The Robert Walters Job Index is based on the number of professional roles posted to online platforms. It also suggests the number of HR jobs coming on to the market increased by 4% between the first and second quarters of 2014.
London has seen jobs increase by 5% across the same period, although the biggest growth has been in the North-West. The number of HR roles grew by 18% up to the second quarter of the year.
Robert Walters' director of legal, HR and support Colin Loth told HR magazine HR functions are starting to move away from cost-cutting measures and towards "employee attraction, hiring process optimisation, engagement and retention".
"In quarter two, the standout areas of demand have been for direct hire recruiters and HRMI and analytics specialists," he said. "Demand for direct hire recruiters in particular is a reflection of the growing number of roles being created by employers in the financial and professional services sectors."
Clyde & Co group HR director Charlie Keeling also told HR magazine that many HR functions are now better at showing their value as a support function.
"There will always be change at a company, so HR leaders being able to demonstrate their function's value in change management means they can secure more headcount," he said. "In my experience, in the legal sector specifically, I feel we've won the battle to have HR specialists hired and not just people who don't fit into other departments."