Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Employers drag heels over HR appointmentsOn 23 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Roisin Woolnough on the state of the HR recruitment marketThe HR jobs market is slow but relatively steady at the moment, with clientstaking their time to fill vacancies, according to the HR Candidate Survey 2003.”A common theme is that it takes longer to fill vacancies now as manyclients are dragging their heels because they know there are many candidatesout there,” says Claire Watson, co-director of Network HR Recruitment,which carried out the survey. “It is taking three to six months for some people to find somethingnew. In particular, there aren’t too many jobs around in the £40,000-50,000upwards salary bracket.” The market has also been made harder because the supply of HR professionalsis plentiful. A significant number of the survey respondents – 36 per cent –are looking for work because they have been made redundant. “There seemsto be many candidates in the £30,000-plus range of salaries who are looking fornew roles because of redundancy,” says Watson. This flat state of the market is causing many people who have jobs to stay put.Those looking for a new job realise it might not be a very quick process. BobArcher, who started as HR manager at Hazelwood Foods in August, found it tookhim about four months to find his new job role. “I wanted to move because I had been employed in my last place foreight years, the role was changing and I was not sure it was the path I wantedto follow.” Archer decided to work closely with three agencies to make sure he was onlyput forward for jobs that matched his requirements. “I wanted the consultantsto understand why I was looking for a new job, the skills I possessed, whatkind of job I was looking for and also to check that they knew their clientswell.” Proactive recruitment consultants are the main quality most respondents wantfrom an agency (29 per cent), according to the survey. Honest advice rankedsecond at 25 per cent and frequent contact at 20 per cent. However, 25 per centof those polled did not venture an opinion or said they would not change theservice provided by agencies. John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD) believes it is up to HR professionals themselves to ensurethey can find new jobs in the future. “Things might be tricky in the long term as the market for HR becomesmore complex,” he says. “We have seen something of a trend towardsoutsourcing, so employers might be looking for niche skills to suit aspecialist HR organisation.” Philpott feels individuals who only possess traditional HR qualificationsand skills might have a harder time finding new employment. “They might want to balance their skills with broader business skillsand general management skills,” he says. “Those with the biggestdisadvantage will be professionals who have been doing process-type jobs.”At the moment, the private sector is still suffering the effects of theeconomic downturn and recruitment is low. However, the public sector is stillrecruiting in healthy numbers, as are retail, construction and foodmanufacturing organisations, says Watson.