Manchester Job Market (Snapshot)
Manchester has arguably become the main employment hub outside of London coming into its own as an economic power house. The presence of major corporations, famous brands, High Speed 2, company relocations and R&D collaborations have helped underpin growth and diversify the local economy. Job creation has been much greater following urban regeneration, inward investment and the high profile move by the BBC from London within the new Media City in Manchester. This signalled great intent and reinforced Manchester’s standing in the wider UK economy.
Executive Job Search Manchester
Manchester is considered a regional hub for executive headhunting firms with a pipeline of job opportunities, specialist roles and diverse sectors contributing to a thriving economy. Regional offices of UK executive headhunting firms with headquarters in London have been established, so giving a wider network of potential opportunities. There is also a critical mass of specialist headhunting firms, executive interim appointments and consultancy opportunities (Big 4 Consultancy firms) alongside local firms, so extending local job hunting networks with well-established relationships with employers in the Greater Manchester area.
As a strategy, executives are encouraged to build worthwhile relationships with executive headhunting firms to take advantage of wider recruitment / employer networks. Carefully select headhunting firms to partner with by checking out credentials, assignments, current vacancies, salary ranges and employers they deal with. The best way to do this is to refer to headhunter websites before making contact to gain useful information and overview of how they can possibly help. Have a clear strategy in mind, know what you are all about and prepare CV / LinkedIn profile so any engagement with headhunters is more effective. Preparation is key to successful headhunter engagement – getting through the initial screening process / convincing headhunters is important.
Manchester and Job Market Factors
For those looking to relocate to Manchester, the City is seen as a major employment growth hub with most sectors represented, including commercial, manufacturing, research, technology, engineering, service providers and the BBC Corporation. Equally, there has been the emergence of pioneering research, innovation and technology collaborations alongside academic institutions, notably Graphene Research at the University of Manchester. There has also been a major urban regeneration programme attracting substantial inward investment, especially with the Salford Quays and Trafford Centre retail developments, plus a major relocation of the BBC Corporation. Manchester has also benefited significantly from the legacy of the Commonwealth Games with greatly improved sports facilities, new stadiums, road infrastructure and urban renewal.
Prospects for High Speed 2 (HS2) would inevitably raise economic development, inward investment and job creation with more extensive links to London and the South East, plus strengthening linkages with regional cities of Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham. Though the benefits have not been clearly defined, it is likely to have a vast influence in shaping job creation over the long-term. Effective technology / communications means that head offices are no longer tied to the South of England, so there has been the emergence of companies relocating to greenfield sites or locating on the edge of major conurbations such as Manchester.
Manchester Employment Hub
Proximity to the Manchester International Airport, accessible road / rail transport links and being close to other conurbations in the North of England, makes Manchester an ideal location for regional head offices of major corporations. It is reasonable to expect many of the top corporations to have a regional presence in Manchester by benefiting from a dynamic and increasingly skilled workforce. Small and medium-sized businesses also represent potential opportunities for executives with early stage development and growth phases giving chances for being rewarded with share equity incentives rather than initial salary expectations, so it is not all about targeting the large corporate firms. A lot of executives are looking at equity rather than higher starting salary expectations, with potential for greater rewards in the future. This is now becoming a worthwhile option / incentive.
The Greater Manchester Region also includes other urban areas such as Bolton, Stockport and Oldham, which are commutable and so broadening the overall catchment area. Average wages are slightly higher than for other areas around the North of England, whilst house prices are not as inflationary as with other areas of the country.
Manchester Executive Search and Selection
Being a regional employment hub, Manchester is really well placed to attract a number of higher profile executive headhunting firms and specialist recruitment consultants by having a regional presence that may overlap into other areas such as Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cumbria and Cheshire. Without being in proximity to London, this means that it is important to use local knowledge and extended networks of headhunting firms. For instance, someone in London is not going to have the same relationships with local firms as a recruitment consultant in Manchester.
Nonetheless, it is important to choose the right executive headhunter to partner with and build a strong relationship regardless of where they are located, though local knowledge will obviously help. There is also the opportunity to go for Interim Executive / Director roles reflecting a trend for more flexible appointments based on fixed-term contracts or providing top-level leadership / consultancy expertise. So, these are just some tactical ideas for embarking on an executive job search in Manchester or the Greater Manchester area.