Difference Between HR Generalist and HR Manager (With Table)

The human resources wing has been divided into various heads based on the roles and responsibilities duly assigned by the organization. There is a clear distinction between managerial posts and the ones headed as the HRs. It is essential to understand the subcategorization as well because generalists and managers are equally important for any top-tier organization. They can be considered similar based on the leadership skills required.

HR Generalist vs HR Manager

The main difference between HR Generalist and HR Manager is that the former has a narrow scope of activity while the latter incorporates everything that is a part of the leadership hierarchy. Generalists have fixed duties while managers can vary the amount of work based on the specific areas requiring due attention.

A human resources generalist is the head of different HR departments in small organizations. He or she has to look after a variety of tasks and work with new people with each successive batch. One human resource generalist is enough to support employees right from day one till they are directly or indirectly handled the resignation letter.

A human resources manager is the leader of all substituted HRs working in a large organization. The managers need to tackle these substitutions only for the tasks they have specialized in. A single manager is not enough as large workplaces have different areas to be streamlined towards a common goal. There might be instances when managers are assisted by fellow managers too.

Comparison Table Between HR Generalist And HR Manager

Parameters of Comparison

HR Generalist

HR Manager


A human resources generalist is someone who is supposed to handle daily tasks of all the departments under the human resources wing

A human resources manager is someone who has to head all lower HR posts (including HR generalists) on an occasional basis


No specialization is required for HRGs

HRMs specialize in various fields like recruiting, training, enrolling, etc


A single person has to conduct all job checks on a large group of people

Some separate people evaluate the same group through a series of checks at each subsequent step

Type of Company

Small companies are headed by a human resources generalist

Much bigger companies have to be managed by a human resources manager

Exclusivity of Job

Works with separate departments tackling various issues

The manager is a specialized head supposed to tackle the same range of tasks for a longer period

What is HR Generalist ?

The post of HR Generalist in all organizations is fixed for a single recruiter. The sole eligibility criteria for handling the post of HRG are a bachelor’s degree and some knowledge regarding the post. For the business field, the subjects might vary but the parameters remain the same. No undergraduates can intern as human resources generalists due to strict rules.

The rights and duties of HRG are dependent on the day-to-day activities that are supposed to be completed before a specific deadline. Implementation of orders timely reflects the exceptional leadership skills of the generalists. As the post requires due perseverance, generalists tend to hold the post for a longer period compared to managers under the same organizational setup.

Some perks of handling the responsibilities of HRG include experience in handling a large group of people, excelling in maintaining public relations, building a comprehensive portfolio, and becoming recognized in the workspace for the multitasking activities catered to. They also get occasional leaves.

What is HR Manager ?

The post of HR Manager in all organizations is divided based on the respective functions assigned. One cannot climb the corporate ladder up to this highest rung of manager without ample experience. In some organizations, a lot more is desired since the competency parameters are updated with each passing year.

The rights and duties of HRM are dependent on the area of specialization as there are numerous managers in multinational companies. This specialization is further subcategorized into duties regarding enrollment, maintenance, quality assurance, and detailing. All sales pitches need to pass through the managers before being finalized. They cannot work independently since every task requires full-fledged cooperation.

Heading the post of HRM has a lot of benefits including high pay, a good reputation in the office, and various perks related to incentives, etc. The workload is high due to the large team recruited under managers. They hardly find any time for themselves and thus, sticking to a work-life balance is seemingly difficult.

Main Differences Between HR Generalist And HR Manager

  1. HR Generalist is akin to a manager of small organizations while HR Manager can be regarded as the part of inspection department in much larger organizations.
  2. While an HR Generalist specializes in all-round activites, the Manager can only manage a single specialized stream, irrespective of the workload on fellow managers working for the same motive.
  3. The role of HR Generalists revolves around conducting multi-level checks while HR Managers focus on improving the same set of people for years at a stretch.
  4. In most cases, a small company is headed by an HR Generalist while HR Managers head the top posts of top-tier companies only.
  5. The job of an HR Generalist is limited to departments while an HR Manager works with everyone under an organization.


Both the departments are considered to be all-inclusive as no organization can excel without apt coordination between generalists and managers. The main intent behind the creation of this post was to assist the ones managing public relations. Neither managers nor generalists are enough for the effective implementation of human resources duties. They need to work towards maintaining a balance between incoming and outgoing tasks.

The differences owe their existence to the hierarchical setup which leads to the gradual flow of information in official places. Reporting is another crucial aspect of the human resources department. They are expected to keep a track of all the activities while making efforts to improve the present status of the organization at the same time. Above all, mutual agreements prove to be the most important milestones for high levels of leadership.


  1. https://journals.asm.org/doi/abs/10.1128/aac.47.6.1824-1831.2003
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5716609/