Navigating the HR Market in 2024

5 mins

Globally, we are seeing greater optimism in the HR recruitment market. Whilst much ...

Globally, we are seeing greater optimism in the HR recruitment market. Whilst much hinges on the global economy, there is more ‘noise’ being made from both a candidate and client perspective even if it's just whispers… 


I’m receiving more approaches from my HR leadership network regarding their ‘entry’ into the market. Most of whom don’t have a ‘burning platform’ to move on but are becoming more open to exploring external opportunities. With HR having been under significant pressure over the last few years, supporting businesses and leaders with transformation and change, it’s apparent several HR leaders have finally found some breathing space and have been able to reflect on what it is that they want to do next (and where). 


Many of these individuals have had long tenures in organisations and haven’t had to consider how to navigate the recruitment market in many years. Whilst this creates a pool of high-calibre candidates, they are sometimes out of practice. HR professionals are coming to us, seeking our advice and guidance on ‘what’s next’ and how they find their ideal leadership role.


I’ve therefore reflected on what you should expect from the HR recruitment market midway through 2024 and share some advice on how best to navigate it.  

The HR Recruitment Market 

For those starting to consider searching externally, expect processes to be drawn out. With the surge in hiring in post Covid, we saw a large increase in salaries, due to ‘buy backs’ and candidates having multiple offers.

As a result, clients that are hiring, are seemingly benchmarking across broader levels. They are now meeting the high potential candidate through to the experienced HR leader for the same role before they commit to offering. This is elongating processes, with searches that are more thorough than in recent years. Candidates are also conducting greater diligence into the businesses that they meet with and the roles that they accept. Especially those leaving behind the security of a position and business they have been in for many years. 

The more senior you are the more competitive the market – for example, evidently there are fewer CPO roles available than HR Business Partners. Considering many individuals at this level could be on 6 months + notice, and processes are taking longer to work through, this could mean that you don’t begin a new role until Q2 of 2025!

Ensure that your CV is Outcome Focussed 
I’ve been recruiting within the HR sector for nearly 17 years now, and have seen that even HR candidates can struggle with how to ‘sell themselves’ on their CV. 

Many of the CVs I’ve seen over the years (even at an HR leadership level) aren’t outcome focused and can resemble a JD. Your CV is about highlighting your key achievements. At a leadership level, it is all about ROI. As simple as it sounds your experience needs to be evident, relevant to the market conditions (think change/transformation/ED&I) and importantly display tangible results. What have been the key wins for the team, and importantly the business as a result of HR’s actions during your time in post? 

Don’t leave head-hunters or potential employers with too many questions about your experience. If you have global exposure, ensure those locations are clear. If you’ve led COEs within your role, document size, locations etc. 

Determine your ‘Go to Market Strategy’.
I often now describe the recruitment market as a puzzle; you need to perform multiple activities for all those pieces to come together. In a more competitive market/senior level, it is even more important to differentiate yourself from your peers. 



Upon their entry into the job market, many individuals that I speak with often say ‘I wish I’d spent more time networking’. It can be challenging to find the time when managing an all-consuming role. However, the benefits of networking externally when in post are evident. Not only could networking support your development as there is the opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices with peers.  But attending carefully selected networking events, could enhance professional relationships with providers and provide the opportunity to meet with individuals who may be hiring in the future.


Trusted Providers
Are the providers that you have partnered with as a client, the ones able to represent you in the market? Do they operate at your level? Are they specialists within your discipline (HR)? 

Talk to your peers and your own networks to understand who they would recommend that you should partner with for your search. 


Are you looking to conduct a global or more localised search? Again, this may depend on the head hunters/ providers that you need to build relationships with. How do you then in turn navigate those organisations? Is there one contact or do you need to be known locally as well? Many providers have candidate managers or teams of internal researchers – understand who it is that you need to be ‘known’ by and what their expectations are for managing that relationship. 


Many requisitions at a senior level however are retained searches so being ‘identified’ can be more important than your CV being sat on a database.


Personal Brand
How well are you known in the external market? Do you speak at events? Have you contributed to articles or spoken on podcasts? 

At a senior level, being ‘identified’ is key. The stronger your external reputation and online presence, the better chance of you being ‘found’.  Whilst not everybody is comfortable with external promotion such as speaking at events, most professionals have a LinkedIn profile that they can still utilise to enhance their personal brand.

Having an ‘All star’ LinkedIn profile is essential for anybody conducting an ‘active search
 An ‘All-star’ profile can improve your chances of being contacted 33 times and can increase profile views by 17 times. These are key statistics for anybody searching for that ideal leadership role. 


A leadership position does take time and resilience to obtain. If you are considering your next leadership move and would like to talk through any of the above, including how you can enhance your LinkedIn profile to an ‘All Star’ status, then please do contact me at