According to Hays, the leading specialist recruitment company, while the current market may have impacted the recruitment of permanent learning and development jobs there continues to be fixed term contracts available for senior interim professionals.
"We envisage that employers will be using interims more regularly to identify organisational requirements on an ad-hoc basis to deal with specific requirements," observed Heidi Waddington, Managing Director for Hays Human Resources.
Organisations are looking for practitioners with a strong commercial background and a track record in the management and development of staff. The emphasis has shifted from core training delivery, to a more strategic requirement to identify and implement bespoke programmes that are linked in to an organisation's overall talent management programme. Investing in leadership programmes and competencies remains an important aspect of organisations' HR strategies, as the importance of succession planning becomes ever more important, particularly during difficult economic times.
"There is a greater focus on talent-management and identifying key players in an organisation. Some of the larger organisations typically will forge associations with leading business schools to develop in-house programmes", Heidi continued.
While organisations continue to review their cost efficiencies and examine ways in which they can streamline their HR operations, learning and development jobs remain a central point of the HR function, despite the fact that resources are being stretched and that these skills have to be picked up by HR managers.
"Although companies remain keenly focused on the management and development of their people, line managers are having to upskill and add to their remits, particularly within small and medium sized organisations that are increasingly relying on in-house recruitment expertise rather than external training providers. Of course, in certain regulatory fields, there is always a requirement for training delivery," Heidi explained.
Typically learning and development jobs do not follow a standard HR career path, in contrast to that of the HR generalist. An individual specialising in learning and development will have usually started life outside HR before making the transition to learning and development, albeit they would have had some involvement with training and development within a commercial environment. Skills can be easily transferred across from other disciplines, as long as they have previous training and development experience.
Learning and development remains closely linked to organisational development, particularly during difficult times when the need to invest in staff becomes greater and the reduced staff numbers need to acquire and make up for any 'lost' skills. Organisations will rely on interims to design programmes and to use their change management expertise in order to shape overall company structure and ultimately lay the foundations to provide challenging and rewarding careers for staff. The role of the learning and development manager spans across the whole talent agenda, looking closely at development needs and at staff retention.
Note to Editor:
About Hays Human Resources:
Hays Human Resources is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group, and specialises in a range of HR jobs from diversity and equality jobs to training jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.
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