Titles in HR: 8 key roles and what they do

Human Resources covers a great range of responsibilities, and there are a variety of titles associated with this profession. This, however, can confuse many and especially those who do not work in HR themselves. In this article, we will clarify what some of the most popular titles are and what they actually mean.

Why are there so many titles?

One reason for the numerous HR job titles is the way companies utilize them to match their specific needs. It is also common for organizations to create new job titles to better align their structures. These new titles can gradually spread to other companies and become widely adopted

Looking back in time, HR titles used to be referred to "personnel administration". Not until around 20 years ago, "HR" or "Human Resources" became common instead. Today, more and more companies are using phrases like "People" or "People Operations".

Closely connected to HR, we have “Recruiting" or "Talent Acquisition", of which the latter has become the most used. "Learning & Development" is also a profession that we are starting to see more of as organizations have realized the importance of investing in their greatest asset - the employees.

HR functions that work in close collaboration with IT, are usually called HRIS Specialists or HRIS Managers and are responsible for managing the organization’s HR software.

HR Director, Director of People Operations, CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer)

This title is held by someone who hierarchically holds the highest position in HR, often at a group level of a company or organization. The work is mainly focused on strategic matters and the CHRO usually have other managers reporting to them.

HR Manager, People Manager, People & Operations Manager

In larger companies, this is a strategic role where you work with the organization's overall business and employee-related needs. In smaller companies, the position can also include operational tasks as you are normally alone in the department, or alternatively have a few colleagues. The role can sometimes include managerial responsibilities.

HR Business Partner, HR-partner, People Partner, People Business Partner

The HRBP role varies a lot between different types of companies. Generally, this person is responsible for HR matters within a certain business area or department. The role is mostly strategic, with some elements of operational tasks. It can involve implementing, running, and following up on HR processes in the organization.

HR Advisor, People Advisor

As a relatively new job title, the responsibilities of this role may vary, given its lack of a standardized definition globally. It is considered a junior role compared to an HR Partner and bears similarities to that of an HR Generalist. In this capacity, the individual will work broadly with the company's HR processes and provide assistance to managers and employees.

HR Specialist, People Specialist

When you work as an HR Specialist, you normally have at least 2-3 years of experience. The tasks can include various administrative tasks, recruitment, questions related to labor law and trade union relations as well as work environment, health care, and employee rehabilitation.

HR Generalist, People Generalist

Typically, an HR Generalist is a professional with 1-2 years of experience who oversees the day-to-day requirements of an organization. Their duties may include managing labor laws, skill development, organizational development, and recruitment. Additionally, they provide continuous support to managers in various personnel-related matters and facilitate the on- and offboarding of employees.

HR Coordinator, People Coordinator

An HR Coordinator is generally someone who has recently graduated or has a few years of experience in HR. This position provides an excellent foundation as it involves working on various aspects of HR. As an HR Coordinator, you often serve as a point of contact for both staff and managers regarding HR-related inquiries. Your responsibilities include administering contracts, managing HR tools, and providing support to recruitment.

HR Administrator, HR Assistant

This role often serves as the initial point of contact for employees and is an entry-level position within HR. The responsibilities are primarily operational and involve providing support to the organization's personnel and salary administration, updating data in HR systems, and liaising with authorities, among other duties.

Overall, the various roles and titles within the field of HR play a crucial role in ensuring the success and growth of an organization. As businesses continue to evolve and face new challenges, the importance of HR professionals becomes even more critical.

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