Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
10 Mar 2014

Demand soars for HR contractors in private and public sectors

10 Mar 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Public sector

Total job vacancies within the public sector rose by 4% on figures recorded in 2012, which can be partially attributed to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) in the NHS gearing up for financial year end.

This upward trend has certainly been reflected in the HR arena. In particular, the NHS is seeing a major demand for employee relations specialists as a result of structural changes. Added focus on improving efficiency and streamlining has resulted in increased pressure being placed on senior managers in underperforming trusts. In turn, this has had a negative effect further down the reporting line, with many staff claiming incidents of bullying. This sharp rise in employee relations cases has resulted in growing demand for specialists who can effectively manage the pastoral side of employee relations. In fact, the problem is such a concern that former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose has been recruited to lead a review into how to improve management in the health service. As these alterations in NHS structure are taking place across the board, we predict this to be an on-going issue.

Elsewhere within the health sector, there’s also a need for learning and development experts who can conduct job evaluations and identify staff who require up skilling as the NHS continues to undergo reform.

Private sector

Vacancies in the UK private sector have increased by 26% year-on-year as organisations seek to utilise improvements in the economy to resurrect abandoned projects. Unsurprisingly, the interim HR market has benefitted from the knock-on effect caused by this growth, as businesses look to take on talent to implement a range of initiatives.

Once again, employee relationship specialists are in demand at a number of major financial institutions to deal with complex ER cases. Policy alterations in bonus structures are predicted to result in several thousand new cases and this trend is expected to spread across the board as other institutions also undertake policy changes.

In the retail and publishing sectors, there has been a significant amount of M&A activity which has driven demand for interim professionals with TUPE experience. Organisations are looking for specialists in this field to fairly manage the transfer of employee benefits in the case of a merger or acquisition. This may, on occasion, involve redundancies, so HR professionals with appropriate experience are highly sought after.

Looking forward

With positive findings coming from both the NIESR and the Bank of England – which raised the UK’s economic growth outlook last week – it’s understandable that HR professionals are feeling optimistic. And with lengthy projects underway and structural changes in both the public and private sector requiring implementation, it’s expected this will continue to drive demand for professionals who can improve internal processes for organisations across the UK.