Director of Hays Human Resources Hays
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A roundup of HR in 2019

8th Jan 2020
Director of Hays Human Resources Hays
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It’s fair to say that last year saw a lot of uncertainty in the UK and employers across all sectors have faced ongoing challenges as a result of the everchanging economic landscape. Findings from the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide reveal that employers in HR have continued to grapple with skills shortages over the past 12 months, which has been met with an upturn in temporary hiring and an increased emphasis on salaries. Employees were more concerned with career progression and work-life balance, which they put at the top of their agenda.

Based on the findings in the guide I have put together a roundup below of what the trends were in HR last year which gives us a steer into what 2020 may have in store.

Employers raising salaries to attract talent

Employers across all industries say they have struggled with skills shortages over the last 12 months and this is no different for those employing HR professionals. Across the profession, employers said that there is a shortage of professionals with the right technical, specialist and soft skills and many are feeling the pressure to attract in-demand candidates against a competitive hiring landscape.

Employers turned to pay rises to attract and retain talent last year, as salaries for some roles rose over 10% compared to the UK average of 1.8%. Professionals will be happy to know that this positive pay increase looks set to continue, as over three quarters (78%) of HR employers say they are going to increase salaries over the next 12 months.

Career progression key for attraction and retention

Career progression was one of the main reasons that almost half (48%) of HR professionals moved jobs last year, which is more than those who did the prior year (44%) and the UK average (43%). Looking to the year ahead, a lack of future opportunities is what would make almost a quarter (23%) leave their current role.

Employers will therefore need to focus on career progression opportunities this year by developing career plans and promoting progression opportunities internally in order to keep their current staff engaged.

Employees optimistic about work-life balance

Due to the nature of their job, HR professionals are more likely to have a well-informed perspective of what makes for a good employee experience. This is reflected in how they viewed their work-life balance, which almost two thirds (65%) rated positively for the year just gone. Work-life balance was important to candidates looking for a job in HR last year, as professionals said being able to take 28 days’ paid annual leave was the most important benefit when looking for a new role.

Flexible working is a crucial part of this positive work-life balance, as most HR professionals say they made use of flexible working options last year. Flexible working is also sought after by jobseekers in HR, particularly the option to work remotely or from home.

Clearly over the past 12 months, employees have placed a big focus on career progression and their work-life balance, but on the employer side, raising salaries were a focus to address demand on skills. Taking a look at these trends in HR over the last year gives us a steer into areas employers may want to focus on in the year ahead to keep their workforce engaged and manage demands when it comes to skills.

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