But number of jobs on offer drops by more than a third, says study

The average advertised salary for HR and recruitment roles has risen by 12 per cent in a year, the highest increase recorded in any sector over the same time period, new data has found.

The research from Adzuna revealed that average advertised pay for HR positions in August was £34,001, compared with £30,365 the year before. By comparison, advertised salaries across the jobs market as a whole have dipped 2.5 per cent year-on-year to a three-and-a-half-year low of £31,958.

“HR may not be as life or death as ER, but it is becoming ever more business-critical,” said Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna. “It may be relatively unsung compared to other divisions that can shout louder, such as sales, but companies are only as strong as their HR function allows them to be. After all, there is no point having a high-performance sports car if you neglect to oil all the parts.”

Other sectors where salaries are rising quickly include: admin roles, where average advertised salaries increased by 6.8 per cent year-on-year to £23,977; teaching, which recorded a 6.5 per cent rise to £26,648; and travel, where salaries grew 4.4 per cent to £25,476.

However, Adzuna also found that the number of HR vacancies on offer had dropped significantly to 14,319, down 40 per cent from 23,767 the year before.

Meanwhile, the total number of advertised vacancies across all sectors had risen by 7.2 per cent compared with the year before to 1.2 million, while the number of jobseekers per vacancy fell to 0.4, down 18 per cent compared with the year before.

“The HR sector at present seems to be moving in the opposite direction to the wider jobs market – a falling number of vacancies, but significantly higher advertised salaries than we saw this time last year,” said Monro. “The simplest explanation for this is that as the war for talent intensifies, it becomes ever-more difficult for HR professionals to identify, attract and retain the most talented team players. Those who are able to do this are worth their weight in gold.”

Adzuna’s findings come at a time when unemployment is at an historic low. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, published last month, revealed that the UK’s unemployment rate for the three months to July was just 4.3 per cent, down from 4.9 per cent the year before and the lowest it has been since 1975.

Meanwhile, a report published by the CIPD and the Adecco Group in August suggested that pay growth expectations for the year ahead had stalled at 1 per cent, the lowest they had been for three-and-a-half years.

And in June, Torsten Bell, director of think tank the Resolution Foundation, warned that real pay was on course to reach its worst level in 210 years by 2021.

Figures released by the ONS last month revealed that the consumer prices index including owner occupiers’ housing costs – one measure of inflation – was 2.7 per cent for August, up from 2.6 per cent for July. When inflation outpaces wage growth, real wages fall.

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