Skip to main content

What are the changing trends in HR hiring?

Published on: 16 Nov 2022

By Amy Morris – UK Managing Director

Recent research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), quoted in a recent People Management article, stated a 13.5% rise in HR vacancies last year. The data, based on  “algorithm-based analysis of job postings from company websites”, indicated that internal recruiters were the most in demand, accounting for 35% of all HR vacancies so far this year.

Oakleaf Partnership, the specialist HR, Reward and Payroll business of the Oakleaf Group, report a markedly different breakdown of demand within the HR space, based on our own job portfolio from clients. Our data, collated across the same period, indicates a 28% increase in the number of HR vacancies last year and a 21% increase on the same number, pre-pandemic.

Our own findings relating to relative hiring patterns in the year to date also differ regarding the most sought-after specialists:

  APSCo Oakleaf Partnership
Internal Recruiters 35% 19%
HR Generalists 14.3% 22.6%
Learning & Development Specialists 14% 10%

Our clients’ demand for internal recruiters hit its peak in February, accounting for 29% of Oakleaf’s overall jobs portfolio. As of August, this number is closer to 16%, while demand for HR Generalists has surged, rising to a year-to-date high of 31%, suggesting that market anxiety over reports of an impending recession is already having an impact on hiring priorities for HR Directors and Talent Acquisition leads.

Demand for Learning and Development specialists, having reached its peak of 13.5% of our portfolio in January, dipped slightly in February and March while companies prioritised HR generalist and recruiter hires. This demand for L&D professionals increased at the advent of the new financial year in April and has continued to account for an average of 10% of our job portfolio, perhaps a nod to ongoing current skills shortage.

APSCo reported technology as the top sector hiring HR professionals so far this year, quoting 17.5% of HR job requirements in this space, followed by retail, with banking making up 7%.

By comparison, our job portfolio indicates banking making up 9% of our portfolio, part of our biggest sector requirement, financial services, which accounts for 32% of client mandates. Companies in the commerce and industry space account for 27% of our current roles, evenly split across industry and science, technology, media, telco and not for profit sectors, different to the market numbers reported by APSCo. We are starting to see a slight decline in remits from our partners in the consumer space – a sign of things to come or momentary dip in demand? The Professional Services sector remains buoyant, across our London and broader UK-based clients.

In a recent People Management article suggesting a hiring boom ahead of impending recession, Dean Sadler, CEO at Tribepad, said “it’s vital that companies recognise how important HR and talent acquisition teams are, and act now to ease their workload.” So, what will the key priorities for HR be going into a potentially challenging six months ahead, and therefore what will the demand to hire look like?

Oakleaf Partnership will be asking our clients for their view, in a survey going out in the next two weeks, which we will collate and present back to you. It’s an ideal opportunity to gauge the temperature of the HR market going into the next six months.