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HR Hub: HR Insights into the New Year

Welcome to HR Iconic Insights for Q3.  Before we speed into the New Year and Q4, let’s take some time to pause for a moment to look back on Q3. 


What we are seeing in the market: 

  • A lot of the candidates that we’ve spoken to recently have reported feeling the market is quieter than usual. But is this actually the case? The market is definitely quieter than it would have been during the post covid boom in 2021 and 2022. But in comparison to other years, the market is pretty comparable.  
  • Hybrid working still remains to be what most candidates are looking for. We’ve noticed a change to the flexibility around home working that employers offer.  Some have increased the number of days they require employees to be on-site, with many looking for their employees to be on-site more often than not, whilst other employers have set days that employees can or can’t work from home. In other cases, employers are becoming stricter about where employees can work from, with Natwest recently announcing an end to their work from anywhere policy.  
  • Fully onsite roles continue to be harder to fill, with the move to onsite working being a factor in some candidates coming onto the market. There is still, however, candidates whose preference is to be based on-site. 
  • The number of remote roles out there has significantly decreased. Remote working is still popular, especially amongst recruitment professionals. There have been a lot of redundancies in the recruitment space and candidates who are keen to continue working remotes are finding that this preference is significantly reducing their options.  
  • We’ve noticed a shortage of roles at the HR Assistant/Coordinator level. We’ve spoken to a lot of great candidates that are too senior for administration roles but not quite at Advisor level yet. It’s well known that there is a shortage of candidates at Advisor level with there being so much choice within the market. Hiring an experienced HR Assistant or Coordinator that you can develop into an Advisor is a great way to address this shortage.  
  • At the senior end of the market many candidates are still seeing a shortage of roles, especially at Business Partner level. Many are noticing a variation with job titles at this level with roles being advertised as Business Partner roles, however, the responsibilities being more what you’d expect at Advisor or Manager level rather than a true business partner role as you’d expect.  


HR Network Awards  

On the 9th of November Lauren and Emma were delighted to once again host a table at the HR Network Awards 16th Annual HR Network awards Gala Dinner. As always, it was an enjoyable evening, and it was great to catch up with lots of old and new faces and celebrate the achievements Scotland’s talented HR professionals and teams.  We’re already looking forward to next year!



The HR team launch Iconic’s first specialist Interim desk 

Iconic HR are pleased to have a consultant specialising in interim/temporary opportunities, with a view to expanding the businesses offering in this area as a whole. In November our Talent Sourcer Rachel Hart moved into an Associate Consultant role to specialise in this HR space focusing on Temp roles and short-fixed term roles at all levels from HR Administrator to Director. Rachel, who recently celebrated her 1-year anniversary with Iconic Resourcing, has worked closely with our consultants to source the best talent for our opportunities and has successfully placed a number of candidates. If you’re a HR professional who is interested in interim opportunities or a business who is looking for HR support on an interim or fixed term basis, reach out to Rachel to see how she can support going forward.  


The great salary debate  

We are still noticing a disparity between candidate and employer salary expectations. This is particularly true for those in mid-level roles such as HR Advisors and Business Partners but can be seen at all levels and across different markets. The post-covid boom in vacancies saw higher salaries being used as a talent attraction tool. However, as the market stabalises the expectation gap is becoming noticeable. This affects those on both sides with candidates struggling to find roles that meet their salary expectations and businesses struggling to find candidates with salary expectations in line with the salaries they are looking to offer.  

So, what’s the solution? Businesses should understand that they may need to pay higher salaries to attract the talent they are looking for, especially if they’re looking for someone who already has several years’ experience in a certain role. On the flip side, candidates should have realistic salary expectations, taking into account benefits and the overall package, as well as an awareness that salaries can fluctuate and that a candidate led market may lead them to receive a higher salary than would usually be expected for their role.  

As recruitment partners, we provide honest feedback to both clients and candidates around salary. Whether you’re unsure what salary you should be aiming for within your next role or are an employer looking to benchmark the salary of your new HR hire, reach out and we’d be more than happy to advise  


And that’s us for another quarter and another year!! We hope everyone has a lovely festive period, see you all in 2024!