Based on extensive data collected from over 2,500 HR managers in 65 countries across the globe, the Page Executive, Michael Page and Page Personnel HR Barometer presents important findings from the global HR community.

Key headlines

Strong hiring and recruitment expectations in many locations signal a new phase of economic growth and rebuild. Numbers from countries such as Germany and the UK and Ireland are particularly optimistic, sending a positive message about future plans for workforce expansion. 
There are clear signs that this is the long-predicted prelude to the Second War for Talent, following on from the first peak in demand fuelled by the surge in technology during the closing years of the last century. While the technology and related industries will be on the front line in this new war for talent, other sectors are expected to follow rapidly in their wake. 
As a result, HR is increasing in consequence and influence, as illustrated in the intensified focus on the recruitment, development and management of talent. Talent retention and employer branding will also be as crucial in this new war as they were first time around. 
HR is becoming key to business growth and needs to continue its evolution towards being an operational and strategic business partner. In some regions at least, the difficult HR tasks of laying off employees and cutting costs, demanded by the economic downturn, may now no longer divert HR from more strategic initiatives. We also see renewed focus on HR data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to manage performance. 
Is HR ready for this complex mix of challenges? Certainly in terms of numbers of resources, organisations are not planning any significant increase in their HR teams, even though they are expecting to increase their workforce within the next twelve months. This crucial finding raises obvious questions about HR professionals being ready to help their employers to handle a growing workforce. Will HR be able to cope with the pace of growth required by the business? This is a key challenge for the foreseeable future. 
Reflecting on the insights we have received from HR leaders across the world, we see that the HR function is undergoing radical change. From being regarded as an administrative function, HR has become more focused on recruitment and talent development. 
The responses of HR leaders globally signal a maturing HR function, which is aligning more closely with the business and becoming a strategic partner in attracting, hiring, developing and retaining talent, as organisations place increased value on their people.
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