Cambridge Job Market Overview (Snapshot)
For those looking to relocate to the area, Cambridge is an historic city in the heart of the Fens and steeped in academic tradition. Cambridge has a lot to offer in terms of potential career opportunities and links with the University of Cambridge. It is an important employment hub for executives, research scientists and technical expertise, especially with well-established academic and research institutions leading the forefront of innovation and technology. These credentials are further enhanced with increasing commercial / industry collaborations leading to R&D start-ups, venture capital and larger companies such as Astra Zeneca locating a global research HQ in Cambridge.
The Cambridge Cluster
Cambridge has arguably out-performed the rest of the UK economy by becoming a major employment growth hub and thriving entrepreneurial base. Benefiting from a higher than normal concentration of innovation, technology and research-based organisations. This area has often been referred to as the ‘Cambridge Cluster’. The Cambridge Cluster comprises a unique mix of Information Technology, Telecommunications, R&D Science, Engineering, Knowledge-Based, Life Sciences and Healthcare organisations contributing to the regional economy as well as attracting multi-billion pound investments. For instance, Arm Holdings leads the way with a multi-billion pound listing – a global leader in developing latest digital architecture and microchip solutions for computers, telecoms and mobile phones (sold to a Japanese company). There are several science parks within the hinterland of Cambridge, mainly on the outer edges to avoid more congested areas of the City Centre.
Cambridge Wealth Creation and Growth
Wealth creation is very apparent, especially when coming out of the economic recession. This is founded on a highly skilled workforce being rewarded with much higher salary earnings than elsewhere. There is an untypically low unemployment rate with a seemingly never-ending growing number of opportunities for technical specialists and executives alike. It has therefore bucked the wider economic trend (landscape) in other areas of the country. Cambridge has also become a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent with some very well-known individuals making their way in business and setting up base in the area.
Executive Search and Selection Cambridge
With intense competition for jobs, it is all the more important to stand out from the competition as expectations are likely to be much higher than for other areas of the UK. Talented executives and technical experts has also led to a greater concentration of specialist recruitment consultants and executive headhunting firms (or at the very least a regional office), so it is crucial to partner with the right executive headhunter to maximise opportunities and benefit from their extended networks. Headhunters may specialise and focus activities in niche industry sectors, notably R&D, technology, engineering, telecommunications and life sciences for example.
Cambridge has a concentration of specialist recruitment consultants, executive headhunters and local recruitment firms. With a talent pool from the concentration of highly-qualified people, competition for jobs is intense, so executive headhunting firms are likely to have developed excellent relationships and extended recruitment networks with local employers. Regional / branch offices of high profile executive headhunting firms have established a presence in Cambridge covering mainstream, technical and specialist niche sectors. ‘Big 4’ consultancy firms and interim executive appointments are other avenues to consider for executives in a highly dynamic and constantly changing local employment market.
Opportunities Around Cambridge
As an alternative, consider interim executive appointments on a fixed term or executive consultancy basis to provide leadership or specialist expertise without the risk (commitment) of employing someone permanently. With the proliferation of start-ups, technology firms and high growth entities, executives may wish to accept a lower starting salary with the prospect of benefiting from equity / share incentives that could greatly increase overall earnings with rapid growth / take-off. These are just some initial observations about the Cambridge job market, plus some ideas for making some tactical decisions regarding executive search in Cambridge. Excellent rail and motorway links extend possibilities beyond the Cambridge with many doing the daily commute to Central London.