With payrolls growing and the economy improving, demand for human resource professionals is rising. Online postings for all types of human resource jobs increased 10 percent from last year, with more than 50,000 — and perhaps as many as 55,000 — advertised on career sites and elsewhere at the end of May.
Wanted Analytics, which found about 51,000 HR jobs online, said the most commonly advertised position was for HR manager, followed by recruiter, generalist, director, and coordinator, the latter typically an entry-level position.
Indeed.com, in a similar type of count, found just under 55,000 HR jobs listed on the site in May, a 5 percent increase over May 2013. Go back one month, and the percentage increase was 13 percent. Four years ago, Indeed shows there were 49,000 HR jobs on its site.
Whichever set of numbers you prefer, they agree that the employment outlook for HR professionals is improving. The most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there were 110,650 supervisory HR professionals — mangers and up — in May 2013. They earned an annual average of $111,180. Half earned less than $100,800 annually.
The most aggressive hiring is being done by Toys ‘R’ Us. As of Wanted’s June 4 post, the toy retailer had 1,400 open HR jobs listed online. HR specialist was their most commonly advertised title.
In a distant second place was Amazon with 400 listed positions.
Based on Indeed’s count of the clicks each ad gets — a sort of proxy for job seeker interest — interest in the HR positions hasn’t grown even as the available jobs has increased. In May the 55,000 ads got a cumulative 7.4 million clicks, an average of 135 clicks per ad. That matched last year’s average almost exactly.
However, when specialized skills are included in the job description, hiring difficulty increases. A few months ago, Wanted did a count of the HR jobs that listed social media among the desired skills. Tracing back to December 2009, the rise in HR jobs requiring social media skills is practically a straight line, going from near zero percent of the listed jobs to more than 4.5 percent. In February, the increase from the year before was 39 percent.
In the February report, Wanted noted that the difficulty in hiring HR professionals with social media skills was rising. On its proprietary Hiring Scale, it scored a 69 on a scale of 1-99. For comparison, Wanted scored hiring software developers at a 76.
One more observation: Based on last year’s graduates, Wanted estimates that about 21,500 degrees will be granted in human resources and related areas this year. Last year, the analytics firm said, just over half of the “grads had a Bachelor’s degree and received their degree in Human Resources Management or Personnel Administration.”