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HR in demand in scramble for talent

Jobs in HR are on track to rise 13.5% this year compared with 2021.

Research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) highlighted the upward trend and found internal recruiters were in particularly high demand, accounting for more than a third (35%) of all HR vacancies in 2022 so far.

Learning and development (L&D) roles were the second-most in demand, making up 14% of vacancies.

More on the HR job market:

HR professionals more confident in job prospects post pandemic

HR one of the happiest jobs in the UK

Demand for HR professionals exceeds pre-pandemic levels

Nebel Crowhurst, vice president of people at Into University Partnerships, said internal recruiters would continue to be in high demand.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: "The need for highly skilled internal recruiters is likely to continue, the jobs market has never been more demanding and organisations with in-house talent acquisition teams are more likely to attract candidates as they are best placed to promote the organisational culture and EVP through good employer branding.

"It’s a candidate-led market right now, and organisations need to be mindful of how they manage the demands of higher salaries from new hires in comparison with existing employees, and the possible downstream implications on pay equity."

The technology sector was the biggest recruiter for HR roles, accounting for 3,994 vacancies, 17.5% of the total number of HR vacancies so far this year.

Retail was the second-most prominent, accounting for 3,833 HR jobs, 16.8% of the total.

Craig McCoy, people director at Four Seasons Healthcare and chair of London HR Connection, said the rise of hybrid working has meant companies need HR more than ever.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “There’s never been a better time to be in HR. Emerging from the pandemic, and with the shift to hybrid working, UK PLC has had to shift its entire approach to flexible working and workplace culture, hence HR skills are increasingly in demand.

"Add to that the record level of vacancies and global skills shortages, it’s little surprise that recruitment and training specialists are heavily in demand as businesses struggle to make up the shortfall. There’s no doubt that the HR profession will continue to thrive in the years ahead.”

Claire Williams, chief people officer at software provider Ciphr, said that HR professionals can be excited about the shape the industry is in.

She told HR magazine: "The pandemic has solidified HR’s value and seat at the table and that’s good news for the profession going forward. And, I think, it’s an incredibly positive message for employees across the UK that their employers are investing in more qualified and capable HR teams to support them."

Despite the current high demand for HR jobs, another report from XpertHR's analytics division Cendex in May 2022 showed the base salary for HR professionals has plateaued over the past three years.

Its survey of 18,523 people working in HR, showed the median basic salary for roles has risen just 0.3% to £35,086 since 2019.