Blue Book
Pete Squires

Member Article

West Mids graduates choosing Birmingham over London

West Midlands graduates are turning their backs on London in favour of a future in Birmingham, according to a new survey.

Up to 67 per cent of graduates revealed they want to stay in the city on completing their studies, in stark contrast to more than three quarters (78 per cent) stating they wanted to leave on graduating five years ago.

A good salary is now top of the wish list of candidates looking for new jobs, with 70 per cent revealing money drives them the most, compared to just 42 per cent in 2012 when people valued career progression as the top priority.

Somewhat surprisingly more than half of businesses in Birmingham (53 per cent) offered paid overtime in the last 12 months, compared to just 23 per cent in London.

As many as 78 per cent of Birmingham business paid performance bonuses, slightly more than 75 per cent in the capital.

The Blue Book employment survey is undertaken annually by international recruitment group Angela Mortimer, which incorporates Birmingham-based Katie Bard, and saw 637 employers and 906 candidates surveyed in the first quarter in 2013.

Verity Stokes, team leader at Katie Bard which has its Birmingham offices on Waterloo Street, believes the city is benefiting from graduates fearing the London job market.

“It’s encouraging the talent Birmingham is developing is choosing to stay in the region and kick-start their careers here rather then head to London and elsewhere,” she said.

“I think there’s certainly an element of people assuming they are going to find it difficult to get roles in London, but also businesses in Birmingham have slightly increased their headcounts over the last year, so new opportunities are presenting themselves.”

The quality of candidates available was identified by 71 per cent of businesses in Birmingham as the biggest recruitment challenge facing them in 2013, while 83 per cent of businesses made employee pension contributions, compared to 66 per cent in London.

Verity added: “There has been a rise in the best candidates receiving multiple job offers and consequently moving quickly in the market, but clearly employers which miss out on the best are finding it difficult to find people of the same calibre.

“Many employers are also still being very cautious and recruiting safe options rather then creative ones, and firms are certainly gravitating towards graduate calibre candidates as they realise they can really add the extra value.

“A major shift we’ve also seen is that employees are placing an increased emphasis on money in their pockets, whereas before they were prepared to accept less in their pay packets as long as career progression prospects were good.

“It’s positive for workers that perks like paid overtime and contributory pensions are more common place, as it is clear from the survey cash is key.

“Money is a key motivator but the ability for candidates to progress is also very important. Lots of very good candidates who have survived redundancy are fed up with the atmosphere in their businesses.

“They’ve given their all over the last few years and when we are seeing money as a key motivator this may be more of a reflection or a search for greater equability by candidates for what they are putting in.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Pete Squires .

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