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Stronger economy leads to optimism about job prospects for HR professionals.
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The end of 2014 may have marked a new beginning for the U.S. job market. With 252,000 positions added to the economy in December and unemployment down to 5.6 percent, 2014 was the strongest year for job growth since 1999. Companies may be making up for their lack of hiring earlier in the economic recovery when they were still feeling cautious about adding staff. Few have better insight into these changes than HR professionals—and that front-row seat to the hiring boom may be boosting their own confidence about finding new opportunities.
The most recent Society for Human Resource Management
HR Jobs Pulse Survey Report, released in late December 2014, found that 85 percent of the HR professionals surveyed were at least somewhat confident that they could land a new position if they needed to. The survey looks at hiring trends in human resources as well as HR professionals’ views on their own job security and ability to secure another position. It is based on responses from HR professionals at every career stage.
According to the results, fewer HR professionals were concerned about job security than in January 2014 (29 percent vs. 39 percent). Unsurprisingly, the higher their career level, the lower the likelihood that they were insecure about their jobs; executive-level HR professionals were the least concerned (22 percent), while those early in their careers showed the most concern (44 percent).
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Of those who expressed doubt about being able to find an HR job in the current market, 45 percent said it would be difficult to find a job with compensation comparable to their current position and another 37 percent cited a poor overall job market.
The most common reason HR professionals gave for seeking greener pastures was, well, they want to find greener pastures. More than 2 out of 5 respondents (41 percent) reported “more compensation/pay” as their top motivation. This was followed by 36 percent who sought “better career advancement opportunities.” Here too, the findings for HR professionals reflect wider trends in the economy. The lack of wage growth, despite increased hiring, has economists puzzled.
If economic conditions continue to improve, HR professionals may find some time amid their busy recruiting schedules to dust off their own resumes.
Jen Schramm is manager of the Workforce Trends program at SHRM.
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