Senior HRBPs in high demand throughout Q2

Aileen McCarney 09.07.2018

Increased movement at the senior end of the HR recruitment market:


The HR hiring market was buoyant throughout the second quarter. There were many vacancies at all levels, but still there remains an oversupply of professional job seekers across the board.

There is substantial movement on the senior end of the market in roles of 80k plus - Head of HR, Senior HRBP, etc. Typically this level of the market is highly competitive with a distinct lack of new opportunities month on month, but there was a notably higher volume of senior vacancies across the market throughout Q2.

One of the more remarkable developments was the lack of opportunities for internal recruiters. Instead, we saw employers opting for coordination & scheduling type roles rather than adding end-to-end recruiters to the HR function. This may be down to budgetary constraints, with companies opting for professionals with more administrative / facilitative type of responsibilities who can work on a wider range of duties rather than having dedicated TA specialists on board.

We’ve seen activity rising on the senior end of L&D functions across the market; reflecting the overall positive market sentiment for Q2. In particular, directors and heads of L&D are increasingly in demand. This is a good sign for the HR function as a whole, as businesses are seeing the value in learning and development as a key area that warrants greater financial investment.

HR Q2 Review


Senior HRBPs:

Senior HR Business Partners are leading the way as the most highly sought after professionals at the senior end of the spectrum. There has been significant activity in this area, especially across the sectors of Finance and Telecoms. These opportunities vary between FTCs and permanent positions with 90k - 100k on offer.

Specialist roles in ER / IR:

We are seeing an increase in more specialist positions with a hybrid of expertise in  employee relations & industrial relations. Professionals can expect over 50k on offer with remuneration levels expected to further increase into the second half of 2018.

Comps and Bens Specialists:

There has also been an heightened demand, in more recent times, for talented Compensation & Benefits professionals, and this high level of interest is mirrored across a variety of industries and sectors. Roles of particular interest such as Compensation Analysts and Compensation & Benefits managers are garnering increased attention from employers with up to 60k on offer.

HR Q2 Reviews


  • Employee relations experience coupled with specific industry experience are competencies most highly sought after across professional services, finance and tech.
  • For entry level HR roles, a CIPD qualification remains a crucial requirement for vacancies at this level. 


Challenges and changes in the market

The market continues to be very contract lead, with contracts lasting as short as two months on the more junior end. Professionals are coming to the realisation that short term contracts are mainly what’s on offer across the board, and currently, permanent based professionals who are looking to make the switch to a new role are faced with mostly contracts based opportunities.    

The market remains highly competitive from a job seekers perspective with an oversupply of professionals in search of a job. This may be good news for employers, but for professionals in the field they are faced with the harsh reality that there will be a sizable amount of competition for vacancies at all levels.


On outlook for the third quarter, we are anticipating many opportunities within Multinational organisations in both contracts and FTCs, whereas indigenous companies are expected to continue offering more permanent based positions. 

In comparison to Q2 of 2017, there is substantially more movement on the senior end of the HR hiring market. This activity will is forecasted to continue into Q3 and rise even further in September.

We can already see the effects of the summer months in terms of hiring managers and candidates being on holidays which is slowing down the decision making process. This lull is expected to remain for July & August, but hiring activity will ramp back up once again come September.

Businesses are becoming increasingly more aware of the importance of attracting top talent through extra incentives. Domestic organisations are becoming more progressive and offering benefits such as working from remote working, flexi-time, and sign on bonuses. The employers that can offer the most alluring incentives to prospective and existing professionals, will ultimately stay ahead in the competition for attracting and retaining talent.

The second half of 2018 looks bright for the HR hiring market with many recent job announcements offering positive sentiment for the coming months. Crowley Carbon have announced 187 new roles, with the expansion of their HR function being a core focus for this recruitment drive. As summed up by Silicon Republic, there’s been almost 500 new jobs announced since the start of July, with this in mind it is safe to forecast a bright outlook for HR hiring in the third quarter of 2018.


Aileen McCarney's picture
Director | Accounting & Finance | La Creme Office Support


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