Back to all posts

For Employers

Hiring HR professionals in 2023

If you’re looking to hire in this competitive space, we’re here to help with key insights from our Professional Services team

Published on

February 1, 2023


Whether you’ve been browsing LinkedIn or reading your favourite news outlet, it’s hard to miss the articles warning about possible economic slowdowns ahead. Yet despite these reports, the labour market remains tight with more jobs than workers to fill them. And the field of human resources is no exception to this trend. Demand for human resources professionals continues to increase, keeping our recruitment team busier than ever. When it comes to hiring HR professionals, this is what our numbers are showing:

  • A 120% increased demand for HR professionals at the Administrative and Coordinator level
  • A 220% increased demand for roles at the Manager and Director level

Despite economic forecasts, the numbers are clear. Organizations are still hiring permanent HR staff for both day-to-day operations as well as strategic direction and planning for the year ahead. If you’re looking to hire in this competitive space, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered key insights from our Professional Services team, including top roles, tips for attracting talent in this sector, our forecast and more.

Top 10 HR roles in 2023

  • HR Manager
  • Human Resources Business Partner
  • Talent Acquisition Advisor / Talent Manager
  • Head of People & Culture
  • Director of People Operations
  • Total Rewards Manager
  • Compensation Specialist
  • Labour Relations Advisor
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist
  • Learning & Development Manager

What do candidates want? Top three insights from our network

  1. A ‘step-up’ in their career. Most candidates who are making career shifts are looking to grow within a new organization. They’re looking for roles with increased responsibilities, autonomy and/or seniority within a new organization. In the past, you could count on candidates to make job changes that could be considered ‘lateral’ moves. In this market, we’re now seeing growth and development cited as the top reason they would entertain an interview or offer. Tip: Make sure to consider development when writing your job description.
  2. Your best offer. In this competitive market, counteroffers are still very common. We are seeing many human resources professionals take on additional tasks in their current roles without pay increases or title adjustments to accompany the increased responsibility. It’s a familiar story. When the candidate gives their notice after inevitably finding a new role that recognizes their growth, their current employer can’t imagine the seat vacant and counters with an offer for a higher salary, more vacation time or sometimes even a promotion. Tip: Go in with your best offer first, so your top candidate is not tempted to stay when faced with a counteroffer.
  3. A clear picture of what to expect in the role. Be ready to answer the tough questions in an interview; what are the true HR challenges your organization is going through right now? How does the company value the HR team and what conversations are they a part of? What role will People & Culture play in the overall strategic plan? Tip: Anticipate these questions ahead of time so you're prepared to have an honest discussion with candidates.

Three pro tips to attract top talent from our recruitment team

Our experienced recruitment partners know what it takes to attract HR talent in today’s market. Build your HR team with their insider tips.

1. Be ready to answer their questions

Just like we expect candidates to be prepared, they’re expecting the same from us. Stand out as an employer of choice by doing research prior to the interview. HR professionals are leaving for more than just a better compensation package. They're seeking a place where they can make a greater impact. To evaluate this, they're asking thoughtful questions in interviews about company culture, DEI, upcoming projects or goals, management styles, policies, onboarding, etc. Be prepared to answer the easy and the tough questions if you really want to 'wow' them and stand apart from your competitors who are also hiring.” - Natasha Cammaert, Client Development Lead, Professional Services at Altis Recruitment

2. Understand a candidate’s motivation and be flexible in your offer

“These days, candidates are not switching employers for pay increases alone. In many cases, they’re looking for specific job titles and salaries to reflect what they are currently doing (sometimes their employers are not able to provide this). There are many new motivators in this new world of work – from more work-life balance, extra vacation, and increased flexibility (like the ability to work remotely), to the opportunity to work on exciting projects or take on more strategic work, opportunities for professional development or working for an organization that values HR and innovative ways of thinking. Be ready to show a candidate your commitment to your employees by understanding and supporting them with their needs”. - Stephanie Castro, Senior Recruitment Partner, Professional Services at Altis Recruitment

3. Avoid counter offers

"Close the gap between when an offer is signed and when you welcome your new HR member to the team. In a competitive HR market, we suggest our clients always set up a welcome call and email the successful candidate right away. With counteroffers at play, this keeps them excited and confident about your organization until their start date. In addition, there will be less chance of them entertaining other opportunities prior to when they join your team if you keep them fully engaged during that crucial period." - Ciara Finnegan, Account Manager at Altis Recruitment

Six more tips: How to compete in a candidate-driven market

Here are some additional tips for attracting and hiring the best HR candidates on the market today:

  1. Respond quickly: Today’s candidates move fast, and employers need to keep pace. Within 48 hours of receiving a promising resume, book an interview with the candidate.
  2. Create a great first impression: Include at least two key decision-makers in the first interview, indicating you’re highly interested and serious about hiring.
  3. Be nimble with your interview process: If you require multiple interviews, have the entire interview team prepped and ready to participate and book all interviews as close together as possible.
  4. Enroll the candidate in your company: During interviews, share the values of your organization, including skills development and career growth opportunities.
  5. Re-think must-haves: Does your candidate need to have 5 years of experience or could a go-getter with 3 years of experience grow quickly into being successful in the role? Do you require a CHRP designation to hire or could an excellent candidate enroll and complete the program during employment?
  6. Create a warm welcome: As soon as you have a signed offer back from your chosen candidate, follow up immediately with a welcome email that expresses your excitement and gratitude towards the candidate and their future with the company.

Demonstrate the level of autonomy and creativity that the individual can have in the HR seat you’re hiring for. Professionals in the HR space often seek the ability to bring new practices, processes or culture elements to an organization. Reassure them that they will have the space to do this and that you’re interested in candidates who are passionate about “The Future of Work” and adapting to what is. Be sure to articulate the role that the HR team plays in driving the company’s overall strategy and highlight how their function in particular ties in.” - Erin Campbell, VP, HR & People Strategy, Altis Recruitment

Our forecast for the rest of 2023

With the increasing demands on every Human Resources department, we are seeing newly created roles on these teams. Organizations are centralizing their HR functions, and once large enough, the teams start adding specialists typically in the following order: talent acquisition, compensation, learning & development, and DEI. We are also seeing more stand-alone DEI roles than ever before.

Are you looking to grow your Human Resources team?

Submit a job requirement to see how our dedicated and experienced recruitment professionals can help.

Send us a job requirement

Share this post

Your next role starts here.