What is an Employee Relations Specialist?

The employee relations specialist fulfills an integral role in the area of many employers’ practices in employee relations. This is a broad area of accountability, typically found within the human resources department. Want to learn more about this important position of diplomacy and employee dealings? Here is a basic rundown of the position.

Core Duties and Concerns

There are many functions and activities with which the employee relations specialist is involved on a daily basis. As this position is all about providing legally-sound diplomacy between the worker and employer, it can involve matters of handicap accessibility and provisions, employee conflicts, workplace injury, complaints, discrimination issues, and more.

At the heart of all of these employee relation functions however lies a set of core goals alongside a company mission. These all culminate in a focus on one, singular interest – ethics and legal compliance in all areas of employee relations. Handling employee relations so as to be ethical, fair, and legally compliant is at the core of every organization. This important task is therefore left to the abilities of those specialized in this area – the company’s employee relations specialists.

A Day in the Life

To give a better picture of the regular duties encountered by this kind of worker, we take a look at a hypothetical day in the life of this professional role. Neli is our hypothetical specialist in employee relations. She works for a large company with a diverse and expansive workforce.

Today, we see Neli start her day with a management meeting that is concerned with refining the arbitration process for employee-to-employee conflicts. After learning of some new approaches desired by management, Neli goes off to her office to look at how this new protocol can be incorporated into practice.

After this, she is on to investigating a claim of discriminatory oversight by a manager in the company’s marketing department. She will then talk to all parties involved and form a conclusion and plan for resolution should one be required. If the complaint is unfounded, she may then work with the employee in a developmental or disciplinary manner.

To finish the day, our hypothetical specialist finds herself becoming familiar with a coming, legislative change to OSHA rules on the job. She must be fully aware of all, upcoming law changes. From here, she can confer with her other HR associates on how to best implement this coming change in OSHA regulation.

Job requirements, Pay, Outlook

The requirements of this progressive job in employee relations typically involve at least a bachelor’s degree in a human resources or business administration major. Interdisciplinary degrees can also work here as well. An example might be a combined degree in human resources and psychology, or business administration and business ethics. Each hiring entity will fluctuate to some degree in its requirements.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in this position garner a median pay rate of around $28.06 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicates a solid but average growth rate in the field. However, according to the agency, in the near future, “specialists will be needed to handle increasingly complex employment laws and healthcare coverage options. Most growth is projected to be in the employment services industry.”

Related Resource: Become a Trade Analyst

Employee relations specialists are the experts that must masterfully walk the area of relations that lies between the employer and its employees. This brief is merelymeant to serve as a short rendition of the ins and outs of this critical and sometimes complex position. For those interested, more information can always be sought on the employee relations specialist career by contacting your local business arts school or even a local human resources department near you.