One-Fourth of Companies Hiring for HR Positions in Fourth Quarter, SHRM Survey Shows

Compensation and advancement opportunities main reasons HR professionals change jobs

Dec 17, 2014
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About one in four organizations (27 percent) are hiring for human resource positions in the last quarter of 2014, according to the results of the HR Jobs Pulse Survey released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Just seven percent of those organizations created new HR jobs during that time.

“Like most of the job market, hiring in the HR industry remains relatively low,” said Deb Cohen, senior vice president of knowledge development at SHRM, “though we have seen an increase from January 2014, when we conducted the last survey.”

Among the companies with HR job openings, HR generalists were in the highest demand (53 percent), followed by positions in employment/recruitment (22 percent), benefits and administration (both 20 percent), and compensation and employee relations (both 15 percent).

“HR generalists carry out multiple HR functional areas, making it a more sought-after position,” explained Cohen. 

With low hiring rates, few HR professionals (22 percent) said it was “likely” or “very likely” that they would voluntarily begin looking for a new job within the next 12 months. Higher compensation (41 percent) and better career advancement opportunities (36 percent) were the top reasons cited for pursuing a new job.

Nearly three out of 10 HR professionals (29 percent) expressed some degree of concern with job security; however, the majority (85 percent) of respondents were somewhat or very confident that they could land a new position, if needed.

“Although many HR professionals are content in their current positions, others are not satisfied with their pay or advancement opportunities and, as a result, they will seek new jobs in the near future,” said Cohen. “If companies want to retain and attract top HR talent, they should focus on these two areas.”

According to the survey results, two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents said they will focus on developing HR competencies to advance their careers in the coming year.

The HR Jobs Pulse Survey examines hiring trends in the human resource profession as well as HR professionals’ views about job security and ability to find work elsewhere. SHRM surveyed 491 respondents from a randomly selected sample of its members throughout the United States.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Laura Ambrosio of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6273 and or Kate Kennedy at 703-535-6260 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.
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