Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
New opportunities in healthy HR market - Handle market update 29/08/2012
While recent business news has been dominated by bank scandals, the Eurozone crisis and the state of the economy, we are seeing a healthy upswing in vacancies on the HR front.
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- Senior market busy – talent acquisition is key
- HRMs in demand
- Shortage of experienced HR administrators
- Greenfield opportunities
- Key themes
Senior market busy – talent acquisition is key
The senior HR director market within entertainment and media is particularly healthy at the £80-100k level. We have also seen a focus on senior-level HR and talent acquisition director roles with young and start-up organisations within the e-commerce and digital space.
What’s interesting about these roles is that they offer a real opportunity to help drive the whole HR strategy from the beginning. While the focus is on formulating strategies for talent pipelining, designing & developing assessment centres and coaching hiring managers on recruitment and retention methods, there is also the opportunity to play a pivotal role in driving the HR agenda and aligning it to business strategy.
HRMs in demand
We have seen an influx of HR manager vacancies at the £50k level within our specialist sectors of TV, digital media, retail, fashion and PR. Change management experience is often key to these roles and the good news is that the projects tend to be associated with positive rather than negative change. While we may not be out of the woods from an economic perspective yet, HR departments are looking at reskilling and team build-outs. The sectors we recruit into are often associated with evolving markets and innovative routes to market such as e-publishing, video on demand services and music download platforms. These sectors are also looking at m-commerce (mobile web platforms).
Shortage of experienced HR administrators
There is a real shortage of experienced HR administrators with solid exposure to and experience in the development and implementation of systems and processes within complex global organisations. This is being driven by on-going international expansion into new global markets, which often means the integration of workforces, systems and cultures.
We are continuing to see a number of smaller organisations and start-ups choosing to build their own HR function rather than relying on outsourcing. This is being driven by the development of the tech hub around Old Street which has become known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’ or ‘Tech City.’
Experienced HR professionals who relish the opportunity of being part of formulating an HR strategy from scratch and feel that the big corporate environment is no longer for them could find real inspiration here.
On a general level, the key themes are around change, talent attraction, retention and engagement, and building talent-centric organisations. While the economy may still be in the doldrums, sectors such as high-end retail, entertainment and media are still seeing growth.
Consequently, today’s HR departments need a good balance of ‘thinkers and doers’, which calls for senior-level skills such as project management and the ability to manage silos of expertise in key areas like talent management, employee engagement and recruitment. While we have seen organisations investing heavily in employer branding and engagement programmes, we have also experienced very lengthy hiring processes which can sometimes lead to a disconnect from the employer brand. Clients have very specific wish lists and it’s important to appreciate that, while the economic climate is uncertain at best, there is still a war for the very best talent within the HR sector.
David Johnston, director - HR division, Handle Recruitment
David Johnston is the manager of the HR division at Handle Recruitment - specialists in recruitment for the media and entertainment sectors.