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March 26 — Despite the fact that only one in five companies are hiring human resources professionals, most in the field are confident they could find a new job if needed, according to new survey results.
The Society for Human Resource Management's “HR Jobs Pulse Survey,” based on responses from 817 HR professionals polled in January, found that 20 percent of organizations reported they are hiring for HR jobs, but that figure increases significantly, to 62 percent, for companies with 25,000 or more employees.
“I think this may indicate that there is some churn in the profession, hopefully due to more growth in the economy,” Deb Cohen, SHRM's senior vice president of knowledge development, told Bloomberg BNA March 26.
A majority of HR professionals (79 percent) indicated they had some level of confidence that they could land a new position, if needed, the survey found. Of that group, 63 percent said they were “somewhat confident” and 16 percent said they were “very confident.”
The more confident HR professionals tended to have more experience in the profession, the survey showed. Approximately 71 percent of senior-level HR professionals and 70 percent of executive-level HR professionals said they were “not at all concerned” about job security, whereas 50 percent of mid-career HR professionals and only 41 percent of early-level HR workers had no concerns about job security.
The confidence in the HR jobs market is also translating to job movement within the field. The survey found that many HR professionals plan to start looking for a new job this year, Cohen said. According to SHRM survey data, more than one-third (37 percent) of respondents said there was some degree of likelihood that they would start a job search in the next 12 months, 22 percent said it was “likely” and 15 percent said it was “very likely.”
Among the respondents who were likely to look for new jobs, almost all (94 percent) said they would stay within the HR field.
Cohen warned, however, that employers need to be cognizant of the potential turnover in their HR departments. “If there is going to be churn in the HR profession in terms of jobs, this has implications for organizations overall,” she said. Employers continue to hire and continue to monitor employee relations regardless of whether an HR staff is in flux, she said, and they should take care not to let personnel issues fall through the cracks.
Meanwhile, new survey data from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. show that HR professionals top the list of occupations in terms of growth in temporary employment.
But the 4 percent rise in temporary employment for HR professionals from 2013 to 2014 may not be a reflection of employers being less likely to fill HR jobs with permanent employees.
“I think it's more indicative of the overall hiring environment versus the individual profession,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, a Chicago-based human capital solutions provider, told Bloomberg BNA March 26. “While temporary jobs for HR specialists have increased post-recession, permanent positions have grown as well.”
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The SHRM survey is at http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Documents/HR%20Jobs%20Pulse%20Survey%20January%202014.pdf. The CareerBuilder/EMSI data are at http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=3%2f27%2f2014&siteid=cbpr&sc_cmp1=cb_pr814_&id=pr814&ed=12%2f31%2f2014.
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