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Basically there are two types of career in HR: general and specialist roles. Although it is common professionals move between them.
General HR professionals are also known as "business partners". They are responsible for all HR-related matters for a specific client group (ej. All employees from one site or all sales employees, etc..). This professional normally works with the specialist professionals to be able to perform his/her role. He/she is accountable for all HR sub-areas in his/her organization (ej. Recruiting, development, compensation, performance management, etc..).
The specialist HR professionals are experts in one HR sub-area. They have specific knowledge and training to perform. Many specialist roles dont have directly contact with the employees, specially in huge organizations, where specialist HRs work as "consultants" for the business partners.
Most common specialist areas are: recruiting and selection, compensation and benefits, employee relations, payroll, training and development, HR operations between others.