employing hr experts leads to improved engagement and performance blog header

Employing HR Experts Leads to Improved Engagement and Performance

Employing HR Experts Leads to Improved Engagement and Performance

In the ever-changing world of jobs, some sectors are always on the up and up, while others seem to be stuck in neutral. But one thing is for certain; organisations across the globe will always have a place for a HR function because it’s the custodian of an organisation’s lifeblood; the people. 

As workplaces increasingly prioritise the employee experience and engagement, recognising its direct impact on organisational performance, HR roles are evolving to meet the diverse needs of today’s workforce. In this era of heightened focus on people-centric workplaces, HR plays a pivotal role in talent acquisition and retention.

We’ve analysed emerging trends in the top and bottom 5 sectors actively recruiting for HR roles, to gauge the influence of HR practices on employee engagement. Because we know that increased employee engagement has profound effects on organisational performance. 

Let’s find out. Which sectors are actively seeking HR talent and investing in the function that looks after their people. To uncover these insights, we turn to UK HR market data from Honch, offering valuable insights into the hiring trends shaping the HR domain.

We’ll cover:

  • The evolving role of HR in prioritising employee experience and engagement.
  • Analysis of the top 5 sectors actively recruiting for HR roles and their impact on employee engagement.
  • Exploration of HR hiring trends in underperforming sectors.
  • The link between employee engagement metrics and HR hiring trends.
  • Strategies for sectors to enhance HR hiring strategies.
  • The potential benefits of improving HR hiring strategies, such as improved organisational performance, increased engagement, and higher retention rates.
  • Recommendations for organisations seeking to gather valuable employee feedback.

Top 5 sectors hiring

Let’s explore the top 5 sectors currently at the forefront of hiring for HR roles. Analysing the data reveals significant growth in employment opportunities within these sectors, particularly in their HR departments:

What drives these sectors to the forefront of HR hiring activity? Well, if we analyse the data from Honch, it unveils intriguing insights into the HR dynamics across various sectors.

Professional services leading the way in employee development

professional services

In the realm of HR, “Professional Services” emerges as a frontrunner, boasting the highest number of new hires, promotions, and total job moves. This sector appears to thrive in a dynamic and growth-oriented environment, offering ample opportunities for career development and mobility within HR departments. Interestingly, our employee benchmarks for Q4 2023 revealed a popular theme among employees, emphasising the importance of finding resources to thrive and develop within an organisation.

This theme aligns well with the progression observed in the Professional Services sector through HR promotions, suggesting that HR professionals within this industry are actively seeking out opportunities for growth, both professionally and personally. 

The sector’s seeming commitment to providing such resources and fostering a supportive environment may contribute to its success in attracting and retaining HR talent. With over 15% of new HR hires and promotions each, Professional Services demonstrates a commitment to fostering talent and facilitating upward career trajectories within their HR domain.

Technology sector prioritising internal investment

technology sector prioritising internal investment

While Technology may have a lower percentage of new HR hires and promotions compared to Professional Services, it maintains a significant share of total job moves. This suggests a sector characterised by a high degree of movement with the HR domain, and a strategic focus on talent retention and internal progression for these roles. Despite a slightly lower rate of new HR hires and promotions, the Technology sector remains dynamic, with HR professionals often exploring diverse roles and opportunities within the industry. This could be attributed to the rise of more specialised roles, as employees’ expectations expand to encompass areas such as wellbeing, equity, diversity and inclusion, and change management, among others.

This similarly aligns with our recent engagement benchmarks, where we saw a prevailing theme revolved around a ‘people-focused environment.’ The Technology sector’s emphasis on internal movement and talent retention underscores its commitment to fostering a workplace culture that prioritises the growth and development of its HR professionals. Ultimately, this contributes to a more engaged and satisfied HR team, potentially leading to positive ripple effects throughout the organisation, given the inherently people-centric nature of HR roles. 

Other sectors at the forefront of hiring trends

Hospitality, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, and Financial Services sectors exhibit similar patterns in terms of new HR hires, promotions, and total job moves. While not leading in any single category, they maintain consistent levels of activity, indicating stable and active employment environments for HR roles. These sectors also seem to prioritise maintaining a steady flow of talent where HR professionals are concerned, as they’re seen to promote internal growth, and facilitate professional development opportunities for their HR specialists. .

All in all, these discoveries shed light into HR department dynamics across various sectors. They offer valuable insights into how hiring, promotions, and career paths are shaping up in the HR domain. Each of these sector’s distinct patterns reflect its unique industry landscape and organisational priorities, offering valuable information for businesses and HR professionals seeking to understand and navigate the evolving HR landscape.

How are the bottom 5 Sectors shaping up?

bottom 5 sectors hiring

We’ve looked at the HR hiring trends in the top performing sectors, now let’s flip the script and delve into the HR hiring landscape of the UK’s underperforming sectors according to Honch. 

These sectors exhibit relatively lower numbers of new HR hires, promotions, and total job moves compared to other industries, suggesting a subdued level of workforce expansion and internal mobility for HR roles.

The sluggish hiring trends for such roles in these sectors may indicate several underlying factors. In Telecommunications, for example, the limited percentage of new HR hires and promotions (1.85% and 2.13%, respectively) could be influenced by factors such as market saturation, technological advancements leading to workforce optimisation, or changes in consumer preferences affecting demand for services. These constraints and efficiency can lead to the need for reduced operations where HR tasks are considered. 

Energy and utilities: Profits up, HR hires down

employing hr experts leads to improved engagement and performance blog image 5

Similarly, the Energy and Utilities sectors show modest numbers in terms of new HR hires and promotions, possibly reflecting challenges such as regulatory pressures, shifts in energy consumption patterns, or the transition towards renewable energy sources, which may impact workforce requirements and hiring decisions.

Despite hefty profits reported in these sectors, HR hires remain at a low. This disconnect raises pertinent questions. With exponential growth typically comes higher cash flow, more administrative tasks, and increased workload pressure. The assumption is that more HR roles would be required to manage such pressures and potentially more hires in other roles due to the growth. So, if the energy companies are at the bottom of HR hiring trends, are the HR professionals in these roles content? Or is there a need to address underlying concerns such as workload and wellbeing?

Surveys and Open Door policies could offer invaluable insights into employee satisfaction and potential areas for improvement, and to gain an understanding of any concerns around workplace dynamics, organisational culture, and overall job satisfaction.

Less than 1% of new HR hires for the Public Sector

employing hr experts leads to improved engagement and performance blog image 6

The Public Sector find themselves at the very bottom of the list with new HR hires and promotions representing less than 1% of the workforce in this sector . This could be due to common challenges found in the Public Sector such as constraints related to budgetary limitations, bureaucratic processes, or policy-driven hiring freezes, affecting the sector’s ability to expand its HR departments or facilitate career progression for professionals in these roles.

The link between employee engagement metrics and HR hiring trends is evident. Where engagement levels are high, those top performing sectors are hiring and promoting HR professionals in a larger capacity. If we take a look at the Public Sector, their percentage of new HR hires (0.94%), promotions (0.93%) and total job moves (0.94%) are the lowest of all sectors. When comparing this to our employee benchmarks, looking at the “Government” trend for Engagement Index, and eNPS over the last 12 months, we can see that although there are ebbs and flows across the year, this is amongst the lowest performing sectors for both metrics. 

This highlights the pivotal role of HR in shaping organisational dynamics and fostering a positive work environment. 

How can organisations jump up the list?

how organisation can jump the list of employing hr

The link between employee engagement metrics and HR hiring trends is evident. Where engagement levels are high, those top performing sectors are hiring and promoting HR professionals in a larger capacity. This highlights the pivotal role of HR in shaping organisational dynamics and fostering a positive work environment. 

To address hiring challenges in these HR roles, sectors at the bottom of the list could integrate employee feedback to pinpoint areas for improvement and better understand the specific needs and expectations of their workforce. By leveraging employee feedback, organisations can tailor their HR hiring strategies to align with the preferences and priorities of their employees, ultimately enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement.

For example, implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) roles within HR departments can demonstrate a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, which is essential for employee wellbeing and engagement. Additionally, creating dedicated wellbeing roles within HR departments can ensure that employee wellness programs and initiatives are effectively implemented and aligned with the needs of the workforce, further enhancing overall satisfaction and engagement levels.

This can result in not only a better work environment, but:


  • Improved organisational performance
  • Improved engagement
  • Increased retention rates
  • Satisfied employees


This approach leads to improved organisational performance, heightened employee engagement as the HR department can focus on areas that matter most to their people. 

Overall, the data suggests a need for these sectors to closely evaluate their HR hiring strategies and adapt to changing market dynamics or organisational needs to remain competitive and effectively address staffing requirements in the evolving HR landscape.

Need a hand?

Looking to gather valuable employee feedback to address hiring and promotion challenges in your HR roles? Hive provides the essential tools and expert support needed to cultivate a thriving workplace. Our team of People Scientists specialises in guiding you through every step of the process, from crafting effective strategies to gaining leadership buy-in and conducting engaging employee workshops. With Hive’s intuitive platform and dedicated team, you’ll have the resources and expertise necessary to gather comprehensive insights into your HR roles, enabling you to make informed decisions and drive positive change within your organisation. 

Whether you’re aiming to enhance employee engagement, improve retention rates, or optimise your hiring and promotion processes, Hive equips you with the tools and support needed to create a workplace where both your HR professionals and the organisation as a whole can thrive.

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