Human resources topped the list of four job sectors to show an increase in job ads in April, according to the Advantage Professional Job Index.
Overall the job index showed an unexpected drop of 1.74 per cent in online ads across all job sectors, but HR bucked the trend by showing an increase of 2.45 per cent. The only other sectors to show an increase were; engineering (2.18 per cent), IT & telecommunications (0.78 per cent) and financial services & banking (0.12 per cent).
According to Bob Olivier, director of Advantage Professional, this trend in HR jobs has been consistent over the last twelve months with jobs for the sector up 55 per cent against a national average of 8 per cent. Olivier believes this is due to companies’ decisions to make strategic hires where it is seen as a medium to long term investment rather than a short term fix.
“HR jobs were hit particularly hard during the GFC as they can be seen as support and discretionary spend particularly in small business,” he said. “There was also a big fall in recruitment ads which now of course are shooting up as recruitment firms rebuild their teams.”
Generalist roles have enjoyed the greatest recovery in the last 12 months, up 147 per cent, followed by training (94 per cent), recruitment (57 per cent), OH&S (21 per cent) and management (18 per cent).
SME’s have also shown to be investing most in HR and according to Olivier this may be due to the implications of the Fair Work Act but also fears of skills shortages and need for help with retention of critical staff.
The next twelve months look good for HR on the job front, according to Olivier.
“I do feel that generally the fall in the Index overall has bucked the trend and we need to wait and see whether this is a one off or a plateauing of the job market,” he said. “Unless there is a financial catastrophe in Europe over the Greek debt issue I don’t think our market will fall. Whilst HR is not immune from the general business environment I feel at the moment it is robust and in good shape and less likely to falter going forward.”