HR pros: Time to specialise

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New junior and intermediate HR positions were created in the first quarter of 2013 in response to the increased workloads weighing HR teams and senior staff shifting more of their focus to business strategy, according to Robert Walters’ Human Resources Job Market Update.

“Experienced HR business partners and generalist HR advisors are in demand to deliver strategic HR objectives such as improved company culture and staff morale, through succession planning and talent management,” Kim Nicholas, senior consultant for HR recruitment, said.

The creation of these new positions also reflects a concurrent lift in business confidence. “The first quarter of 2013 saw a slight increase in HR vacancies as business confidence continued to strengthen,” Nicholas said.

However, in general, hiring levels in the HR market have stalled. Most of the vacancies that were created were a result of ordinary turnover in the market, rather than specific growth, according to the report.

Salaries, as well as recruitment, remained relatively stable, although those intermediate level HR professionals who took on extra responsibilities, or were promoted into more senior roles, predictably enjoyed a slight pay rise. Robert Walters is not predicting any great change in the next quarter. “We do not predict much further movement in either the level of recruitment activity or salaries in the HR market,” the report stated.

However, HR specialists with sought-after skills, such as learning and development or organisational development, saw a slight increase in their pay this quarter, and may continue to buck the trend in the next quarter.

The recruitment consultancy is, on the other hand, predicting increased competition in the job market due to a number of restructures that have been highly publicised.

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