More than a third of employers expect difficulties in recruiting HR managers in the next six months, according to research by the Recruitment Confidence Index.
It shows that 38 per cent of the 575 organisations surveyed were having problems filling key roles in middle and senior HR management, compared with 32 per cent for the previous six months.
Training and development managers and compensation and benefits managers are particularly in demand.
Angela Baron, adviser for employee resourcing at the CIPD, said, "We have witnessed a tightness in the labour market. Skills shortages appear further up the management level, in more specialised HR functions."
She added, "There is not much of a shortage in junior HR roles."
Steve French, managing director of HR recruitment for TMP Worldwide, said that large firms have the resources to recruit specialised HR professionals such as compensation and benefits managers.
The survey also shows that the engineering sector is suffering. It is the hardest hit sector with 68 per cent of respondents anticipating recruitment problems for managerial positions in the next six months.
David Yeandle, deputy director of the Engineering Employers' Federation, said, "We are experiencing serious pockets of skills shortages.
"The difficulties for employers lie in recruiting for the more specialised technical staff. It's a tight labour market and it's difficult to say whether the problem will improve."
IT followed closely behind, with 63 per cent of organisations expecting problems in recruiting managerial/professional staff in the next six months.
By Karen Higginbottom