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GDPR and new systems see demand for HR staff soar, HRC Recruitment reveals

The introduction of GDPR legislation and businesses investing in new systems saw demand for HR staff in Scotland surge in 2018, according to a report from HRC Recruitment.

The recruitment consultancy’s annual HR Salary Survey for 2018 found there was a 33% increase in vacancies for HR positions in Scotland compared to 2017. The company’s analysis also said there was a 40% rise in temporary and contract vacancies.

Salaries at the junior end of the market rose, with average entry-level HR administrators commanding £19,000 per year – up on £17,000 two years ago. The increase was also heavily influenced by the growing demand for temporary junior and mid-level staff to implement compliance measures for GDPR legislation and new HR systems.

HRC Recruitment also noted an increase in vacancies around the £40,000 per annum mark, as businesses sought to replace higher-earning leavers with managerial staff. This saw demand for immediately-available professionals who had previously earned more than £50,000 struggle to secure work.

Monica Lochrie (pictured), senior consultant – HR at HRC Recruitment, said, “The introduction of more technology is supposed to automate work and reduce the need for humans – but it had the opposite effect in HR last year. Increasing investment in HR systems and the introduction of GDPR meant we saw a notable rise in the need for staff to come in and work on the delivery of these projects – we expect that to continue into 2019, with an emphasis on some of the more niche HR roles.

“While there has been almost unprecedented demand for junior staff, a worrying trend is the difficulty many graduates face as they try to break into HR as a career. Many businesses will only consider candidates with experience, which can be a catch-22 for those starting out. Nevertheless, this does underline the importance of good internship programmes, for both employers and students.

“Record employment, a diminished talent pool, and the small matter of Brexit will mean getting the right HR talent will be challenging for businesses over the next few months. However, if a company can offer a competitive salary and overall benefits package, with an emphasis on flexible working and holidays, they will be in a good place to attract the best people.”

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