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Is there regional bias in recruitment eg. Scottish jobs for scottish people!? Have you experienced this?

(17 Posts)
windygallows Mon 01-Aug-16 13:26:52

I spent many years working in Scotland then moved south, now looking for a mid-to-senior management role in Scotland but it's tricky, not only because there are far less roles than in the south... but I think there is a regional bias in hiring - so a preference for jobs going to people from that region.

A friend based there and who used to work in recruitment said - 'Look there are only so many senior jobs in Scotland and the general feeling is they should go to Scots, not some stranger from London/other part of the country. While sectors like finance and tech don't care where they recruit people from, as long as they recruit the best talent, areas like the public/state sector, arts/culture etc (which dominate the Scottish economy) really prefer to hire local people. They want a senior manager of a local authority to come from that area and have the local accent and also as a way to avoid another Scots having to escape to London for a good job.'

I have friends in the NE who say the same as well as a friend in Wales who said it's virtually impossible to get a senior public sector role without being Welsh (and of course you need to be able to demonstrate knowledge of the Welsh language).

Have others experienced this or is it generally that people don't want to hire 'assholes from London'? smile BTW this is not meant to be a slight on the Scots - I loved living there and want to go back, more to get a sense of whether this mentality exists and if others have experienced similar.

user1468321775 Mon 01-Aug-16 16:43:18

I can honestly say that whilst hiring for jobs I have never considered where the person is from other than from the below:

To understand whether there is an need/expectation for relocation support - which is obviously an additional cost.


To consider whether there is a risk that the commute may prove too difficult in the long run and the employee may not stay in the role very long.

OllyBJolly Mon 01-Aug-16 20:13:24

I sometimes think it's a bit off-putting if the person hasn't already relocated - there is always the thought they might not be serious, be unable to buy/sell in time, try to commute.

In local authorities there might also be a misconception that things are very different in England (or Wales or Ireland) when in reality much of the challenge is the same wherever (no money, no resource, high expectations!)

I certainly don't think it's bias. The three top jobs in my Scottish council are held by people from over the border (or were, not sure if there's been a change)

FinderofNeedles Mon 01-Aug-16 23:33:37

I work in a multi-national office (in Scotland). We genuinely recruit the best person for the job. Currently, 4 out of 5 of the top jobs are held by English people. Only 2 of the 4 have relocated, the other 2 work here during the week and go home at the weekend.

Over the years I've been here I've observed that most English staff, even those who have relocated, 'move on' after a while, say 2-3 years, sometimes before their contract ends, generally to relocate for family reasons. So perhaps any perceived bias stems from thinking 'locals' will stay longer and give more to the organisation?

windygallows Tue 02-Aug-16 07:08:56

Finder, that's quite interesting. Maybe some English people do move on...

When I worked in Scotland I was told twice that I was 'stealing jobs from Scots' and I felt there was very much a focus on hiring locally, particularly in the public sector. In the cultural sector I did see a huge bias in hiring those from the area.

I think working for a multinational or English based company or RBS is very different than working for a University, local authority or charity in terms of recruitment and bias.

And i suppose everyone has unconscious bias when it comes to hiring anyway!

TollgateDebs Tue 02-Aug-16 13:44:12

I have a theory, that there are two types of recruiter / recruitement - like recruits like and gets what they have always had, or recruits the best for the role. Possibly, looking for something they themselves are comfortable with!

TollgateDebs Tue 02-Aug-16 13:45:01

doh, recruitment - note to self, check your spelling!

EBearhug Wed 03-Aug-16 00:02:11

I know a couple of Londoners who got public sector jobs in Wales. Didn't have to speak Welsh, either, though one of them did start learning once she was there.

panegyricS1 Thu 04-Aug-16 21:01:08

I guess that if someone has a home, family and friends ie roots in the place, they're a safer bet than someone from elsewhere who may not settle, or may decide to "move on".

Littleallovertheshop Thu 04-Aug-16 21:04:42


It's not a case of "being Welsh" to get hired in Wales, it's "ability to speak Welsh". Most roles, public or private sector, will say that the ability to speak Welsh is desirable. You can learn Welsh as an adult without being Welsh/born in Wales.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 09-Aug-16 09:55:17

We haven't experienced this. Husband is English, I'm Scottish and we live in Scotland. He landed a senior management position fairly easily, and was up against Scottish people for the job. His immediate boss is Scottish, other people in the senior management team are English and Irish (don't think they have any Welsh....)

I also have friends with Scottish husbands working in England. I think most companies are outward looking enough to know that you get the best person for the job, whether they are English, Scottish, Welsh or anything else. The only pro-Scottish discrimination would be in a company run by a rabid nationalist who is anti-English, and you wouldn't want to work for them anyway,

KingLooieCatz Tue 16-Aug-16 11:51:39

I am Scottish, lived down South for about 16 years and re-located back to Scotland about 18m ago.

During the pre-relocation job search I was turned down for a third sector job, with part of the reasoning being that it was too much of a jump from public sector in England to third sector in Scotland. I did get a public sector job in Scotland, better paid, better hours and better job security than the third sector one. With hindsight I acknowledge that the hierarchies involved, multi-agency working and commissioning arrangements are very different and I have had to re-learn a lot, and it has taken a while to build up a network/reputation equivalent to my previous job. So they had a point, but I have managed to fit in, and if I was looking at similar jobs now I would have the local knowledge and contacts to be much better positioned.

The third sector employer were concerned that someone from down South would assume they knew better, or their way was better (I have worked with people at both ends with that attitude, it does not go down well). I do bite back "this it how we did it..." occasionally.

I think in some sectors it can be more difficult to get a job if you're not local, and sometimes there might be good reason for that.

ArcheryAnnie Tue 16-Aug-16 14:54:45

When I worked in Scotland I was told twice that I was 'stealing jobs from Scots'

This is just nasty xenophobia, and there's no excuse for it anywhere, either in the original form or if you replace "Scotland/Scots" with "England/English" or "Britain/British" or anywhere else.

I can understand companies side-eyeing prospective workers who expect to be able to commute from a long way away, but if you live somewhere, you deserve to be able to apply and get jobs on the same basis as everyone else who lives there, on merit.

Geepee71 Sat 20-Aug-16 09:00:23

Not in my experience, we e always hired best candidate for the job. You wouldn't be invited to interview if that was the case. Would be a waste of everyone's time and most organisations don't want to spend senior management time on days interviewing for show.

Gwenhwyfar Sun 28-Aug-16 13:01:01

"a friend in Wales who said it's virtually impossible to get a senior public sector role without being Welsh (and of course you need to be able to demonstrate knowledge of the Welsh language). "

That's just not true. In fact, I'd say English people are over-represented in top jobs in Wales, probably because of socio-economic reasons i.e. better educated people from wealthier areas.

Lightbulbon Sun 28-Aug-16 13:29:26

Oh great another 'bash the scots' thread on mumsnet.

If this was about any other group/ race/nationality it'd be pulled.

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