail

Question 1

We receive an email in our careers inbox from an applicant who is interested in applying for one of our job openings. Unfortunately, applications for the role had just closed and they were unable to submit their application in time. They ask you if they can still submit their application as they are really interested in the role.

How would you go about responding to the applicant? What would your recommendation be?

Skills tested: Communication, Empathy

Question 2

You have been balancing a busy workload and receive an email from a hiring manager, explaining that they are unhappy it has taken too long to issue a contract to a new starter. How would you respond to them?

Skills tested: Communication, Conflict resolution

Question 3

A new employee is joining the team and you have contacted their referee for an employment reference. The referee has not responded to you and over a week has passed. Please outline the steps you would take in order to resolve this issue.

Skills tested: Communication, Strategic thinking