Demand for HR Professionals rises despite Brexit effects

Demand for HR professionals in the UK rose 8% year-on-year to October despite concerns following the EU Referendum, according to data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

APSCo figures showed that despite a post-referendum drop in demand, the number of openings per month exceeded figures from 2015 in both September and October of this year. The top sectors for HR openings over the past year were Accountancy, Retail and Software & Computer Services.

“Although some commentators initially expressed concerns over the outlook of short-term hiring sentiment following the UK’s decision to exit the European Union, there are certainly positive indications of growth across the HR profession. The recruitment profession in particular continues to thrive, accounting for 20% of all roles in HR, which is indicative of strength of the wider employment market,” Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, said.

The data, which was based on analytics provided by Vacancysoft, found that Greater London was the busiest region for HR roles, accounting for 46% of total vacancies, however growth remained at 3% year on year. By comparison, the East of England, which ranked fourth in terms of overall share of vacancies, grew by 50% year on year. The West Midlands also showed signs of strong growth with the total number of HR vacancies increasing by over 45% year on year.

“It is somewhat unsurprising that demand for professionals in the HR sector has risen year on year, given the increased degree of uncertainty regarding the future employment status of vital overseas workers, and the potential impact that a vote to leave the European Union could potentially have on wider employment law,” Swain said.

“The level of growth experienced outside of the capital is indicative of a wider trend of businesses relocating outside of London and is also a positive sign of strength within the HR profession, with Yorkshire and the Humber, the South West, West Midlands, and East of England all experiencing year on year growth above 20%. As the nature of the function diversifies and HR professionals become increasingly valued for their strategic insight, it’s likely that demand will continue to rise,” Swain said

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