Companies had to move fast to secure top HR professionals in Q1

Holly Bacon 06.04.2018

Q1 has been strong for HR recruitment with organisations looking at their teams and what they need, but they have had to move fast to hire the best candidates.

Overview of Q1 HR recruitment

Q1 of 2018 has been busy. We have experienced a great start to the year, with clients thinking ahead, looking at their teams and what they need. However, being a candidate led market means that companies need to act quick if they want to secure the top talent.

Whilst ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is a good approach, high calibre candidates currently have more than one opportunity on the go, so organisations need to ensure onboarding and interviewing processes are efficient.

Top 3 in demand and highest paying HR roles

HR Generalist

HR Generalists are massively sought after as they have the ability to look after various HR tasks. They are required to have a broad understanding across employee relations, learning & development, recruitment, compensation & benefits and even, in some instances, payroll.

Salaries: (dependent on organisation) ~ £35,000

Compensation and Benefits Specialists

In high demand at the moment, compensation and benefits jobs require specialists that have responsibilities that depend on each business, but often candidates will have to report market trends and make sure employees are rewarded to increase retention and engagement. Read our 2018 salary guide to benchmark HR salaries.

Salaries: (at manager level) £40,000 - £65,000

Training and Development Specialists

Demand for these positions goes back to our previous notable trend for 2018 that companies will be focusing on a high-performing, resilient and flexible workforce. Providing employees with development opportunities will increase retention, resulting in an engaged workforce.

Salaries: (dependent on seniority) £45,000 - £75,000

Most desirable skills and qualifications

The skill that we’ve noticed being most highly desirable is the knowledge of succession planning. Being able to look at those starting out in their careers and identify high performers, as well as upskilling staff to become the next senior leadership and management team is currently sought after. Another skill that has gained popularity is being able to adapt to flexible working, accommodating working from home and flexible hours.

The big question asked by candidates is whether they need their CIPD qualification. Clients have mixed opinions, but the general consensus is that having the qualification doesn’t automatically make you a good HR professional, but it can increase your technical knowledge. It doesn’t provide you with the required commerciality or the understanding of how a business works - traits sought after in HR manager jobs and Business Partners. There is a tipping point where good commercial HR experience outweighs the qualification.

Jobseeker and hiring manager motivations

Candidates have many reasons for looking at opportunities. The most common are: salary increases, further development and progression opportunities, or a culture change to try another environment.

Whilst employers look to upskill employees and offer internal promotions, sometimes the time comes to look externally. Someone who can bring new ideas that have worked in other businesses can be a great new addition and someone from outside the industry might be able to bring something different.

Looking forward: HR recruitment

Our Employment Law Seminar is being held on Thursday, April 26th in Reading.

In Q4 of 2017, the number of single employment tribunal claims rose by 90%. Tribunals are now taking longer to hear claims, proving to be even more expensive for employers. This makes it even more crucial for HR professionals to be up to speed with recent case law, statutory changing and managing tricky situations in the workplace.

The seminar will cover the practical implications of recent case law on subjects including: new legislations around; managing ill health situations and avoiding successful disability discrimination claims, GDPR, assessing whether or not TUPE applies, calculating holiday pay and successfully defending employment tribunal claims.

Brexit is very much on the agenda but remains a grey area. Organisations know that they need to make plans, but with a lack of decisions being made by the UK Government, it is hard to determine exactly what is needed - this said, clients are preparing their strategies.

Holly Bacon's picture
Head of Thames Valley and Middlesex Office


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