HR and talent roles among fastest-growing in UK, analysis finds

Many organisations are realising the profession’s key role, say experts, noting that a seat on the board has 'never been more essential'

HR and talent roles among fastest-growing in UK, analysis finds

HR and talent management positions accounted for four of the 20 roles with the fastest-growing number of positions over the last five years, data has shown.

Analysis by LinkedIn of its membership data found the role of chief human resources officer (CHRO) was the fifth-fastest growing in the UK between 2017 and 2021.

This was followed by career counsellor in ninth position; diversity and inclusion manager at thirteenth; and talent acquisition specialist at fourteenth.

Gemma Bullivant, HR coach and consultant, said the research indicated that companies were coming to a “great realisation” that HR teams are more than just policy and compliance.

HR teams now play a central role in organisations following the upheaval in the labour market last year, she highlighted: “Many of my clients are telling me about a significant uptick in attrition across their sector, as employees look for a company that suits their needs better… it has arguably never been more essential for HR to sit at the top table.”

“To stay competitive in the current labour market across all sectors, we need to get the company culture right, proactively search for diverse talent, work hard to retain talent, and urgently establish new and better ways of working that are fit for purpose in the new post-pandemic world,” said Bullivant.

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Lauren Thomas, EMEA economist at Glassdoor, added that the number of diversity, equity and inclusion roles was likely to continue rising as employees call on companies to improve their “accountability and prioritisation” in this area.

She added that as yesterday’s ONS data – which showed another increase in vacancies and a drop in unemployment – demonstrated the need for HR leaders need to “draw on their creativity” to improve retention levels.

“While flexible working is a must for many employees nowadays and the importance of office perks has decreased, employers must take care to ensure their employees still feel properly managed and connected to office culture, which is easy to neglect in today’s hybrid work environment,” she said.

Janine Chamberlin, head of LinkedIn UK, said that the findings were unsurprising after such a “tumultuous” year, in which HR professionals played a crucial role.

“As the labour market tightens and people become more selective about the roles they apply for, companies will need to embrace workplace flexibility, support employee wellbeing and showcase company culture through strong employer branding to attract top talent,” she said.