Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Recruitment in… Leeds

What is the recruitment scene like in the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’?
Recruitment in… Leeds

On the banks of the River Aire lies one of Britain’s most historic and important cities – Leeds. 

Rising from a small market town in the middle ages, to a flourishing cloth producer in the industrial revolution, through to today, where the city stands as an economic powerhouse.

For example, Leeds is home to the UK’s largest legal and financial centre in the UK outside of London, with the city's economy set to grow 21% over the next 10 years. Over 32,000 registered businesses are based here, along with more than 6,000 small and medium-size enterprises, which account for more than half of employment in the city.

But what is it like to recruit in Leeds? We asked Ed Sutcliffe, a Director at MET Marketing about his life as a recruiter in the city…

What do you love about Leeds?

Leeds is a great city to live and work in. It's not too big and not too small and an added benefit is the great countryside and amenities within 30 minutes of the city centre.

In the marketing and digital sectors, we have some of the best and largest search agencies outside of London along with two of the largest supermarket headquarters in the country. The banking sector is also well known along with the likes of Jet2 and Skybet boosting the leisure credentials for Leeds.

What challenges do you face here as a recruiter?

Leeds can often feel like an insular city. Manchester, Birmingham and London dominate their regions for investment and people whereas Leeds has to ‘fight’ with the likes of Bradford, Sheffield and York - sometimes even Hull and Newcastle. The transport links and general infrastructure of the city mean it can be a challenge for people to efficiently move around.

A secondary challenge is keeping talent in the region as London is attractive to graduates for the buzz and cosmopolitan lifestyle it offers. Leeds can often feel like a city you go to University, leave and then re-visit in later life.


What does the future hold for recruitment in Leeds?

There have been massive improvements and investments in office space with the likes of Wellington Place, Platform and the converted Lloyds Bank Building all taking shape. This will only enhance the city as a business hub. The worry is how ambitious Leeds is against the likes of Manchester and Birmingham.