HR vacancies are in high demand as skills shortages worsen

New data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reveals that HR vacancies are on track to be up by 13.5% on 2021, with the profession becoming a priority area for businesses to recruit.

The data, provided by business intelligence specialist, Vacancysoft, shows that, in terms of skills in demand, it is internal recruiters who are the specialists most wanted.

In fact, 35% of all HR vacancies so far this year have been for internal recruiters, which is perhaps no surprise given wide reports of skills shortages in the UK.

Training/learning is the second largest attribute being recruited for, averaging 14% of total vacancies.

In contrast, the specialism which is growing both in volume and in share is HR generalists, which has seen an increase of 64% in terms of the monthly average between last year and this one, leading to the total share rising from 13% to 14.3%.

When comparing sectors recruiting for HR, technology came up top with 3,994 vacancies so far, with 17.5% of the total number of HR jobs. The second largest sector is retail, with 3,833 roles so far (16.8%).

Given the importance of banking to the UK economy, it’s surprising that only 7% of HR vacancies are attributed to this sector.

However, this small share could be linked to the cost-of-living crisis and the inevitable impact on the UK economy.

By region, it’s perhaps unsurprising that London dominates.

So far this year, Vacancysoft has seen 8,995 vacancies from the capital, which is accounting for 39.6% of the total HR vacancies posted.

This total is followed by the southeast, where 2,637 vacancies were published, constituting 11.6% of HR vacancies.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, said, “As the UK’s economic pressures mount, a decline in vacancies is to be expected.

“However, since the UK remains in the grips of a skills shortage, hiring teams and recruitment professionals alike will continue to be in high demand.

“While HR will have a key part to play in narrowing the skills gap, we will also need to call on the country’s policymakers to implement an internationally viable approach to boosting the UK’s access to skills, alongside building a more attractive entry route into the country for highly skilled self-employed professionals.”

Jen Gaster, Founder and Managing Director of HR Heads, said, “As leading recruiters of HR professionals, it’s perhaps no surprise that our data mirrors what Vacancysoft has seen.

“There has undoubtedly been a huge demand for Talent Acquisition Specialists, and this shows no signs of abating as the talent challenges continue.

“The HR function played a critical role in organisations’ response to the pandemic, so it is unsurprising that as businesses come out of the work from home mentality, and are embedding new working policies, the top HR talent continues to be in high demand.

“We’ve seen huge demand for talent in London and the southeast, but more generally across the UK, with companies taking more flexible approaches to how people work – this has opened up roles in places that may have previously been prohibitive for candidates to consider.

“Moving forward, I think that one of the trends we will see as HR recruiters is a heightened demand for wellbeing and reward specialists, as organisations come to terms with the cost of living crisis and its impact upon teams.”