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David Johnston

Handle Recruitment

HR Division Director

Read more about David Johnston

Blog: Entertainment, media and tech are HR hiring hotspots


There is no doubt the economy is fragile.

Last week it was reported that the UK recession has deepened as latest official figures show the national GDP fell by 0.7% between April and June.
Despite this, sectors such as high-end retail, entertainment and media are still seeing growth, and in times of financial insecurity, talented and experienced HR professionals are integral to the success of the brands they work with.
When the market is squeezed, employee engagement and talent retention become even more important in maintaining efficient teams. We are seeing a healthy upswing in HR vacancies within our specialist sectors of TV, Retail, Fashion and PR as well as particularly strong demand within the digital market. 
Today smaller organisations and even start-ups are choosing to build their own HR function rather than relying on outsourcing. This is particularly apparent in the development of the tech hub around Old Street which has become known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’ or ‘Tech City’.
Here there has been a specific focus on HR and Talent Acquisition Director roles with young and start-up organisations within the e-commerce and digital space. Experienced HR professionals who relish the opportunity of really being part of formulating an HR strategy from scratch and feel that the big corporate environment is no longer for them could find some real inspiration here.
Flourishing tech sector
The Capital’s technology hub is a rapidly growing area which we predict will flourish in the coming months. In 2008 there were just 15 high tech companies in the area. At the end of last year there were more than 200. 
A project to turn the Olympic media centre into a new technology cluster has been given the green light after the London Legacy Development Corporation has allowed iCity to transform the buildings after the Games.
In addition, Amazon has announced the development of a technology center in the Capital which will employ software development engineers and graphic designers, focusing on creating interactive digital services for TVs, games consoles, smartphones and computers.
As such, it seems that fresh and exciting HR opportunities in the digital sector will continue to increase into next year and beyond. What’s interesting about these roles is that they offer a real opportunity to help drive the whole HR strategy of an organisation from the beginning.
Ambitious professionals are drawn to these roles and the challenges they bring such as designing and developing assessment centres and coaching hiring managers on recruitment and retention methods.
There is also the opportunity to really play a pivotal role in driving the HR agenda and aligning it to the business strategy which gives plenty of scope for creation and innovation. The sectors we recruit into are often associated with evolving markets and as a result the HR function surrounding these industries is also developing.
Within sectors such as e-publishing, video on demand services, and music download platforms, the next generation of digital HR professionals have the opportunity to work with ripe new companies to develop creative HR systems as they grow into the iconic brands of tomorrow.

David Johnston is director of Handle Recruitment‘s HR division.

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David Johnston

HR Division Director

Read more from David Johnston

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