Recruitment careers in the UK regions

Joanne Hunter

Joanne Hunter moved from London to Manchester in 2012 and joined Robert Walters as a consultant in our transactional finance division. She now works in our internal recruitment team, hiring staff into our regional offices. She tells us why now is a great time for ambitious professionals to consider a move to the UK regions, and discusses career opportunities in our offices there.

How did you get into recruitment?

“I was working as a professional dancer in London before I made the switch into luxury retail recruitment. After eight years in London I was ready to move somewhere with a slower pace of life, but I still wanted to be in a city environment - Manchester seemed like the perfect place. I now recruit for Robert Walters’ regional offices; Manchester, Birmingham and Milton Keynes.

Who do you look for in the regions?

Robert Walters is a highly team-focused organisation and this is particularly true in the regions. We work very cohesively, so personality is the most important thing we look for. It’s great to be sales-orientated and it’s a bonus to have a background in recruitment, but the attitude of the individual is key. We want people who are driven and ambitious.

What sort of skills are transferable?

People with sales and customer service skills will find them highly transferable into recruitment. We also have a strong focus on hiring industry professionals, i.e. those who’ve come from a financial or legal background for instance, to recruit for those divisions. For those who move from industry, it’s a great opportunity to have a career with more freedom, while still being able to utilise their professional knowledge.

Describe the culture in the regional offices

It’s a highly autonomous environment. While you’re supported by the directors and senior management, you don’t have people breathing down your neck. We give our people the freedom to build relationships with clients in a way that works for them. And we’ve just had a record month in the regions in March - so we know that approach is working. Our goal is to provide people with long-term careers - that’s a key value for us. Our MD, Chris Poole, is a big advocate of progressing people internally.

Key differentiators

One of the things that sets us apart is our quality approach, and this can be seen in the level of client events we host. In the past we’ve held client pamper parties, days at the Chester races, golf outings and of course match trips to Manchester United. We tailor events to our clients’ interests and this helps us to build genuine relationships.

What sort of training do you provide?

Along with corporate training, our associate directors and managers ensure they dedicate one on one time to people when they first join the company. We also provide full cycle recruitment training, and have a dedicated regional trainer, who trains our people on the unique challenges in the regions. So our training is highly tailored, dependant on your market.

Why should someone make a move into recruitment?

For the opportunities, it can provide. If you’re customer-focused and enjoy sales, recruitment is a fantastic role. Particularly for someone who doesn’t want to be in a capped environment, it’s a job where you’re in control of your own earnings and progression. What you put into your career is what you get out of it.

Why is now a good time to move to the UK regions?

In the regions you can have a better work-life balance, without sacrificing the perks of living in a big city. Manchester was recently voted best in the UK for culture and nightlife, and we’re seeing a trend of large banks and media companies moving from London to regional cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.

It’s somewhere where you can have the best of both worlds - a great career in a bustling city, but an easier pace of life. Our offices in the regions have been growing steadily year on year, so I think there’s never been a better time to move out here.”


We’re keen to speak to people from industry, sales or recruitment backgrounds, as well as recent graduates. We’re looking for ambitious and driven people, who are passionate about growing a long-term career.

Our offices in the regions have been growing steadily year on year, so I think there’s never been a better time to make the move out here.

To find out more, contact Joanne in Manchester at +44 20 7082 3300 or email

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