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The rise of relocation for today’s job seekers

23 Aug 15:00 by Tony Allen

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Last month, research from totaljobs stated that half of British workers would be willing to relocate within the UK for a job. The study, which polled 6,500 job seekers, also revealed the top 10 best cities for work in the UK. 

While London topped the list thanks to its position as a global financial, business and cultural hub, smaller cities across the UK have been gaining dominance as work hotspots. At Henry Nicholas, there’s been a recent surge in candidates approaching our team looking to move from large cities like London and Manchester to explore the options available to them in Bristol (home of our head office).

Indeed, Bristol appears in the top 10 best cities to work in according to the findings from totaljobs, as does Edinburgh, York, and Brighton and Hove; the latter containing just under a third of the population of the UK’s second largest city of Birmingham (which limped in at number 6 on the list). You can view the full top 10 list here.

Why are candidates opting for smaller cities?

Some of the more obvious reasons include the cost of living, work/life balance, travel, fierce competition for roles etc. However, the answer is more nuanced and involves a number of unique factors relating to each of the cities in question.

Bristol, for example, emerged from Tech City‘s Tech Nation 2017 report as Europe’s future digital capital thanks to its variety of tech employers from startups to multinationals, a range of technology jobs and generous salaries. And we’re probably not too far away from Salford appearing as a top 10 city thanks to the relocation of the BBC sparking a flurry of media startups and business growth, as well as a reinvigorated focus on media-related qualifications within its university.  

How can employers capitalise?

The totaljobs study found that 80% of professionals would be encouraged to relocate if an employer were to offer the right incentives. In light of industry-wide talent shortages, it’s clear that employers need to pay attention to offering the right benefits and assistance to ease and encourage the process of relocation. Key areas of focus include:  

Salary. 86% of respondents in the survey stated that a higher salary would be a key incentive and the reasons why are obvious. Relocation equals upheaval for the employee and potentially their family, and there’s also the small matter of property deposits and moving costs.

Career development. Moving to a new location is a major decision and employees want to know that their commitment is acknowledged and rewarded in the long term. 28% stated that a promotion would be a strong incentive to relocate, either that or a clear and achievable path to future development.

Support with the move. Whether it’s paid time off, help with relocation costs or assistance in finding temporary accommodation, employers can help to make the relocation process stress-free and easy, boosting the morale of the worker and helping them to hit the ground running in their new role.

If you’re looking to make your next career move and are considering relocating to a new city, the Henry Nicholas team is on-hand to help. Alternatively, we can provide advice and guidance for employers when putting together a winning relocation package to attract the right candidates, wherever they might be.