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I write up requests for position creation and posting, handle the full lifecycle paperwork from on-boarding to raises/promotions to termination, and maintain personnel files for all employees. Both employers handle timekeeping with handwritten timesheets, so I process and submit official departmental timesheets weekly for about 200 employees. It's this primitive payroll processing that takes up most of my time, as you might imagine. All of this is done with little or no supervision - there are days when the only contact with my boss is a quick phone call.
However, I'm just initiating the paperwork. Once I write up the hiring forms, they're handed over to the appropriate HR department for processing. I have limited, view-only access to HRIS for each company so I have zero experience in entering data or running reports. We don't handle benefits or training (neither do the generalists, actually - both companies have specialist departments). We do limited recruiting on our own, as most of it is through the two HR departments and some selected temp agencies.
I want to eventually move into a generalist position (although HRIS might be in my future - data is my friend), but won't be able to get the necessary experience in my current position. I've been applying for HR Assistant jobs, but getting few responses. I may be both underqualified and overqualified at the same time! It's frustrating not to be able to claim any real HRIS data entry experience, yet I could probably learn a system in 15 minutes and teach the basics to others within an hour. I've been choosing the positions carefully and tailoring my cover letters (sometimes restructuring my resume as well) to show how my experience meshes with each posting's requirements/preferences, but so far to no avail.
In terms of education, I'm finally finishing up my BS in English lit and plan to acquire an undergraduate certification (6 courses) in HRM. I've been studying HR texts on my own, and perusing sites like this. No point in trying the PHR exam, as I'm non-exempt. I've just joined SHRM and the local chapter.
I would like to stay with the hospital (which is my official employer), but none of their current HR assistants seem ready to leave. The university's procedures are the bane of my existence, so they're out as a potential employer. I've just started networking, no results so far but we'll see. Most of the job postings for HR assistants/coordinators seem to be seeking either fresh young college grads "with some interest in HR!" or assistants with 5 years of experience who are content to remain assistants. A junior generalist position might work, if such a thing exists.
So... any words of advice? (other than "embrace brevity")