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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: 22,500 new HR jobs created over last year


While the number of HR professionals employed in the UK has risen by 20% over the last year, vacancies for senior interim staff leaped by a huge 45% during the first nine months of 2012 alone.

According to an analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics undertaken by specialist HR recruitment agency Ortus, more than 22,500 new HR jobs were created last year as some level of business confidence started to return to the market.
The sector still has some way to go to hit the employment highs seen in the second quarter of 2006, however, when there were approximately 160,000 HR professionals in the UK compared with about 137,000 today.
But the figure constitutes a significant bounce-back from the lows experienced during the second quarter of 2011 when numbers fell to only around 114,000.
Nicholas Croucher, manager of Ortus’ interim division, said: “While HR staff were fundamental to helping businesses restructure during the nadir of the recession in late 2008 and early 2009, the HR industry certainly wasn’t immune to headcount reductions taking place either.”
As a result, it was now “hugely encouraging” to see a significant rise in employment in the HR space, even though it was predominantly in the change management and organisational development arenas, he added.
In a separate poll of more than 120 interim HR professionals and contractors, meanwhile, some 71% agreed that the most common reason for being hired at the moment was their change management skills and experience.
As to why they chose to work in an interim capacity, some 34% found such roles more challenging and interesting than permanent positions, while 32% felt that they had a better work-life balance and more flexibility.
A further 10% said that they could earn more money than in an equivalent permanent role. It usually takes an HR business partner on a normal day rate of £400 about 163 days to earn an equivalent permanent salary (£65,000), dropping to 131 days for an HR director (£105,000 per annum) on an average day rate of £600.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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