Recruiting staff in Scotland

Businesses in Scotland enjoy up to 40% lower staff costs than London. We have the highest educational attainment of any part of the UK and the highest concentration of universities in Europe. Your business is connected to an exceptionally skilled, well-educated and reliable workforce.

3.9 million workers

170 languages

Low staff turnover

Recruiting highly skilled workers

There are several ways to recruit talented people for your business:

  • Advertise your jobs online – top job sites include, and
  • Advertise on your website or social media
  • Advertise in specialist trade press, and local and national newspapers. Some are free, but fees vary according to the publication.
  • Use a recruitment agency to handle the recruiting process for your business. They take care of everything – from advertising, to co-ordinating interviews and negotiating offers. Their fees vary, but are typically 15-25% of the successful candidate’s salary.
  • Contact the career departments of colleges and universities in Scotland to find candidates for junior or trainee positions.
  • Use JobCentre Plus – a government-run employment agency that may also be able to find candidates for you.

“The people of Scotland make up one of the best trained, most reliable and cost-competitive workforces in the world."

Robert Glennie, New Galexy

Hiring interns, apprentices and graduates

As well as working with universities and colleges directly, you can access a number of government agencies and support services to help you hire interns, apprentices and graduates.  They can help you find the right people, offer guidance on regulations and provide ongoing support.

Find out more about hiring interns, apprentices and graduates


Staff costs in Scotland

Businesses in Scotland generally enjoy up to 40% cheaper staff costs than London thanks to our lower living costs. The average salary in Scotland is £563 a week, or just over £29,000 a year – but this will vary depending on the sector, skill level and region.

Minimum wages vary depending on age, but workers over 25 currently earn a minimum wage of £8.21 per hour as of April 2019. However, in Scotland we’re keen to promote a real living wage of £9 an hour.

As well as salaries, you’ll need to pay pension contributions and employers’ national insurance per employee, as well as employers’ liability insurance. You’ll find more information in this government guide to hiring staff.

"Compared to London, there is far more stability in the workforce and that really benefits a company like ours.”

Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer, Renovite Technologies

Visa guidance

If you’re bringing over your own staff or planning to recruit from outside Scotland, you’ll need to make sure they’re eligible to work here and have the right visas set up.

Visa guidance for employers


Support from TalentScotland

If you’re looking for extra support, TalentScotland can help. They can help you access skilled workers, offer guidance and promote your jobs.

How TalentScotland can help

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Our people and skills

In Scotland you’ll have access to a highly skilled workforce with expertise in a number of key sectors.

Key sectors

Scotland excels in a number of key sectors thanks to our natural resources, our expertise and our focus on innovation.

Your local SDI office

Got a question about recruiting in Scotland? Want to get specialised support from someone in your country? Contact your local SDI office.

If you have any questions or want to talk with one of our advisers, we’re always ready to help.