HR specialist vs HR generalist: which is right for you?

For many HR professionals, there will come a point in their career where they ask themselves whether they want to remain an HR generalist or develop in one HR area and become a specialist. Choosing which path to take can be hard unless you have a passion for one particular area.

The basic difference between the two is that an HR generalist has a general knowledgebase that covers a wide range of areas whereas an HR specialist has a deep level of knowledge in one.

At the start of your career, remaining a generalist could be advisable because it keeps your options open as you’ll have a greater breadth of experience. If you like variety in your job, remaining generalist is a good avenue for you to explore. There are also more jobs available although there is more competition for those roles.

However, as the world of work continues to change rapidly and with more legislation for employers to follow, HR professionals are expected to know much more. As recruitment company Robert Walters points out, specialist HR professionals will be “particularly highly sought after” in the next year. Although there aren’t as many jobs for specialists at the moment, the salaries are higher and the demand will increase.

If want to find out more about which path to choose, try our new download: ‘The Complete HR Career Development Guide’. We spoke to a range of HR professionals who have chosen both routes and who share their experience and advice with us. The guide is also packed with all the information you need to progress your career in HR including job roles, salaries and qualifications.

Take the next step in your HR career and download our guide now! 

5 Responses to HR specialist vs HR generalist: which is right for you?

  1. Avatar
    Michaela 19 Dec 2018 at 9:05 am #

    The link to your guide doesnt work.

    • Ashleigh Webber
      Ashleigh Webber 19 Dec 2018 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Michaela
      Thanks for your comment. The link should be working – you need to fill in the form in order to download the guide. Let us know if you encounter any further problems.

  2. Avatar
    Octavia P Wyatt 8 Jan 2020 at 5:26 pm #

    I’m interested in your free guide

  3. Avatar
    Jay 19 Feb 2021 at 2:11 am #

    The link is still disabled

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