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HR – market update and areas of opportunity

Demand for talented HR candidates seems to be on the rise. Craig Thompson, MD of Michael Page South Africa, gives a market overview and outlines some predicted trends for 2012.

South Africa remains an emerging market with increasing potential. In a global market where challenging economic conditions are affecting some of the traditional commercial hubs many local businesses are poised to take advantage of the growth opportunity, while several international groups are keen to explore the potential our part of the world can offer. As a result, the requirement for skilled professionals across most disciplines and industry verticals continues to be high.

Candidate attraction in a competitive market

The demand for HR professionals is growing, with candidates who have a specialist focus being particularly sought after. Exposure to areas such as remuneration and benefits, organisational development and talent acquisition are becoming increasingly coveted by many of our major corporations.

In a very brand conscious market, brand positioning is critical for successful employee attraction. Equally, employers must sell the benefits of working for their organisation at the interview stage and clearly outline the development opportunities and career progression on offer. In terms of retention, a combination of an enjoyable working environment, high levels of engagement and successful career visioning will help to ensure companies keep hold of their top talent. Career paths and earning potential must be clearly mapped out at every step.

Trends and outlook

Projections for growth in the economy in 2012 are higher than the forecast for 2011. Combine these predictions with the continued development of markets in sub-Saharan Africa, and the outlook for HR jobs looks very positive for the year ahead.

We anticipate continued high levels of interest from multinational groups looking to increase their presence in a region that can offer substantial business growth in the short term.

We expect to see ongoing high demand for skilled professionals throughout 2012, which could result in some future hiring challenges. Currently, building a talent pipeline within organisations is threatened by the war for talent that exists in the broader market in South Africa. As demand for top talent is so high, development plans are often disrupted by proactive approaches to these high potential employees. All of these factors continue to drive up employees’ expectations around working conditions and earning potential.

To discuss your HR job search or hiring requirements, please contact us today to speak to one of our specialist consultants.

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