How the Economy Can Boost London HR Prospects
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While the overall UK economy has been growing, there can be little doubt that London has enjoyed a more impressive performance than the rest of the UK - and that could help create more HR generalist jobs.

This has been reflected in a range of indicators, from the booming (some would say overheating) housing market, the influx of overseas investment and an ongoing rise in employment.

According to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) / KPMG Report On Jobs, the number of vacancies and permanent appointments continues to rise in London and the country at large. In the capital, this has now been going on for 17 months and is still strong, although activity has softened a little in recent months.

The survey noted that there is now a growing shortage of skilled staff, with REC chief executive Kevin Green saying: "Ongoing candidate shortages are a major barrier to growth. Despite the political sensitivities around immigration, the reality is that we need to bring in more skilled workers, not fewer."

If employers seeking to add new HR staff are struggling to get those with specific skills, it is clear that all-rounders may be a great option. For HR generalists in London, their ability to deal with a variety of matters may help make up for the lack of one specialised role. Moreover, it means that skill gaps could be plugged in several functions.

Indeed, one of these could be the battle to find enough temporary candidates as well as permanent when that HR function involves recruitment. As with permanent placements, the survey noted the skills shortage has intensified.

This has been borne out by the government's own figures. The most recent regional data showed the employment rate in London in July this year was 72.6 per cent, leaving it in mid-table among the regions. However, the two highest levels of employment were in the neighbouring East of England, a key travel-to-work area.

With a shrinking pool of potential staff even with the large population in and around London, there may be little doubt that HR generalists will need to be able to tackle a number of challenges, making their skills highly valuable.


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