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Market update: Hiring managers need to move fast to secure talent

Market update: Hiring managers need to move fast to secure talent

To gain a fresh round of insights and foresights into the HR sector, we caught up with some of the expert consultants in Hudson’s HR talent solutions team: Tom Gowing, Catherine Jack, and Emma Ponsonby.

Here are some of the key trends dominating today’s marketplace:

All signs are pointing upwards for the HR jobs market

The HR market has been relatively steady of late, but it seems likely that a sharp rise is just around the corner. 

Wide-spread uncertainty brought on by the likes of Brexit and other political and economic events have had a clear impact on the sector; other factors include extended interview processes, and a number of high-profile acquisitions resulting in downsized HR departments.

While things are starting to ramp up, the number of senior and mid-level HR roles on the permanent jobs market has been moderately stable. 

The number of interim jobs at the senior end has also been relatively quiet, besides from a number of large scale transformation projects in the pharmaceutical and retail industries. The average day rate rests at approximately £650 and above. However, interest is brewing - meaning we could be in-store for a sharp increase in Q4.

Top talent is high in demand

In recent months one thing has become abundantly clear - we are no longer living in an employer-driven market.

While there is still a steady stream of job-seekers, companies are fighting over the top 15% of the market. There are certain traits and skillsets that are high in demand at present, for instance, forward-thinking individuals that know how to align an organisation’s current capabilities with future objectives through a development and succession-planning strategy.

In the New World of Work, it is no longer good enough for organisations to just hire – they need to take proactive steps to ensure the right type of talent is on their front doorstep, such as creating a compelling employer value proposition, or maintaining a strong presence in online communities, which is now becoming the new norm. In fact, a number of larger organisations are talent pooling to ensure they are equipped with the necessary capabilities they will need in years to come.

At present, the mid-level market is beyond buoyant - but it is also highly competitive. Quality talent is being noticed and snapped up swiftly. In effect, the average role is being filled within a matter of days, not weeks.

On the senior side, candidate attraction is high and good people are starting to look around, with roles often going to more passive candidates that aren’t actively job searching. 

This fast-paced environment means some of our more decisive clients are seizing excellent candidates, while those that are slower to respond are missing out. 

What skills are in demand?

In today’s market, there is a strong demand for candidates with experience and expertise in: learning and development, reward, talent attraction, diversity and inclusion, compliance, engagement, talent retention, and restructuring.
In the senior market, there is a high demand for credible, articulate, and commercially-savvy HR advisors, particularly with experience in the SME marketplace.

How can HR hiring managers stay ahead?

While the “slow and steady wins the race” approach may be a good life-skill, when it comes to today’s fast-paced HR market, we would recommend streamlining your recruitment process in order to get the best results. 

In our experience, employers that initiate a proactive, engaged and swift method to finding fresh talent are much more successful. A great way to streamline the process is by using talent attraction and selection tools, giving you quick access to a stronger candidate shortlist, without the time delay that comes with conducting multiple rounds of interviews.

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