HR: A Shifting Market

As part of the series of insights around our 2023 HR Salary Survey, our Associate Director for HR Dave Morley shared his insights on the state of the market and the year to come. Read on for his thoughts.

The past 12 months for the HR sector have seen salary rises like never before. An extremely competitive jobs market has led to a shortage of talent, and this in turn is driving salary offerings higher and higher. This is particularly prevalent within Talent Acquisition, where we are seeing candidates with around 2 years of experience being paid and offered salaries far above the previous market rate. However, as a knock-on effect of these inflated salaries, we are now seeing many of these candidates starting to be made redundant as the hiring market is starting to return to a sense of normality. Hybrid and remote working options are still a crucial value proposition for candidates and a driver for accepting a role, however, we are beginning to notice a shift of businesses asking their employees to return to in-office work, and this trend is being driven by HR in particular. Companies that are looking to stand out should consider the working patterns they can offer prospective and existing employees carefully.

The hiring market is undoubtedly busier than ever before, and it is not uncommon for candidates to be in the midst of 4-5 different job processes at any one time, and this has led to more dropouts than ever before. Equally, we are seeing more counteroffers from businesses than ever before and a higher acceptance rate from candidates. Where previously businesses might have been inclined to simply allow an employee to leave their business without any qualms or counteroffering, attitudes have changed. In the candidate short market, business leaders know the true cost of replacing their staff is exponentially greater than retaining them. In fact, it might even be impossible. Whether or not they will be able to find a qualified individual to replace staff exiting the business is a gamble. Therefore, their only option is to accept the current state of the market and offer huge counteroffers to keep their staff onside.

As we look to the future for the HR sector, it has never been more important for companies to focus on agility, adaptability, and transformation as they pivot to meet the challenges the market is currently facing and is set to continue facing in the year ahead. HR businesses and professionals alike must ensure they are equipped with the necessary knowledge to make informed and strategic judgments in their planning for the year ahead.