The HR market is increasingly showing signs of confidence and recovery. In recent months, we have seen a marked rise in vacancies for both L&D professionals and in-house recruiters, as organisations look to rebuild teams and invest in their people for the future.
While London is leading the way in the recovery, this renewed confidence can be found across the UK. Organisations are increasingly talking about the economy picking up, and even in those sectors that were hardest hit, such as Engineering, we are starting to see signs of recruitment activity.
This confidence is being demonstrated through the rise in demand for in-house recruiters, particularly on the interim side. A lot of larger organisations are starting to re-look at their recruitment strategies and are adding to their recruitment teams once again. As you would expect, this is particularly the case in sectors where business is picking up, such as the financial services and engineering sectors.
Learning & Development/Talent is another area where we are seeing significant recruitment activity, particularly at the manager level, and we expect this to be an area that continues to grow in 2011. L&D was the first area to be hit by cuts in headcount – being seen as a luxury when times are hard – yet this is the area where the biggest gaps become apparent when reviewing HR/People strategy. Organisations are quickly becoming aware that they do not want to be throwing good money away by failing to develop their talent effectively. 2010 saw some tentative growth and so organisations are now keen on investing in their people and instilling high levels of engagement, to ensure growth continues and talent is retained.
Another positive sign in the London market in particular is the re-emergence of recruiting with a view to the future, not necessarily the here and now. We’ve seen some clients becoming open to more speculative meetings with high calibre candidates and even hiring to start building talent pipelines. On occasions, organisations have hired a professional seemingly above the level of the role, confident of capacity for remits to grow to the appropriate level in the future. While this is not the norm by any means, it is a very encouraging sign for the remainder of 2011.