The HR recruitment landscape continues to be candidate heavy

Natalie Limerick 17.10.2018

The market is candidate led, with vast numbers of professionals all competing for the same role, even for specialist and senior level opportunities.

HR hiring trends noticed in Q3

In London, there have been high levels of complex roles. The market has been incredibly competitive; in one particular case, 250 people applied for one International Head of HR role. The move towards digitalisation is influencing a range of sectors, having a direct effect on HR - those with a strong understanding of technology elevate their employability and, as a result, have been snapped up quickly.

The supposed summer lull wasn’t apparent for companies in the Thames Valley and Middlesex. This year, the pace and volume of recruitment continued on strongly from Q2 with significant hires across talent, learning & development and rewards.

The South West HR recruitment market remains largely candidate led. Primarily this is at senior levels, where reward, learning & development, as well as training, were the hot topics for hiring. There is definitely a shift in requirements from organisations, requesting project skills and technology experience.

What are organisations looking for in applicants?

Learning & development and talent acquisition professionals continue to be very much in demand. These candidates have recognised this and there has been a trend of them requesting high salaries as a consequence.

There has also been a noticeably high volume of requests for senior level HR professionals, encompassing roles such as Head of HR and HR Business Partner - this is evident primarily in London, but in other regions as well.

High volume of HR professionals competing for roles

The quantity of professionals applying for core HR vacancies is incredibly high in London, the Thames Valley and the South West - the market is heavily candidate driven, especially for specialist and senior level roles. The only areas that are clearly crying out for applicants are junior roles in financial services and across the reward & analytics space.

Highest paying HR roles seen in Q3


  • International Head of HR - £130k
  • OD Lead - Digitalisation Capability Programme - £750 per day
  • HR Project Manager (Shared Services) - Robotics, AI & Digitalisation - £740 per day

South West

  • Head of OD - £75k-£80k
  • Senior HR Business Partner - £650 per day
  • Regional HR Business Partner - £65k

Thames Valley

  • Head of Internal Talent Management & Development (Consultancy) - £80k
  • Interim HR Business Partner (Financial Services) - £650 per day
  • Senior Recruiting Manager (Technology) - £68k

HR jobs available

Contributing to a successful end of 2018…

In such a candidate heavy industry, professionals should go for roles that are almost a full match to their profile. Many skills are transferable, but with such intense competition, HR professionals have to think about their unique selling points if they want to get noticed. By making LinkedIn pages as informative and structured as possible, recruiters will be able to identify individuals and headhunt to specific briefs.

Contributors to the Human Resources Q3 update:

Natalie Limerick's picture


People Services Project Manager
Talent Fulfilment Specialist - Leading professional service firm
City of London26.03.2020
HR Manager - Fluent Mandarin & English