The top UK cities to find talented staff for your small business

Here, we look at the cities where you can potentially find the most talented staff for your company.

More job hunters are currently looking for work month on month, increasing the chance of companies finding talented staff.

CV registrations increased by 7.5 per cent on last month, according to a new study from recruitment site CV-Library.

The data, which looks at statistics from CV-Library’s site in July 2018 and compared this with July 2017, finds that key UK cities witnessed above average growth in candidate interest last month. In fact, these are the top locations to find talented staff right now:

Brighton – 14.7 per cent
Bristol – 14.1 per cent
London – 13.9 per cent
Manchester – 10.5 per cent
Aberdeen – 9.7 per cent
Portsmouth – 8.1 per cent
Nottingham – 7.5 per cent
Edinburgh – 6.7 per cent
Leeds – 5.9 per cent
Liverpool – 3.6 per cent

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library says that, while the summer months tend to see a slowdown in recruitment, the data shows that more people are interested in looking for work at the moment and this is widespread across the UK. ‘If you’re looking to grow your workforce, now could be a great time to start advertising your jobs,’ he adds.

What’s more, advertised jobs rose by 13.7 per cent, with the largest hikes in vacancies being seen in Liverpool (+31.2 per cent), Edinburgh (+21.5 per cent), Bristol (+17.8 per cent), Sheffield (17.1 per cent) and London (+16.2 per cent).

Average pay also rose by 1.7 per cent across the UK last month, with even bigger jumps in salaries witnessed in: Liverpool (+6.7 per cent), Southampton (+5.8 per cent), Birmingham (+5.2 per cent), Manchester (+4.9 per cent) , Cardiff (4.6 per cent), Brighton (+4 per cent) and Portsmouth (+3.6 per cent).

Biggins continues, ‘Many candidates associate a new job with a pay rise, so be ready for some negotiation. If you’re not sure where your pay measures up against these findings, it’s worth looking at average salaries in your industry to ensure that you’re paying what you should be.’

>See more on talented staff:

Case study: Nigel Davies, founder, Brighton-based Claromentis

Brighton is a creative, vibrant city with a pocket of exceptional talent that surprises us every time we put a new job ad out. In the tech industry the churn rate is high, but so is our retention. Although we work hard on our culture and invest in our people, I think it says something about the people to jobs ratio in Brighton, too.

Looking at the top ten list, Brighton is unique in that people here have the option to commute to London for work. But because living on trains for hours a day – and negotiating delays caused by Southern Rail’s total ineptitude – isn’t a lifestyle people desire, more are actively looking for work closer to home. And local Brighton businesses are benefitting from the pot of talent that London is losing.

One of Brighton’s best attributes is its cultural diversity and inclusion from an LGBTQ perspective. Drawing from a more diverse talent pool benefits business. When you put people from different walks of life, with different perspectives, in a room, you get brilliant ideas that lead to innovation; something I get to witness every day.

Case study: Rob Tomlinson, founder, Nottingham-based Tomlin Personnel

The Nottingham economy is growing faster than places like Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield. Forget the Northern Powerhouse, it feels like the East Midlands really is the place to be right now when it comes to growth.

Related: The essential guide to starting a business in Nottingham

We are currently so busy filling vacancies that I need to more staff to cope with demand. The news of the East Midlands Gateway, which will feature companies like Amazon and Nestle, as anchor tenants on the logistics park, as well as Shop Direct, is just the latest in what seems like very positive signs. For a company that specialises in logistics recruitment, the current news really couldn’t be better.

In our location close to the M1, we feel like we are at the centre of it all. We pride ourselves in being able to offer quality logistics staff, quickly, thanks to our reactive 24-hour operation that has access to thousands of job seekers in the East Midlands area.

Case study: Luke Linden, business manager, London-based Nigel Frank International

Figures from the Office for National Statistics indicate to a long-term shift towards the IT sector when it comes to the jobs market. With its high concentration of innovative businesses and start-ups, London will likely see the effects of this faster and on a greater scale than any other city. The information and communication sector already employs 28 per cent more staff than it did a decade ago, between 2016 and 2017 alone, the number of people working in the industry ballooned 11.4 per cent.

As niche technology recruiters, London is a natural home for Nigel Frank. We opened our first office in here in 2010, and since then we’ve seen the UK’s tech sector go from strength to strength, with London at the epicentre of the country’s push toward digital transformation.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently commented on the growth of London’s tech sector, and how it will be the driving force when it comes to helping the city weather the ongoing effects of Brexit on London’s job market. Investments from tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, as well as the industry-leading work London’s tech professionals have been doing on bleeding-edge tech like artificial intelligence, are likely to safeguard the tech market from the blows already felt in other industries in the city such as finance and insurance.

“Demand for skilled tech professionals is continuing to skyrocket”

As long as the sector keeps attracting entrepreneurs and receiving investments, the high demand for tech professionals, as well as the massive potential that tech careers in the city can offer, will likely continue unimpeded.

The UK digital tech sector is thought to be worth around £184 billion to the economy, up from £170 billion in 2016. The rise of cloud computing, a push towards digitising business processes, and the need for tighter security and compliance in the face of new GDPR regulations have all contributed to the expansion of the IT sector. In response to that growth, demand for skilled tech professionals is continuing to skyrocket, and while London is lucky enough to attract the best of the best in many industries, the tech channel in particular is generating an enormous amount of talent in the capital.

However, right now it’s still not enough. A report conducted earlier this year found that the single biggest challenge facing the city’s tech industry is a shortage of talent – and its biggest objectives should be to attract more investments, and employ one million Londoners in the tech sector in the next five years. There is massive opportunity in London for tech professionals to build their careers and take advantage of the sector’s mammoth growth.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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