Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

A major city located in the north western region of England, Manchester is renowned for its railway viaducts and canals...

What's it like to recruit in Manchester?

A major city located in the north western region of England, Manchester is renowned for its railway viaducts and canals, all of which point towards its historical first-modern-industrial-city roots. And of course, not forgetting the fact that it is home to Manchester United’s football ground. All of the city’s recent restorations, including the revitalised Salford Quays dockyards and its impressive nightlife, have made it a popular destination for weekend getaways and tourists. While Manchester’s exhilarating nightlife has lots on offer, the UK’s 6th largest city is home to more than 500,000 permanent residents; that means that there are plenty of jobs to recruit for. So, what is it really like to recruit in this concrete jungle?

Top destination for candidates wanting a good work-life balance

According to research from CV-Library, Manchester was revealed as one of the top UK cities for work-life balance. 54.9% of survey respondents ranked Manchester as a top destination for securing a positive work-life balance and this is likely to give recruiters a run for their money. Consultants recruiting or situated within Manchester may, therefore, find it easier to attract talent if the area is already doing a good job at selling itself.

Top city for graduate opportunities

Research from AdView ranked Manchester as the 12th most popular city for graduate opportunities. The metrics considered population growth, number of businesses, employment rate, year-on-year wage growth, average wage, number of internships, graduate schemes and average wage spent on rent. So, recruiters may find it easy to attract school-leavers and university graduates with a promising and affordable city life on offer.

Salary hikes

Data from Robert Walters revealed that professional salaries in the North West will see the biggest hike of seven per cent. Manchester ranked fourth with a two per cent increase on salaries, raising the stakes to an average permanent salary of £56,000. Robert Walters’ UK CEO, Chris Hickey, explained: “Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham have been particularly successful in positioning themselves as regional tech-hubs, attracting talent that would have historically migrated to London.” So, with promising salary hikes on the horizon for the foreseeable future, recruiters so have no issue attracting the right calibre of talent to fill client roles.


Recruitment Grapevine caught up with Ash Knight, Owner and Director of Ashley James Consulting to find out what the recruiting scene is like in Manchester.

What do you enjoy about recruiting in Manchester?

It has to be the people. Manchester is an amazing city filled with awesome people. Our candidates and clients are running/working for/building some of the most influential, inspiring and innovative businesses in the land, so being based here, meeting new people every day and playing a part in their story is great.

What challenges do you face as a recruiter here?

Manchester is so competitive, there are new companies popping up each week, keeping us on our toes and advancing / developing daily. The best talent is off the market within a matter of hours in our space, so companies need to move quickly and decisively in order to secure the best candidates.

What do you see coming up in Manchester’s future in terms of recruitment?

Growth. Lots of great companies are relocating teams to Manchester, companies with offices in other locations are opening bases in Manchester for that ‘Northern’ presence. Smaller, more agile companies are popping up all the time, disrupting the market and taking market share from the big players.