Keeping Lancashire talent in Lancashire….

10 months ago


…It’s an ongoing battle. How do we stop losing Lancashire talent to the bright lights of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds? Or worse still, heading down to London?

Lancashire is one of the largest economies in the Northern Powerhouse with 50,000 businesses generating £28 billion per year. And what is it that fuels these businesses? Talented people!

It all boils down to one simple statement – the people with the best people – win. Every time! Without the people, we simply cannot function and without people, we certainly cannot grow.

I was at a fabulous event the other day organised jointly by Marketing Lancashire and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) that highlighted Lancashire’s impact on the UK economy. For instance, did you know?

– Our county is number one in the UK for advanced manufacturing
– We have 4 highly successful universities that produce the UK’s largest source of STEM graduates

I certainly didn’t! Something that didn’t really come up however, was how on earth we attract and retain the fantastic talent that is required to power our growing economy.

We can’t ignore the fact that the recruitment market is changing rapidly; from being focused on filling vacancies to the now scarcer commodity of sourcing skilled candidates.

We are in a candidate-led market, the individuals hold all the cards – they are sought after, they are needed and they are choosy. Candidates are in the driving seat and we therefore, need to entice, encourage and sell the benefits of joining our organisations.

Businesses must now consider the very simple question. Why would someone want to work here? What am I doing to attract and retain people? The best candidates are getting multiple interviews and finding work far more quickly. They can pick and choose between employers. Their motivations to move are changing and employers who forget or ignore this do so at their peril.

Motivations to move jobs can vary and do change. Understanding people’s desire to move – or conversely, to stay – is key to staff attraction and retention in today’s market. (It has always been important, but often other aspects such as the need to work or settling for security, masked it).


I was once taught there are only five motivators in working life:

– Security
– Status
– Responsibility
– Lifestyle
– Money (and this is rarely the main real one)

People crave job fulfilment, a sense of purpose. In simple terms, they want to work in environments that are safe, secure, progressive, positive and which are people orientated.

Not only that but they want good, strong leadership that offers clarity and direction on how they will be able to contribute to the long-term future of the business.

Research from the REC shows that candidates are scrutinising the employer as much as employers are judging them. Candidates have more choice and are much more values-driven, we therefore all need to take the candidate experience very seriously in order to attract and retain the top talent in Lancashire.

As a collection of business leaders, we must start to recognise the things that Lancashire and its businesses have to offer to the talent pool. Here are a few things we can all consider:


Our Connectivity

Lancashire is well connected. With links to 5 major motorways, a swift 2 hours train link to London and trains every half hour between Blackburn and Manchester. We have fabulous opportunities to attract candidates from further afield.


Our Location

Who wouldn’t want to live in Lancashire? Reasonable house prices and plenty of housing stock all nestled in our amazing county. We’re home to the stunning Forest of Bowland an area which is a stone’s throw away from the Lake District, Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales. And for those of us who like a little more vibrancy we’re slap bang in the middle of Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester. What location could be more attractive?


Our Education

Lancashire’s home to some of the UK’s leading Universities and training providers. We can offer a range of opportunities to learn whilst you earn and demonstrate to our people our commitment to their education, development and progression. As businesses, we also have the ability to tap directly into the Talent Pools of the local HE providers and snap up top talent straight from source.


Our Environments

We host some fabulous office spaces and work environments and are continually driving to develop these. Just take a moment to look at the investment made into the Cathedral Quarter in Blackburn or the Burnley Bridge development. We have some of the best facilities on offer in the UK!


Our Packages

Remember, it’s not all about salary. The cost of living in these parts is very reasonable, we don’t necessarily need to throw huge salaries at people to attract and retain them. We can think of all the other benefits that can woo people, consider staff events, rewards programmes, long service benefits, and flexible working opportunities and how these can be used to ‘sell’ our businesses.


Our Vision

The ambition of our county and its businesses is incredible. From the LEP to Boost Business Lancashire we’re all working together to ensure the long-term success of our county. We must shout about our ambitions and demonstrate to the talent pool that there are opportunities to grow and develop alongside our businesses. Demonstrating our visions and purposes to our current and prospective people is key to keeping talent in our county. They need to know what’s in it for their future – forward vision keeps people on your journey with you.


Our Presence

How are we communicating with the talent pool? What messages are we pushing out there to the rest of the country that Lancashire is the place to make your career? Are we truly engaging with the education system to paint a vision for their students on what careers we can offer them?

I could go on about this all day, I’m so passionate about our county, about its legacy and about the people in it. Nothing is more important than future proofing our businesses by harnessing the best talent that there is on offer.

There is absolutely no reason why people can’t have everything they want from a career right here in the Red Rose County. The one thing that everyone is looking for these days is a great quality of life – our workforces want to work hard and benefit from our wonderful surroundings – Lancashire is the place to be!















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