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HR jobs rebound after 40% fall in 2020

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The number of jobs for HR professionals fell by almost 40% last year, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom as there was an increase in demand for interim staff.

That was the finding of research carried out for the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), using data provided by business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft.

Overall, vacancies for human resources specialists dropped by 38.1% on a year-on-year basis in 2020, which the trade association attributed this largely to an 80.1% drop in hiring in April 2020 during the first lockdown.

It said that the number of jobs on offer began to recover as the year went on and that by the final quarter of last year, vacancies were 12% higher than the same period in 2019.

The data also showed that many employers were reluctant to take on permanent staff due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, turning instead to interims. Last year hiring for temporary roles increased to 17.8%, up from 13.2% in 2019.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, said: “It’s no surprise that demand for HR professionals reduced last year as the pandemic took hold, however our data suggests that by the end of the year the recovery was underway with recruitment levels rising once again.

“It is also interesting to note that demand for interims actually increased last year, indicative of the increasing reliance on the professional contingent workforce as employers turn to agile and flexible hiring solutions in an uncertain market. And as we progress throughout 2021 and lockdown measures are eased we expect to see the recruitment market for HR professionals continue on a positive trajectory.”

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