Businesses across the UK could experience some significant staffing changes in their human resources departments over the coming year, according to new research from Hays.

Employers might need to tailor their workforce management efforts to retain some of their most valuable workers, with a survey finding that over 60 per cent of HR professionals will look for a new job in 2014.

This trend could be interwoven with a rise in recruitment in the sector, as organisations become more confident against a backdrop of consistent economic growth.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of the companies surveyed by Hays had plans to take on more permanent HR staff this year, while 28 per cent were expecting to hire extra temporary workers.

The recruitment agency said generalists in this field are likely to see more opportunities, particularly in the £30,000 to £40,000 salary bracket.

More than half (52 per cent) of employers said they had already increased pay in the past year, while two out of five said wage growth for HR staff is likely to keep up with the cost of living.

Fourteen per cent of respondents anticipated above-inflation pay rises in 2014.

Barney Ely, director of human resources at Hays, said there is cause for optimism in the HR community, with workers benefiting from more job opportunities and better wages.

He also pointed out that many of the available roles are focused on reward and talent, indicating that employers are "shifting from managing the challenges of the economic downturn to taking advantage of the growing confidence in the economy".

"This will increase competition for commercially astute HR professionals who can manage change, so employers will need to work hard to retain and attract the best talent to ensure their business can grow in 2014," said Mr Ely.

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of organisations expressed concerns about a shortage of experienced candidates over the coming year.

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