HR Officer vs HR Coordinator

Hello, can I ask you to explain to me the difference between a HR Officer and a HR Coordinator? I got used to the CIPD bands i.e. generalist/technician, adviser, consultant and business partner. Am I right to assume that the two are a combination of generalist and adviser? I’ve noticed that these titles seem to relate largely to the third sector. Thank you

  • David

    | 21187 Posts

    Chartered Member

    3 Jan, 2018 02:32

    Hi Agnes

    I don’t think there is any meaningful difference between these two job titles.

    All they convey to me is that they’re probably middle management level roles specialising in HR: the particular responsibilities and duties will I’m sure vary immensely between particular organisations. ‘Co ordinator’ is a somewhat ambiguous term I think but to me implies someonetasked with pointing the way, so almost the same as ‘adviser’. Although maybe co ordinator too implies that they’re generalists, but not necessarily.

    The 20th century poet TS Eliot might have been describing HR job titles when he wrote ‘filled with fancies and empty of meaning’ - but of course wasn’t really ;-)

  • I believe that HR Coordinator is a level up from HR Assistant. After that comes HR Officer which I believe is equal to HR Advisor. Different companies choose different titles. I hope this helps.
  • Keith

    | 10781 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    4 Jan, 2018 09:45

    My 2p worth is that a HR Co-Ordinator could be either a HR Administrator or a HR Adviser. Unlikely to be much above that. Coordination to me suggests more passive administration work so if anything it is a posh way of describing a lower role.

    HR Manager is a rather unused term now. Most HR Managers called themselves BPs even if their roles haven't changed much. So for me a HRM is like a junior HRBP doing some but not all of the role.
  • Thank you all for your replies. It's much clearer now.
  • In reply to Keith:

    I think it also depends on the business, I'm a HR Manager but in a small start up and so makes sense to me to be titled Manager rather than BP. I think it would be beyond most colleagues what a BP means in my company haha!
  • Keith

    | 10781 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    5 Jan, 2018 07:57

    In reply to Lauren Plummer:

    Its beyond most people in big businesses what a HR BP is but that hasn't stopped people using it.
  • Lilly

    | 1 Posts


    18 Jan, 2018 16:23

    Hi Agnes , In my experience a hr coordinator is the level below a hr administrator. The coordinator literally co-ordinates mostly interviews and sometimes training and other ad hoc requests. It's generally used in companies that tend to have high recruitment needs and frees up time for the recruiter/manager. Also they generally do not need to be qualified or have a background in HR. After coordinator the next step is administrator followed by generalist and then officer/adviser.
  • In my experience (and unfortunately I have had lots lately job hunting) it depends on the organisation. In larger companies I have found the HR Coordinator role used for that at slightly higher level than or instead of HR Administrator. I dont hear HR Officer used very often at all except in the Public Sector where that is higher than both and and Administrator and a Coordinator. Also on the rare occasion it does appear in the private sector it is usually mid level role.
    Looking at your responses it seems that there could be a number of variables as to what organisations give certain roles certain titles - I have personally witnessed a role being called Officer but spent the interview listening to the person conducting the interviewing vary between calling said post Officer or Advisor and most recently one role that had originally been called Generalist was changed to Coordinator at the 11th hour because they had added slightly different elements to in that the previous incumbent had done below.

    Honestly? I think it depends on the company, the size of their HR Department and whether or not they truly understand the broad spectrum of functions within HR.
  • James

    | 27 Posts


    18 Jan, 2018 19:31

    In reply to Cass Clothier:

    Like others have said it varies depending on the organisation/business. To me though HR Officer seems a bit old hat? I think its just my interpretation of the 'officer' bit... policing the policies etc!
  • In reply to David:

    It will also depend on a company's business context and requirements as they will determine what kind of structure and role HR will have. But all in all, I think there is little difference between the two. Operationally both are on the same level for me. After all what's in a job title..the day to day responsibilities define a role better :-)
  • Just reading through this feed - I am a HR Coordinator but sit at mid-management level. I am responsible all aspects of HR and line manage a HR Administrator. I report into a Senior HR Manager, based in another region. This thread has me thinking I may need to have a chat with my organisation!
  • Kerry

    | 5 Posts


    31 Jan, 2018 16:20

    In reply to Andrew Cameron:

    In my career in the third sector, I have been both! Administrator first and then Co-ordinator as the organisation and HR team grew, then moving onto HR Officer. As HR Officer I was junior to 3 Business Partners but above the admin team and was involved in lots of company wide change processes that cut across all areas of the business.
    My experience has also been that the choice of job title within HR can be dependent on titles within the organisation. When I was HR Officer, there were lots of other roles with officer in the title and these were all seen as being on the same broad spectrum in terms of responsibilities and salary.
  • Ray

    | 2800 Posts

    Chartered Member

    31 Jan, 2018 16:37

    In reply to Kerry:

    In my experience the best guide to the meaning of a job title can only come from Humpty Dumpty in his discussions with Alice in "Through the Looking Glass"

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

    Job titles only take on meanings in the context of the organisations in which they are used. For example, I have seen HR Coordinator used for

    • a senior executive job in Buenos Aires charged with coordinating the implimentation and application of a European multinational's HR policies for senior executives and high potentials across 7 Latin American countries (25.000 staff and £4bn turnover), where each of those countries had a national HR Director;
    • an assistant to a seasoned HR professional who coordinated and fielded day to day questions and processes for HR matters (for both staff and line managers), across a people base of 300-400 people

    I've also seen

    • Senior VP (HR) in companies of less than 50 people
    • On the Board of major multinationals

    For me, the real issue isn't about what we call our jobs but the need to have a good degree of internal consistency within our organisations, and ensuring that appropriate "translation/understanding" takes place when speaking with those who are outside of our internal reference frame

  • In reply to Keith:

    And therein lies the exciting challenge for a strong HR Business Partner....
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