Bright spots for HR jobseekers

by 30 Oct 2008

CANDIDATES WITH strong HR generalist skills have become a hotspot of demand in the economic downturn, while remuneration and benefits professionals are in high demand as employers seek more imaginative salary packages to retain talent.

A recent report found that the global economic downturn has not dampened enthusiasm for ongoing recruitment, and HR professionals can play a pivotal role in assisting organisations with people issues.

“While there’s no denying that employers are monitoring the international financial crisis closely – and there certainly have been consequences locally – it is not accurate to assume it has impacted recruitment activity in every sector,” said Grahame Doyle, director of Hays Human Resources, which released the report.

“Candidate mobility at the executive level has increased and this will have a flow-on effect throughout the industry. We expect a consistent flow of jobs well into 2009.”

The positive message for today’s jobseekers is that good candidates will always be in demand. “We see no evidence that the market as a whole will stop hiring any time soon,” Doyle said. “In fact, strong demand still exists from those companies looking to up-skill their current staff.”

The report found that candidates with strong HR generalist skills have become a hotspot of demand. “There is a shortage of HR advisors and consultants with three to five years of experience and recruiters with industry-specific experience. End-to-end recruitment is the focus, particularly when going in-house,” Doyle said.

“As a result of increased focus on risk mitigation, employers have become very aware of the costs of injury claims and workers’ compensation premiums. This has resulted in demand for Occupational Health and Safety professionals who can deliver plans to reduce these costs.”

With legislative changes, he said, employment relations professionals are also required to provide equal employment opportunity advice. “Remuneration and benefits professionals are in high demand as employers seek more imaginative salary packages to retain talent,” he added.

“Similarly, there is a hotspot of demand for learning and development professionals as employers look at succession planning for retention.”

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