Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Good news in the HR recruitment market? 29/10/2012
Richard Colgan, managing partner at Oakleaf, gives an update on the current recruitment climate in each sector, and shares what roles are in demand.
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- Professional services on the up
- Commerce & industry: rise in new vacancies
- Financial services surprisingly buoyant
- Is the HR market looking up?
Professional services on the up
There is an air of competition for the best candidates in professional services since technical skills are needed in most new hires; employee relations, TUPE and performance management are the most-sought after technical skills of the moment. Both the interim and permanent markets have roles available, but even the interim market is looking to hire top talent while not bowing to time pressures.
At entry-level, there are roles available for recent graduates. The graduate recruitment cycle is becoming busy, and because of this, we’re seeing many employers and recruiters attempting to attract future top talent through a focus on innovation and differentiation.
There is still a focus on a global mindset in HR. Growth in the international arena has allowed for the development of some interesting project-based roles, and some management and senior roles have become available because of the focus on global programmes and plans. Asia Pacific is expected to see expansion.
We’ve noted that the trend of hiring from within a sector is still going strong, but there are some risk-takers who are hiring from outside their sector as a means to encourage innovation. We’ve also seen significant HR manager and director roles in legal HR recruitment being filled.
A main indication of the professional services sector making positive strides is that we are seeing top candidates land multiple interviews and have multiple offers to choose from.
Commerce & industry: rise in new vacancies
Our commerce & industry team have noticed that the amount of new vacancies has risen significantly, and this trend looks like it will continue on. In the interim market across all industries, there are more fixed-term contracts than day rates, and salaries have seen little movement, or in some cases dropped up to 10%. Permanent compensation & benefits, global mobility and learning & development roles are being created, but generalist HR business partner roles are replacement or backfill roles.
Much of retail in hiring mode
In retail, there is significant movement between companies at a senior level as they try to gain a competitive edge over each other. Because of this, a main focus in retail is retaining talent. Many of our clients are continuing to hire as they look to grow by expanding overseas and diversifying their core offering. Because of this, we’ve seen a few specialist HR roles come our way. Since there is an emphasis on quality customer service, learning and development is back on the HR agenda.
Technology & telecoms healthy
There is a healthy flow of jobs in the technology and telecoms sectors in reward, L&D, and recruitment. Candidates with US partnering experience in software development are in high demand since many popular corporates are selling their hardware divisions as a response to SME competition. Because of this active software development market, there has been an upswing in technology and digital creative companies in the City. This is supported by the government’s desire to see opportunities in start-up businesses.
Development overseas for FMCG & construction
A number of acquisitions in the overseas markets show that FMCG companies are building their international presence. Tighter margins driven by higher commodity prices and rising inflation has created a tough market for food manufacturers, but the drinks sector has avoided this, reporting good results.
While economists are predicting that things will get worse for construction in the UK as work has dropped 13% between March and April, there is still growth in Asia and the Middle East.
Financial services surprisingly buoyant
At the end of the 2nd quarter this year, we finally saw the amount of available role in global investment banks go up. Recruitment for this sector is being led by smaller boutique companies, asset managers, PE houses, insurance firms, and retail banks. All areas of HR are being hired into, although most roles being filled are from £40,000 to £90,000.
In-demand roles & investment banks
While there haven’t been significant work opportunities for specialists in ER, change, OD or talent, generalists and business partners are in high demand. However, hiring managers are taking some time to fill these roles. Reward is recruiting the most, with roles in policy and governance available as a means for businesses to meet regulatory requirements. There is stiff competition for top talent in reward. Because of the auto-enrolment process that begins later this year, pensions is in high demand. L&D is finally picking up after a slow 1st quarter; we’re seeing roles both nationally and internationally.
After trading scandals and tougher regulations being enforced, investment banks will need to drop fixed costs to increase recruitment. The number of mandates for recruiters and recruitment roles indicate that businesses will still look to hire in 2012.
Interim roles in financial sector
While HR recruitment has been challenging in the last 3 months, the interims and contracts market have kept the market fluid and have remained buoyant. There is a particular demand for generalist and business partners, as well as experienced in-house and onsite recruiting. Clients are looking for individuals who know their markets so they can impact the bottom line and the hiring strategy, but there seems to be a shortage of individuals with specific industry experience.
Is the HR market looking up?
Despite the mixed market at the moment, we remain optimistic that things will improve. Though the senior market has been depressed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as we have seen significant activity at this level recently.
Richard Colgan, founder & managing partner, Oakleaf Partnership Limited
Richard Colgan is founder & managing partner at Oakleaf Partnership Limited