Recruitment Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Recruiting in… Leicester

Recruitment Grapevine explores one of the oldest cities in England...

Recruiting in… Leicester


Leicester is a city located in the East Midlands with a population of about 329,839. The city’s motto, "Semper Eadem” may mean "Always the Same", but Rebecca Parnell, Operations Director for the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire SF Group, says working here is only changing for the better.

1) What do you love about being a recruiter in Leicester?

I love being a recruiter in Leicester. Firstly, there is a huge diversity of cultures within our city, and we are lucky enough to meet candidates from different cultures on a daily basis.

Our location is a major benefit to us as we can attract candidates from the whole of the Midlands due to the close proximity to the M69, M6 and M1 which connects us to the whole country, and our rail network is also perfectly central, so it only takes us 1 hour 5 minutes to commute to London.

This is a major attraction for businesses who want to have a more central presence in the Midlands. We are seeing more companies relocate for this reason, such as Amazon and PPL PRS – the UK’s music licensing company chose Leicester over other major cities.

2) What challenges does a recruiter face here?

One of the main challenges we find as recruiters is our average salaries in Leicester are lower than the rest of the Midlands.  We are often asked from clients for salary benchmarking, SF Group is the Midlands’ leading specialist recruiter so we do have the ability to compare salaries across the whole of the Midlands.

Leicester’s unemployment is also relatively low in comparison to both the rest of the Midlands and the national average, which means a scarcity of good quality talent. There are plenty of opportunities for fewer candidates which mean the very best candidates will have multiple job offers.

3) What do you see in store for Leicester in the future?

We have been really impressed with the growth of Leicester of the past 20 years in terms of jobs and salaries.

The number of businesses operating in Leicester has grown by an incredible 40% in the last two decades, and with the growth rate for the rest of the UK at 22% this shows what a rich local economy we have here. One that we can only see continuing to grow.

We believe there is going to be continued growth of business especially professional services such as Mattioli Woods who have confidently invested in a state of the art new head office in the Leicester city.  Manufacturing is Leicester’s key industry and the Leicester office of SF Group has successfully placed over 200 professional services candidates in this sector alone over the last two years.

SF Group is the Midlands biggest professional services recruitment agency specialising in Accounting & Finance, HR, Supply Chain & Logistics, Procurement, Engineering, Office support, Sales & Marketing.