HR jobs online rise but market remains tough for graduates

The number of HR jobs advertised online has recovered from a steep drop in September but experts have warned the market remains tough, particularly for HR graduates.

The Monster Employment Index for October, published today, has revealed HR job opportunities increased by 7% to 63 points – where the baseline is 100. In September, job opportunities in the profession had dropped by 8%. However, the HR reading was far below last year’s reading of 127, measured in October 2008.

Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster Worldwide, told Personnel Today the increase in HR jobs advertised online last month reflected a correction of September’s drop and job availability remained a “flat story”.

He said: “We haven’t really seen the start of the upturn in the HR sector yet. There’s not much happening in the HR sector, employers are still cautious about adding HR staff as they are not convinced that they will resume mass hiring yet as the economy is not good enough.”

The slow recovery in HR was contrasted by job opportunities in education and training, which increased by 22% (to 281 points), while job availability in the hospitality and tourism sector rose by 14% (to 141 points).

Sellert added graduates entering the profession would find the HR jobs market tough. “[New] graduates in HR might find it difficult to get in to the profession, especially when vacancy levels haven’t started rising yet. It will be tough but it will turn; this sector can turn very quickly.

“I think we are at such a low point in the business cycle that when the recovery comes there’s going to be a lot of opportunities, as right now HR departments are really trimmed and slimmed down. A little bit of patience should be sufficient.”

When asked specifically if HR graduates could be put off the profession in the long-term because of the prolonged drop in job vacancies, Sellert said: “That remains to be seen.”

The Monster Employment Index across all sectors and industries saw a 7% increase, to 114, the highest level since February, but this remained down by 29% year-on-year.

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