Describe the current global HR recruitment market
Debbie Sutton, partner – HR practice, Berwick Partners [DS]: The market has become more buoyant, particularly among members of the FTSE 250 and organisations contemplating initial public offerings or M&A activity. Talent acquisition and leadership development roles are firmly back on the agenda. Smaller businesses are taking HR more seriously and ensuring it is represented at the executive leadership table. Good reward and compensation and benefits candidates are in demand.
We are seeing a lot of internal lateral moves, enabling generalist HR or business partner candidates to broaden their skills without switching organisations. For example, an EMEA HRD might become group head of comp & bens, while a senior HRBP could move into an EMEA head of talent development role. The outsourced HR model is also unravelling with some aspects moving back in-house.
HR is still coming under fire and attempting to justify its position in an organisation. By increasing its focus on data and analytics it will prove its value and be under more pressure to deliver.
Jeremy Thornton, founder, Oasis HR [JT]: The market has picked up over the past 12 months, and there has been greater investment in staff development as a whole. We’ve seen L&D and talent opportunities more than triple since the same period last year.
We’re moving into a much more candidate-driven market. Job seekers rarely just have one opportunity on the table – it’s now a battle between counter offers and second and third opportunities, so employers need to ‘sell’ their organisation effectively and ensure they work at a fast pace to keep talent interested. As the market thaws, candidates are taking more risks with their job searching and are more open to challenges.
This is probably a reflection of the previous couple of years when candidates were more likely to accept less appealing jobs because of economic pressures and fear of leaving their steady employer.
Kim MacNamara, HR business director, Ashley Kate HR [KM]: There is confidence in the air and a greater call for HR to manage a more diverse and remote HR workforce. Firms are also fine-tuning their HR services; for example, in shared service functions, true business partner skills are in high demand. Organisations want HR people who can offer game-changing strategic skills involving altering talent, cross-cultural and often international management behaviours. Salary levels are also rising.
Lynne Colgate, partner – interim HR, Eton Bridge Partners [LC]: We’re seeing good activity across the UK and EMEA within specialist roles and transformation. This has led to an increase in change management-led roles in the UK, as many companies are looking to consolidate or create back office functions in eastern Europe.
Richard Colgan, founding managing partner, Oakleaf Partnership [RC]: We’re beginning to see multiple offers, buy-backs and sign-on bonuses – phenomena we haven’t seen for more than five years. Our FS clients have started hiring recruiters again, which is a key indicator of the broader health of the UK economy. We have placed candidates around the globe, including in Russia, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Across the board, there’s a genuine desire to hire for growth, rather than just make tactical replacements. Time to hire remains a challenge.
Sarah Greensmith, manager director – HR, Hudson [SG]: The ability to manage ambiguity, change and complexity is needed across the globe, but a one-sizefits-all HR strategy cannot be applied across continents. In HR, you must identify people who are of value in the context of change and look at how to place talent in places that can develop a business.