The human resources recruitment market across the UK has seen a mixed outlook over the past couple of years. The effects of the economic downturn have undoubtedly affected hiring levels, in some sectors more than others. Differences can also be highlighted across geographical areas.

In 2011, the HR recruitment market in London was slow compared to 2010, despite the fact that candidates remained active. While many recruitment professionals felt optimistic that summer months would bring more hiring activity, the market actually declined, with in-house recruitment and graduate recruitment hit the hardest, particularly in the financial services sector.

In the south, there was movement in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) and retail sectors. There was a demand to fill senior roles in IT within the telecoms business. There is a marked increase in the engineering and manufacturing field from 2010, as recruitment numbers suggest regrowth in this industry. 2012 is introducing some excellent job seekers into the market as they are looking to obtain positions at a more senior level and an increase in pay.

In 2012, there are still a lot of active candidates in the market and we're seeing employer brand as increasingly significant as companies try to entice the hard to acquire passive candidates. In 2012, the HR market is growing, particularly in the midlands and the north because specialised HR skills are now needed for commercial success in business. There is an abundance of candidates in these areas, which means the market is saturated and therefore starting salaries have lowered. Employers are looking for candidates who have a proven background that spans a range of sectors.

Despite the fact that redundancies have become commonplace in the manufacturing arena, financial services is on the up, with automotive and retail on a similar path. Because the public sector doesn't have much budget for permanent roles, interim candidates can take advantage of the short-term contracts available.

In 2011, Scotland saw a rise in available jobs in HR at mid-level and in generalist positions, particularly fixed term contract roles. Much like the midlands, specialised HR skills were in demand, but suitable applicants were hard to find. At a senior level, candidates in the financial sector were disappointed at how few opportunities were available in their salary bracket. While opportunities were available the year before, this year's number of senior-level job-seekers has been much higher than the number of jobs available. Meanwhile in the public sector, 2012 is expected to see reduced job opportunities because of budget decreases. HR interims (specialists specifically) will likely be needed in the public sector.

In the future, expect to see the financial sector take off, and for more specialist HR skills (particularly in the areas of reward and change management) to become in demand.

Author's Bio: 

Search and apply for the latest HR Jobs with Changeboard.