Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
HR hiring levels on the up? 17/09/2012
The overall HR recruitment market has seen a marked improvement recently, with a cautious but steady rise in new opportunities, says Dona-Mirelle Battat, executive director at Digby Morgan. Find out what skills are sought-after in each sector.
Click to jump to section
There have been a few significant HR moves at the senior executive level recently; we expect that to impact hiring as new HRDs restructure their teams. It’s resulted in some activity in senior HRBP, reward and talent management/development.
Retention policies are working well in most organisations with the best candidates well looked after. As they’re the candidates in demand, there’s a dearth of top talent in the market. More widely, we currently notice a heightened level of dissatisfaction which is likely to impact on attrition when activity picks up.
Commerce & industry
The manufacturing and engineering, tobacco, outsourcing, technology/telecoms and energy sectors are showing promising signs. There’s renewed demand for reward and OD expertise.
Strategic business partners are also sought after, but relevant industry expertise is often a prerequisite to a successful hire. Most opportunities are at £70-£100k level.
The £120k+ market remains challenging. Client expectations are high – especially if they’ve previously employed an interim with in-depth expertise. The interview process can lack pace as employers deliberate on their changing needs, responding to ongoing economic pressures and market challenges.
The public sector is now seeking a specific profile of individual – to fill increasingly commercial roles. Many organisations are restructuring. They require HR professionals with the skills to deliver cultural change and tangible results.
It’s still a candidate rich market – except at the top where there’s a small pool of in-demand and talented top tier specialist HR interim professionals.
Activity is more pronounced at the junior to mid-level (£40k) and in clients hiring interims on short term 1-3 month fixed term contracts. Much of this is driven by the ‘try before you buy’ mentality before appointing permanently. Some contracts are being extended beyond the initial term – good news for the best interims.
Why is there a shortage of top HR talent?
Many individuals are choosing to focus on their current role as there are relatively few attractive opportunities around. If candidates are to move, they’ll have high expectations.
HR is also maturing. Companies want more than just text-book advice from HR; candidates who understand how businesses operate and can be more strategic about their support are the ones in greatest demand.
Unfortunately the Ulrich model doesn’t necessarily offer the development opportunities for HR generalists to move from shared service centres into client-facing relationship roles. This is a longer-term challenge for HR.
How to stand out
It’s imperative that you demonstrate strong relationship development capabilities, you understand what the business does and how HR can help achieve goals.
Companies want innovative and adaptable HR practitioners, not those who just demonstrate best practice or the inability to offer flexible solutions.
Dona-Mirelle Battat, executive director, Digby Morgan
Dona has been with Digby Morgan over sixteen years and built the City practice.