Austria     Belgium     Brazil     Canada     Denmark     Finland     France     Germany     Hungary     Iceland     Ireland     Italy     Luxembourg     The Netherlands     Norway     Poland     Spain     Sweden     Switzerland     UK     USA     

Now is the time to go right… or left

Throngs of HR professionals in the labour market

The labour market is booming, and HR professionals can finally utilise their key skills. Recently, their profession has been centred around sales because if they found a candidate who seemed to be appropriate, they had to convince them to join the company. No wonder the personality profiles we expect from HR professionals have significantly transformed; we transitioned from a preference for analytical and empathetic types to those who are more proactive and determined with good communication skills. However, the calm era for HR managers has not seemed to arrive just yet. The number of HR professionals looking for a job has drastically increased in the first months of 2021 compared to similar periods over the past few years.

Reasons and consequences

Currently, nobody has concrete information regarding why a growing number of companies dealing with high-level recruitment reported a drastic, 100%+ increase both on the supply and demand sides this year compared to the previous years. However, assessments are available dealing with these facts because there is a strong logical link between the collective upsurge of the two sides. New positions on the supply side unequivocally indicate that employers are not satisfied with their HR staff’s performance. The fact that they have such strong opinions is fascinating because, after all, if there were ever a time when someone could come up with a good excuse for a poor-performing HR department, 2020 would have been that year. Based on the reports, we also see that making people redundant was just a confirmation of their crisis-time performance. The fundamental problem did not begin last year. HR has constantly been fighting to be taken seriously, and they are absolutely right. However, it seems that although they have reached their goal, they cannot really handle the acquired status. HR has indeed become one of the strategic fields, so processes are controlled by decision-makers who make their decisions based on objective business reasons. Beating around the bush does not work there. They want to see results in the fields of mitigating fluctuation, employer branding, and the company’s power to keep the employees. These results did not come in 2020, either. Claiming that there was oversupply in the market and everybody was struggling with the same situation was a nice-sounding excuse back then. However, CEOs and company owners saw different examples in the market, so these excuses did not really work for very long. Nevertheless, HR’s inaction during the crisis was often the last straw for top management. The kind and friendly HR should have risen to the task, but very few people in this profession are capable of it. Not too many people can do it; however, there are professionals for whom 2020 brought about the acknowledgement they had been waiting for. They were in a tough situation because if a profession is in general considered to be “not useful” among real businesspeople, that represents quite a challenge for the field’s most outstanding representatives.

There is right and left

Employers’ dissatisfaction with HR started a wave among job-seekers, so the drastic increase in the number of people applying for HR positions is understandable. However, they are not the only ones among job-seekers. There are “browsers”, who are good professionals indeed, and they feel and know that now is the time for them to show their expertise. They also know that their current employers do not value the HR profession, so they want to change jobs. There are two movements coming from completely different directions in the labour market. In this situation, recruitment companies face a tall order because they have to define precisely who belongs to the “right” and who belongs to the “left” direction amid this tumult. What is more, traditional career checks and CV-based approaches do not necessarily work because many HR professionals who have not performed well have ostensibly good career paths. The focus of 2021 will definitely be building up the appropriate selection strategy, which means new experiences for headhunters and recruiters after the last decade’s “catch whoever we can” mentality.