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The Big Story: Guns for hire

The HR job market is likely to change shape this year.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, HC Online
Donna Sawyer:  Hello, I am Donna Sawyer and you are watching the Big Story on HC Online. It’s early days but 2012 is expected to bring big changes to the HR recruitment market.  HR head hunters and specialists say there is still plenty of activity in the job space, but that’s likely to tighten in line with the global slowdown in growth as the year goes on.

Peter Barber, Frazer Jones Global HR Recruitment
Peter Barber:  It’s like reading tea leaves, it’s impossible to predict which way we are going to head. The economy is still bubbling over nicely and supported in no small measure by money.  But look the clients we talk to are still hungry for talent.  They are just perhaps waiting till Europe clicks over to another stage into a higher.  I think the message is that it takes 3 to 6 months to find the next job no matter what your level, to find right job be prepared to wait a little bit longer at the moment.
Craig Mason, The Next Step
Craig Mason:  Well the economy is softening as we all know, so that has an impact.  There is actually quite a lot of change / tune in the marketplace.  So the activity levels are reasonably strong even though the economy is softening.  
Donna Sawyer:  At the same time, the HR recruitment is transforming, HR professionals are also changing their attitudes about what they are looking for in a job.  Craig Mason of the Next Step says HR professionals want to be able to contribute to the success of their organisation.  
Craig Mason:   I almost feel like the last couple of years there has been a change in sentiment and that there has been a significant increase in the number of people as a percentage who are now looking for the ability when they join an organisation that they know they are going to add value rather than being values driven, they are being driven by the knowledge that they are going to be able to add value.  So there is almost this pragmatism that seems to have come across the marketplace.
Donna Sawyer:  Peter Barber of Frazer Jones says HR models are also evolving, especially within large corporations.
Peter Barber:  It’s also about the increasing recognition of the sophistication of HR.  So for example Telstra has gone to the model whereby you have got quite senior savvy business partners who are very much responsible for the [visionary] part of the business, supported by genuine centres of excellence and yeah our view is that this will increase, increase happening over time.
Emma Hogan, Foxtel
Emma Hogan:  For all the theory books you might read and for all of the structures you might be able to look at visually on a page, at the end of the day I think you have to do what works and you know I think if you are working in an organisation that’s 38,000 people that’s a very different structure than one that’s 1500 people or one that’s 300 people.  
Donna Sawyer:  So what skills should HR professionals brush up on to become more employable?
Craig Mason: Overwhelming we see that the area where most people believe that they need to develop their own skills and that the market is demanding a skill set is in a change and developing organisational culture.  
Peter Barber: Influencing is the key one that everyone talks about now.  A practitioner at any level needs to influence whether it’s their client group, whether it’s their manager, whether it’s their direct reports, people [with skills] and definitely want to brush up.
Donna Sawyer: For more on the recruitment market and other HR industry news, click around HC Online.  I am Donna Sawyer and I will see you again soon with the Big Story.