London’s HR sector has seen a 15% increase in the number of permanent roles compared with Q1 2014, a Badenoch & Clark report into HR recruitment trends in London, eastern England and the Midlands has found.
The recruitment firm’s HR Market Insight 2015 Q1 report also found that the most sought-after skills for permanent HR professionals in London to have included compensation and benefits, reward and employee relations. Reward and compensation and benefits also featured in east England organisations’ most sought-after skills, as did management and leadership development and talent and reward.
“A surge in demand for those skilled in reward and compensation and benefits reflects the growing concern among HR managers surrounding employee engagement and retention,” said Matt Gascoigne, executive director at Badenoch & Clark.
“Demand for talent is on the increase and organisations must look to hold onto key staff and top performers as more opportunities become open to them. As a result, companies are looking to hire those experienced at co-ordinating benefits and reward schemes, to concentrate on creating effective retention strategies and building a more motivated and engaged workforce.”
Meanwhile, the Midlands in particular has seen a growth in demand for HR business partners. “Business leaders increasingly view HR business partners as reliable individuals who are vital to supporting the efficient delivery of business transformation and the attainment of strategic objectives,” said Gascoigne.
“Use of the Ulrich model of optimum delivery of HR services continues to grow, and the design and implementation of improved HR systems and/or process to support business strategy are especially valued. Commercially-focused HR business partners are the most in-demand and particularly those who have supported a business in meeting the company goals.”
The number of organisations recruiting an HR professional in the learning and development space is also up 15% in London on 2014.
“This year an improving economy has led to significant business growth across the capital and increased investment in staff and training,” said Gascoigne. “A lack of quality candidates has encouraged many firms to look at upskilling and re-deploying existing employees and to improving retention rates.”
“Gradual growth in the learning and development arena over the last few years has seen this specialism move away from just a subsection of an HR manager’s duties into a fully-fledged remit within human resources. As a result, improved salaries have made this a more attractive space for high calibre professionals.”
The report also found a 40% increase in demand for HR project leads in the interim space in London.
“Most of this change is due to growth and development, but some sectors are being forced to displace or offer redundancy to employees. For example, during the first quarter of this year, the big four retailers in the UK and the majority in the oil and gas sector have seen large numbers of permanent employees exiting the workforce, both voluntarily and as a result of cuts,” said Gascoigne.