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HR Coordinator Career Guide

What is an HR coordinator?

An HR coordinator is a key player in the human resources department, serving as a link between HR management, employees, and other organizational stakeholders. While the role may seem administrative, its underlying value lies in streamlining HR functions and ensuring efficient people management. This role is instrumental in implementing HR strategies, policies, and initiatives that contribute to an organization’s growth and culture.

From recruitment and onboarding to employee relations and benefits administration, these professionals help create an environment where both the business and its employees can flourish. By providing this foundational support, they contribute to the organization’s overall cohesiveness, culture, and competitive advantage. 

Duties and responsibilities

An HR coordinator’s duties encompass various tasks to support the human resources function within an organization. They assist in recruitment by posting job openings, screening resumes, and scheduling interviews. They also facilitate the onboarding process for new hires, ensuring that necessary paperwork is completed and new employees are integrated into the company smoothly.

Beyond these initial stages, they manage employee records, administer benefits, and coordinate training programs. These professionals are often the first point of contact for employees with HR-related queries or issues and may assist in conflict resolution or disciplinary actions. While much of their work is focused on maintaining internal systems and processes, they are also responsible for ensuring compliance with labor laws and internal policies. 

Work environment

HR coordinators typically work in an office setting, although the specific environment can vary depending on the industry and size of the organization. Their work involves many computer-based tasks, including data entry, email communication, and specialized HR software. Maintaining confidentiality is paramount because of the sensitive nature of the information they handle. The role often requires interaction with employees across various departments, as well as external vendors or consultants, making strong interpersonal and communication skills essential.

Typical work hours

Work hours for an HR coordinator generally align with traditional office hours, typically totaling around 40 hours per week. However, the nature of the role may demand flexibility, such as when coordinating interviews for candidates in different time zones or dealing with urgent employee issues. Periods of increased workload can also occur, such as during annual benefits enrollment, performance review cycles, or company-wide training initiatives. While extended hours may be required occasionally, the role usually doesn’t entail significant shifts during weekends or holidays unless the organization operates on a non-standard schedule.

How to become an HR coordinator

In order to become an HR coordinator, you will need a combination of education, training, and experience. In this career guide section, we cover the steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goal:

Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree

A four-year business, psychology, or sociology degree is the best education to become an HR coordinator. You’re entering the people business, so taking courses to help you understand people better is the best option. You can also start with an associate’s degree in business and earn certifications to start your career because not all positions require a bachelor’s degree.

Step 2: Take human resources courses

In addition to your degree, you should have a strong knowledge base in human resources. Take some of the courses offered online by top universities and organizations. Here are a few of our recommendations:

  • The Introduction to Human Resources Concepts from Udemy is a perfect introduction course to learn about the job duties of the HR team, including recruitment, the orientation of new employees, employee retention tactics, training, and development. You’ll also begin learning about the legal issues in HR management that will be important for your career.
  • Another great introduction class is Administrative Human Resources (HR) for Beginners from Udemy. This course covers the process of recruiting great talent, from analysis to writing interview questions and job postings. It also covers performance management processes. 
  • Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of HR with the course from Udemy called Learn HR Fundamentals for a Career in Human Resources. You’ll develop a better understanding of the different HR functions and be able to apply key HR concepts and principles in the workplace. 
  • Coursera offers the course Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization. Develop strategies and skills for hiring, handling performance issues, and rewarding employees. Learn how to avoid the key mistakes in HR and managing people. 
  • Dive into the recruitment piece with the Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding Employees course from Coursera. This is one of the most important roles of HR and can also be one of the most challenging. Find out how to find the most talented candidates that fit within your organization’s strategic goals.

Step 3: Earn a certification in HR

HR coordinators can boost their careers with certifications to help prove their knowledge and understanding of human resources roles. There are many to choose from, but these two are widely accepted and respected, so it’s a good place to start.

  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR) – The HR Certification Institute offers this certification for HR professionals. It proves your in-depth knowledge of the technical and operational aspects of HR management, laws, and regulations. The exam covers employee and labor relations, business management, talent planning and acquisition, total rewards, and learning and development. To be eligible for the PHR, you must meet one of several conditions for education and/or experience. This certification is valid for three years, and to maintain it, you’ll need to earn 60 recertification credits over three years or retake the exam. 
  • Certified Professional – Human Resource (IPMA-CP) – The International Public Management Association for HR offers the IMPA-CP for entry or mid-level HR professionals looking to gain expertise, build their knowledge, and set themselves apart in the workplace. To become certified, candidates must complete the Public Sector HR Essentials course and pass the IPMA-CP exam. You’ll need to recertify every three years. 

Step 4: Look for jobs and gain experience

Once your education is complete, look for an entry-level HR position. Coordinator roles are entry-level in some organizations, but others might require some experience first. Get your foot in the door with a role on the HR team and build up your knowledge and on-the-job training. 

How much do HR coordinators make?

There are many variables that go into determining how much an HR coordinator makes, from company size to experience to education, just to name a few.

Highest paying states

  • Virginia – $64,186
  • California – $62,144
  • New York – $60,737
  • Illinois – $60,356
  • Massachusetts – $58,027

Browse HR coordinator salary data by market

Top skills for HR coordinators

This career guide section outlines the skills and abilities to help you succeed as an HR coordinator.

Organizational skills

Given their variety of tasks, strong organizational abilities are indispensable. This includes planning, setting priorities, and managing tasks to ensure that activities like recruitment drives, training sessions, and employee reviews happen seamlessly and on schedule. Effective organization helps streamline HR processes, improving overall efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Interpersonal effectiveness

These professionals often serve as the first point of contact for employees and candidates, making strong interpersonal skills crucial. Whether it’s resolving minor disputes, facilitating communication between departments, or helping onboard new hires, being able to interact effectively with people at all levels of the organization is essential. These skills build rapport and trust, fostering a positive work environment.

Attention to detail

HR tasks often involve managing vast amounts of data, from employee records to performance metrics. The ability to maintain accurate and up-to-date information is critical, as any error could lead to compliance issues or incorrect decision-making. Attention to detail is also essential when reviewing resumes, assessing candidates, and drafting internal policies, where small oversights can have significant consequences.

Knowledge of HR principles

Understanding the fundamentals of human resources, from labor laws to best practices in recruitment and employee relations, is vital. This knowledge enables coordinators to execute their tasks in line with both legal requirements and organizational goals. Being familiar with HR software and tools can also enhance efficiency and data management capabilities.

Excellent communication

Being able to articulate thoughts clearly and concisely is a must, given the role’s heavy reliance on communication. This applies to both written and spoken interactions, whether drafting emails, conducting interviews, or presenting new policies to staff. Excellent communication skills ensure procedures are understood, issues are promptly addressed, and the organization’s objectives are transparent to all employees.

HR coordinator career path

Starting a career as an HR coordinator sets you on a trajectory that spans various facets of human resources, from recruitment and employee relations to administrative tasks and benefits management. Usually, the entry point into this career might be an HR assistant or administrative assistant role, where you will support HR functions and learn the ropes of employee management and organizational policies.

With a few years of experience, you can move into a coordinator role, which involves a broader range of responsibilities. Here, you’ll coordinate various HR activities such as recruitment, onboarding, benefits administration, and compliance with labor laws. Obtaining certifications like the PHR can boost your credibility and job prospects at this stage.

As you gain more expertise, career progression may lead you to become an HR specialist, focusing on a specific aspect of human resources like talent acquisition, employee relations, or benefits management. These specialized roles often provide the experience needed for managerial roles in the future.

Eventually, you may advance to an HR manager or even HR director position, overseeing a team and developing strategic HR initiatives that align with organizational goals. These roles require a strong understanding of business operations, and many professionals choose to pursue advanced degrees like an MBA with a focus on human resource management to prepare for these challenges.

The pinnacle of an HR career might include C-suite roles such as chief human resources officer (CHRO), where you would be involved in high-level strategic planning and decision-making that impacts the entire organization. Alternatively, consulting roles in HR are another avenue for career growth, offering your expertise to various businesses.

The role of HR coordinator has evolved significantly in recent years, influenced by technological advancements, remote work settings, and a greater focus on employee experience. Automation and digital tools are increasingly taking over repetitive tasks, allowing these professionals to concentrate on strategic planning and employee engagement.

The demand for skilled coordinators familiar with data analytics and human resource management systems (HRMS) is rising. Additionally, with the emphasis on remote work, the ability to manage virtual teams and implement remote HR practices has become more valuable. The growing awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace also drives changes in HR roles, necessitating trained coordinators.

Employment projections for HR coordinators

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for human resources specialists, which includes HR coordinators, is expected to grow 6% through 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. The growth rate suggests a steady demand for HR professionals, particularly those skilled in navigating the evolving human resources landscape.

HR coordinator career tips

Soft skills and traits

HR coordinators need to be excellent communicators and really enjoy working with people. You’ll have to listen to many issues and concerns of employees and be able to show empathy and help solve problems. Excellent time management will help you with multi-tasking because there will be lots of things you need to handle at once. Conflict resolution skills will also assist in those situations. 

Commonly required skills and qualifications

In addition to education, familiarize yourself with the software programs companies use for payroll and people management. Coordinators must demonstrate responsible business ethics and an understanding of the laws and regulations in their location. 

Develop a professional network

One of the best things you can do to advance your career is to build up your professional network. Make connections with your leaders and peers, but you should also look at groups you can join to meet people from other companies. Here are a few to look into:

  • HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
  • LinkedIn Groups and Communities
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • National Human Resource Association (NHRA)

Where the HR coordinator jobs are

Top companies

  • Amazon
  • Capital One
  • Lowe’s Home Improvement
  • Google
  • Marriott International

Top states

  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Massachusetts

Top job sites

  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • ZIpRecruiter
  • Careerbuilder
  • Monster


What are the common duties of an HR coordinator?

HR coordinators assist with many tasks, including payroll, benefits, performance management, onboarding, recruitment, and writing job descriptions. They assist the HR department with administrative tasks, paperwork, and other tasks.

Which industries utilize HR coordinators?

Human resources are utilized in all industries because it’s required when there are any kinds of employees. Someone has to manage payroll, onboarding, benefits, and people. The specific coordinator role might not be required for every size company, but it’s not industry-specific.

How much education is required to become an HR coordinator?

It’s good to have a four-year degree before applying to jobs in HR, but at minimum, you should have a two-year associate’s degree. Some companies might require at least a bachelor’s degree, so verify when applying. 

Do HR coordinators make a good living?

The salary range for an HR coordinator depends on the company’s location, education, and size. Human resources is a great field to enter because there are many advancement opportunities, and it’s a job needed in every industry.

What are the career advancement opportunities for an HR coordinator?

Once you have experience as an HR coordinator, you can apply for promotions to manager and director positions. You can also use that experience to move to other areas of business.

Are certifications required to be an HR coordinator?

Most HR coordinator jobs do not require certification, but it can boost your resume and job prospects to earn a certificate. It shows your knowledge in the field and helps you stand out amongst your competition.

Is it stressful to be an HR coordinator?

The role of an HR coordinator comes with some challenges with conflicts and managing people and their emotions. If you are skilled in interpersonal communication, you should find these moments fairly simple. 

What are the most challenging parts of the HR coordinator’s job?

An HR coordinator will face challenging times in recruiting and dealing with employee relations. Usually, people in leadership positions can assist you when faced with difficult situations. Make sure to observe as much as possible in those moments. 

Are there specific areas of HR that the HR coordinators should specialize in?

The human resources department covers many specialties, including payroll, benefits, recruitment, onboarding, administration, and performance management. The HR coordinators often assist in multiple departments, but large companies might have more specialized roles.

What are the best parts of the HR coordinator’s job?

HR coordinators should enjoy working with people. The job revolves around communication and working with people to solve their problems and answer their questions. For most coordinators, the people are the best part of the job.