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Calling Oxfordshire home

Oxfordshire has a thriving economy with one of the highest rates of employment in the country, but with this comes a unique set of challenges for employers and job seekers alike.

I feel very fortunate that I get to call Oxfordshire home. It is one of the UK’s most celebrated counties, attracting millions of tourists every year thanks to our stunning countryside and historic charm. Oxfordshire is also – and rightly so – a regular fixture on many best places to live and work lists too. 

Just 3.3% of the working population were unemployed in 2015. And according to official government statistics, Oxford alone is home to over 4,600 businesses providing 114,000 jobs (and that’s before you even look at the rest of the county).

While our education sector is world renowned thanks to Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University, there are many other industries which are growing year-on-year. Research, publishing, manufacturing and health, plus a burgeoning tech scene mean that there are always plenty of jobs available.

What does this mean for job seekers?

In a recent Best Places in the UK to Make a Living survey by Total Money, Oxford came in at number 19 out of 64. Oxford offers competitive salaries and a great quality of life. Ready access to the countryside, an excellent nightlife and social scene, not to mention transport links to London and other cities, are all compelling reasons to call Oxfordshire home.

The chance of finding your dream role is high as well. It’s often cited that Oxford actually has more jobs than residents. Our employment surveys have consistently reported a steady increase in the number of job vacancies with this rise often attributed to business success and expansion.

But with so many jobs to choose from, it may be daunting to make a start finding the right one for you. Especially if your skills are particularly sought after. If you work in HR, marketing, finance or admin, please speak to us – as we’ll be able to let you know what the employment market is doing and advise you on your options.

What does this mean for employers?

Oxford has an extremely well-educated talent base with over 60% of job seekers having an NVQ level 4 qualification or above, which is more than double that of any other city in the UK.

If you’re a start-up company, R&D tax credits and access to grants make the county particularly attractive. But many national and international companies, including Oxfam, choose to call our county home too.

This influx of businesses has created a large number of jobs in a relatively concentrated area. Although this is good for the economy, it does mean that the best talent currently has the pick of the local employment market.

Employers have to work extra hard to find the people who not only have the right blend of skills and experience, but are also the right fit for their team and the wider business. Companies need to be thinking carefully about working conditions and environment, team dynamics, salaries and perks, the job itself and the employer brand.

You also have to be prepared to act fast. This can be difficult if you’re a very large organisation or a smaller business which doesn’t have a dedicated HR resource – but agility and flexibility really do make all the difference in this market.

For more information about the local recruitment scene or if I can help you in any way, please email me at kate@allen-assocociates.co.uk

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