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Business in Winchester: why the business community thrives in the city

Business in Winchester: why the business community thrives in the city

I’m very proud that 1-1 Recruitment is a part of the business culture of Basingstoke, Hampshire’s largest town, and the historic city of Winchester, with offices in both. I’ll return to Basingstoke for a future blog, but for now I thought it would be timely to write a few words about Winchester because the state of hiring within the city suggests it is experiencing a very productive moment.

Famed for being an ancient city rich in history, Winchester is also a progressive one that welcomes commerce, is well set up to cater for local businesses and is a thriving scene for commercial enterprise, tourists and locals.  It is that blend of tradition and modern commerce that makes it such a special city for businesses and employees.

Something of the historical remains about the city; there’s an emphasis on community that manifests in the strong relationships different businesses here build with one another as well as with customers, and I love the strange feeling of continuity it is possible to feel when you reflect on that. 

As for being progressive, Winchester is a thriving business hub and a centre where start-ups take root and grow, and was one of the first cities to adopt the BID (Business Improvement District) scheme. I work with the BID and may write more about it in the future, so watch this space.

If our recruitment assignments are an indicator, then I would suggest that Winchester is enjoying a good summer for hiring, particularly for entry level roles. But more broadly, we’re seeing a lot of new customer service, accounts, purchasing and PA roles in the city.

People come to Winchester because of the history and because it’s simply a nice place to be – a lot of businesses who have offices in Winchester also have offices in London and many business owners split their time between the two locations. Those who have experienced life in both spheres often comment on the community feel of Winchester and I can personally testify that a lot of business meetings are held outside, in the thriving café and restaurant scene – although right now, people are clamouring for shade!

Furthermore, as many of our customers here are SMEs, we often deal directly with owner/managers rather than internal recruiters; it’s the strong and trusting relationships we have developed here that allow us to have conversations and I’m often struck by the sense that Winchester runs on positive relationships.

For sure, our offices in the city centre help with this, but only hard work and continual delivery can breed trust and we have worked hard to earn the trust of our community. It’s a community I cherish and greatly enjoy.

For all its traditional, market-city feel Winchester is, of course, a modern place too. It has a significant digital footprint and many of our candidates engage with us online. But it’s rewarding to be able to help people foster relationships in the “real” world too, and use our relationships with our clients to ensure a new candidate’s experience is as rich and rewarding as possible, for example through detailed and positive onboarding programmes where warranted.

A good onboarding programme can’t happen without someone taking care of the fine details. It requires good planning to ensure that behind the scenes and beyond the immediate and obvious scope of a senior recruitment assignment, more work is being done to ensure a starter has the best possible chance of success in their new role.

And that, oddly, reminds me of Christmas in Winchester. Cities that take Christmas seriously go into festive planning mode very early and it won’t be long before, behind the scenes, Winchester does the same. Winchester BID now owns the city’s Christmas lights, so they will be special this year. I may be getting ahead of myself, but this is just part of the attention to detail that makes the city special.

Talk to our team about our Winchester or Basingstoke roles today!

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