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HR professionals more confident in job prospects post pandemic

More than three quarters of HR professionals have more confidence in their future job prospects – emboldened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research from software company XpertHR found that a majority (77%) of HR professionals felt confident that there would be good job prospects in the profession over the next five years.

Over a third (39%) also said they had seen a positive impact on their working life since the pandemic, while interest in remote HR jobs has never been higher. 

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Craig McCoy, senior interim HR director and chair of the London HR Connection, believes the pandemic created a platform for HR to shine.

He told HR magazine: “The pandemic gave HR leaders an opportunity to respond proactively and shine in the context of almost unprecedented global disruption, and the aftermath of the pandemic as businesses pivot towards hybrid working means that HR skills and experience continue to be highly sought after.

“Certainly it seems to be a great time to be working in the HR profession.”

Network HR director Adam Oliver adds that Covid has led to more employees from HR backgrounds being appointed to director-level positions.

"We’ve also seen an increased appetite in non-executive director appointments for executives hailing from a HR background to steer things like culture change at board level," Oliver told HR magazine.

"This is certainly a post pandemic trend. This new world of working has accelerated business and cultural transformation which has baked-in a symbiotic relationship between HR and the business."

HR professionals have also seen a shift in which skills they need to do their job. 

More than half (58.2%) said the main skill they regularly use in their current role is employee relations and a similar percentage (57.8%) said it was business awareness.

Nearly half (46.4%) said a comprehensive knowledge of employment law was pivotal for them.

People analytics (26.6.%) and HR data management (24.7%) meanwhile were areas that HR professionals wanted to develop their expertise. 

XpertHR’s benchmarking editor Michael Carty added: “For many HR professionals, the last two years have been among the most eventful and testing times in their careers.

"People management issues – such as implementing remote work models and creating safe office environments for returning employees – have topped the corporate agenda for many organisations during the pandemic, creating both challenges and opportunities for HR. 

“It is heartening to see that the coronavirus pandemic has not dampened HR's overall positive outlook and enthusiasm for careers in the profession.

XpertHR surveyed 263 UK-based HR professionals between December 2021 and January 2022, forming the basis of the company's 2022 HR careers survey.