Regional view: Glasgow

After years of Glasgow’s attractions being something of a well-kept secret, the city is now being recognised as a great place to live, work and visit.

The former ship-building powerhouse has undergone an economic and cultural renaissance and in 2004 it was re-branded as “Glasgow: Scotland with style”. More than £1bn is being invested in transforming the riverfront into a stylish business, residential and leisure area, while the world-famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum re-opened recently after a £28m renovation.

In and around the city there are a wide variety of employment opportunities, from financial services to electronics. For the HR professional, Scotland’s largest city’s prospects remain relatively stable, despite the downturn.

Glasgow’s HR and business community has been resilient to some of the pressures felt in cities south of the border. Many major projects, including the River Clyde regeneration and hosting of the Commonwealth Games 2014, have helped boost the city’s economic outlook and ability to successfully challenge the current climate.

The mood among HR professionals remains optimistic for the year ahead. There is no doubt about the increasing pressure on HR professionals to demonstrate their worth in an organisation and now, more than ever, there is a need to actively support businesses from a strategic, value-added perspective.

The need for experienced HR and industrial relations management skills has always been an important complement to Glasgow’s industrial and manufacturing business roots. The city is working hard to attract and retain many other SMEs and blue-chip employers to help its portfolio continue to develop.

The market for strong business leaders with a functional expertise in HR and organisational development has kept the senior market, on both an interim and permanent basis, healthy. Over the last months there has been a rising demand for HR directors with demonstrable experience in both large-scale change management and restructure programmes to improve the bottom-line and react to market conditions.

As the chief executive of a leading multi-national based in Glasgow said recently: “HR people who are truly aligned to the business are proving their worth, while the cracks are starting to show for those who are not. Organisations simply must have experienced professionals to guide them through the pitfalls of the current climate.”

Information provided by Hays Human Resources

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