Attracting and retaining quality talent in Scottish Industries

Scotland’s biggest industries are a surprisingly mixed bag. Sure, there are the obvious ones like whiskey and tourism, but it might interest you to know that we’re also big on finance, energy, technology, and life sciences. So, when someone tells you there are no jobs beyond the Central Belt, unless you want to be a farmer, do correct them.

As that conversation might indicate, it can be hard to find quality talent outside of the Central Belt since the assumption is that there is nothing out there. This is a myth, and you just have to prove it to potential employees. Take a look at our tips for catching the attention of and retaining quality talent in Scotland.

Scotland’s Competitive Advantages

The myth says that London is the place to be to get a job, but Scotland has one big advantage that London cannot compete with: quality of life. During the hiring process or marketing your job, you should appeal to people and families that would like a life in the Highlands. Showcase Scotland’s quality of life, including its stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cultural scene, and work-life balance.

Highlight Scotland’s reputation for high-quality education, with world-class universities like the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and University of St Andrews, as well as the smaller classes and more one-to-one experience of rural primary and secondary schools.

To better attract quality talent singletons looking for a metropolitan experience, emphasize Scotland’s thriving tech and innovation ecosystem, with hubs like the Edinburgh Tech Corridor and Glasgow’s digital media quarter. And above all else, emphasise a better work-life balance with the true fact that Scots are known for their friendly manner. Londoners… not so much.

Key Talent Attraction Factors

However, no quality talent is going to move across the country solely for the good vibes. The job has to be good as well. Make sure to showcase competitive compensation and benefits packages that are on par with or exceed industry standards. Mention opportunities for professional development, such as training programs, mentorship initiatives, and access to cutting-edge technologies.

And what’s the use in having the Highlands in your backyard if you can’t enjoy them, so consider flexible work arrangements, including remote work options and flexible scheduling.

Collaborating with Educational Institutions

In order to attract staff in the first place, you can consider partnering with universities and colleges to develop internship and graduate recruitment programs, ensuring a steady pipeline of young talent. Taking it a step further, if you’re in tech, energy or life sciences, you can sponsor research and innovation projects at academic institutions, which can help attract and retain top researchers and scientists.

Through universities and other organisations, you can attract quality talent from across seas to your company in Scotland. Highlight Scotland’s reputation as a hub for global talent, with a diverse and welcoming community.

Retention Strategies

And then there is keeping employees. The problem with a lot of jobs in rural areas is that they tend to be a one-stop career move. You’re there with no chance to grow. Your staff would really have to love their home life to stay in that situation, so you can help that by investing in employee engagement and career growth, such as engaging in regular performance reviews, personalized development plans, and opportunities for advancement. Recognise and reward top performers through competitive compensation packages, promotions, and public accolades.

Foster a strong sense of community and camaraderie through team-building activities, social events, and company-sponsored volunteer initiatives. This should be easy in rural towns since that basically comes with the culture anyway. Have your team engage with the weekend events, which might be as small as a bake sale for charity or as big as a town-wide Pictish festival.

Buck the idea that Scots are still using dial-up phones by investing in cutting-edge technologies and tools to enhance the employee experience, such as remote collaboration platforms, AI-powered HR systems, and digital upskilling initiatives.


We’ve mostly covered the idea of attracting quality talent in rural Scotland, because it is 98% of the landmass in the country, but we shouldn’t discount the character, culture, and history of the main cities of Scotland like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Inverness. Visit the jobs page on the Recruiting Talent website.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *