Hunted Worldwide: New York

New York. Bit of a concrete jungle I hear.

I also hear a lot about how your dreams will come true, the streets are meant to make you feel brand new and the lights? Genuinely quite inspiring.

Also, it’s a bit of a recruitment mecca. 

It might be the picturesque cityscape, the wealth of options for drinking, dining, and generally having a good time, or the sheer amount of history and culture rammed into the city limits, whatever it is, NYC’s one of the most searched locations on Hunted.

Recruiters: we know you’ve got one eye on NYC.

So here’s everything you need to know about recruiting in the Big Apple. Courtesy of Digital, Data, Tech and FS specialists Orbis Consultants.

Market Overview

The recruitment market in the US is buoyant to say the least. In comparison to say the UK it’s a lot less saturated, and could be described as under supplied and over-priced.

Recruitment in New York is characterised by high salaries, big margins and better percentages. 

The size of the country, let alone the state, means the possibilities for new clients and candidates are virtually endless. And because a large number of native recruitment consultancies are generalists, vertical specialists are welcomed with open arms.

The city’s a haven for startups. And there’s plenty of movement in that market: as IPOs succeed or fail, filling or moving whole teams of people is a very real thing for a well-connected Recruiter to get used to.

Notice periods are next to nothing in America. And the life-cycle of the average deal’s around 4 to 5 weeks. So a lot can happen in a short space of time.

New York minute, if you will.

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Contract Vs Perm

There’s a healthy mix of contract and permanent business to be won in New York. Although some of the larger companies are moving away from contract arrangements, the market’s still lively. And it’s filled with niche, high calibre talent.

One big draw for full time employees is the extensive benefits US businesses offer, particularly with regards to healthcare which can traditionally be extremely expensive.

Orbis dual desk in specialist areas and whilst there’s currently a heavy weighting towards perm, everyone has the opportunity to build out both.

Professional Community

Community events are larger here than you may be used to. And because of their national reach, you might find hopping on a flight makes the most sense.

In New York City, you’ve got a good mix of corporate run and community led meetups; plenty of ‘Mixers': popular social gatherings which act as industry-specific happy hours; and enough discussion panels, launch parties and global summits to pack out your calendar.

The way most people get together in New York normally involves coffee. ‘RIP’ your caffeine tolerance. Kudos if you can find a place not advertised as “the best coffee in the world.”

Business Culture

Both candidates and hiring companies like to move fast. If you do too, you’ll settle in well.

Because recruitment’s seen as an aspirational career path on this side of the Atlantic, you’ll find peers and clients more willing to invest in the personal relationships that’ll end up driving your business forward.

Recruiters are able to be more consultative in nature and have more scope to influence hiring processes.

Language

The city’s recognised as being one of the most linguistically diverse on the planet. Over 800 languages are spoken here. And there’s enough coverage in newspapers and on TV to make anyone feel at home.

New York’s unique vocabulary is something new residents can look forward to learning. The only phrase I know for sure is that if a cab cuts you up, you have to bang on the bonnet and yell “HEY I’M WALKING HERE”.

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Business Development

Every time I talk to a Recruitment Consultant in the US, they tell me a similar story: that business will come your way through referrals. And even when you make that inevitable cold call, a client will give you business and ask you to prove yourself to keep it.

Networking’s an important business development tool. And personal recommendations will take you a long way.

BD’s incredibly relationship-driven. So if you’re on good terms with a hiring manager, that’s going to be more beneficial to you than working for a big name agency.

The CBD

There are two areas in New York that could be classified as the centre for business. Namely, the Financial District and Midtown.

Where banks used to be located in FiDi, they’re leaving for mid-town, and the startups and funds are moving in.

Although there are business hubs all over the city, depending on your industry. For instance Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a neighbourhood in Brooklyn by the water where the creative, design, and art scene thrives.

This is where you’ll find Orbis, at the Dumbo Heights WeWork.

Dress

Most businesses will tell you it’s smart-casual. Or simply “no tie needed”.

There’s the age-old advice of matching your dress code to your market. Goes without saying, but you’ll look out of place at a coding MeetUp in a three-piece.

Check out Midtown Uniform for a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at how the Brets, Chets, Kents and Trents of the world dress to recruit in New York.

Travel

Within the city limits, travel around New York is easy. There’s a subway which, like all underground rail networks, is confusing at first. But once you’re used to it, it’s relatively straightforward and easy to get around.

There are cabs everywhere and hopping in one’s cheaper than you’ll find in other major cities. 

That’s because driving in New York might not be an option. But if you do need to nip from A to B, rental companies like Car2Go and ZipCar are hugely helpful.

Orbis Co-Founder Craig Davies, who I interviewed here, recommends the Revel app: on the go electric moped rental for nipping around New York traffic.

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Life in the city:

Weather

You’ll get a definite four seasons in New York.

The city’s typically a touch warmer than the rest of the state because of its micro-climate. But in general you’ll experience nice hot summers of 25+ degrees and be warm from June to September.

Here’s a look at how much sun New York gets over the course of a year.

There will however be lots of rain and snow in the winter months. And it’s absolutely freezing between January and March.

Housing

Fair warning: the housing market in New York is expensive.

The median sale price in New York is $1,350,000. With homes selling for about £1,419 per square foot.

Rent controlled properties are highly sought after. The average rental price for a studio or one-bed is about $2,000 per month.

You can have a look at the different types of property available in the city here.

Just be ready to make a move on a place after viewing it. The market, like recruitment, moves extremely fast.

Food

New York’s known for it’s giant pizza slices and better-than-you’ll-find-anywhere-else bagels. Although to be honest, the city survives on takeouts.

Food trucks and popups are massive here – Smorgasburg’s a famous food market and comes highly recommended by the team at Orbis.

This handy map will take you on a culinary adventure. Just remember to tip! In America this ranges from 15-20%.

Outdoor Space

It might surprise you to learn there are nearly 1,700 parks and playgrounds within five boroughs.

From Central Park in Manhattan to Prospect Park in Brooklyn and everything in between, you won’t be stuck for choice. Some are larger than others, but New Yorkers love the outdoors. So even if you’re not in a park, you’ll find the city’s residents hanging out on rooftops or in outdoor bars.

Waterways are some of the best features to New York. Not only do they allow you to experience kayaking, sailing, and jet skiing, they’re a handy way to get around too.

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Social Scene

The similarities to London are obvious, although everything’s bigger, faster and more extravagant in New York. This goes double for the social scene.

Think bars, not pubs. Baseball not cricket. And college sports teams commanding bigger crowds than some premier league football sides.

The theatre’s a big deal here. And whether you’re into plays, comedy, or a spot of improv, wander down Broadway and you’ll find there’s something for everyone.

The New York marathon happens every year. As does the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving. Not to mention New Year in Times Square.

Basically, you won’t be bored.

Family

The level of opportunity to make money and afford yourself a fantastic life will make raising a family in New York a great option. The city that never sleeps might seem like a place for hedonists, but children of all ages are catered for.

Childcare, like housing, is expensive though. And some of the schools can be hard to get into.

That said, the public school system here is the largest in the world. And outside of school, the wide range of social activities, parks, and museums make family life a dream.

Cost of Living

I feel like I’ve made the point already but the cost of living here is probably one of the highest anywhere on Earth. A lot of that’s driven by rent but per day, on average, things are fairly equal to London prices.

Transport’s reasonable whether taking public transport or a cab. And ‘gas’ is also nowhere near as costly as it is in other countries.

Food from the supermarket is more expensive and not as easily accessible, which is one of the many reasons the majority of people in New York dine out for most meals, along with the social scene and wide range of options.

Wherever you’re moving from, here’s a full breakdown of the cost of living in NYC.

Tax

Living in New York will mean you’re paying all three major state taxes. Income tax, property tax and sales tax. Comparatively for North America the rates for New York are higher than the rest of the country.

There’s a reason for this: your earning potential is sky high. It’s that simple. And the cost of that potential is a higher tax imposition.

New York State income tax rates range from 4% to 8.82%, depending on the taxpayer’s income.

The lowest rate applies to the first $8,499 of taxable income, and increases incrementally from there. The highest rate of 8.82% is applicable to incomes exceeding $1,077,550 for single taxpayers.

The average effective property tax rate in New York is just 0.90%. State-wide, the average rate is 1.68%.

And if you’re looking for a quick way to work out how much to tip, double the tax on the bill.

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Visas

I wrote The Recruiter’s Guide To Relocating To America which has a big section on visas.

The short version? Don’t be a criminal. Focus on securing a role. And let your Immigration Lawyer handle the rest.

International Travel

Living in New York opens up an entire new world of places to travel to and explore. You can drive to plenty of ski areas in the winter and a lot of your new friends will likely have summer beach houses to invite you to, just until you get your own.

In the summer, jumping on a flight from one of the three airports in New York, the Caribbean’s less than three hours away, Mexico’s less than four and Canada’s either an hour in the air or 9 on the road.

Unless you plan to visit California (6 hours), your travel to most other locations in the US should take you less than 4 hours on a plane. Domestic travel’s really popular and means you get to see plenty of the country.


Orbis launched when two best pals decided to do what many people in recruitment talk about, but very few ever get round to: taking the plunge, starting a business themselves, and doing recruitment they way they know is best.

From humble beginnings to a New York HQ, you can read their story here.

And check out their open jobs in New York and London right here.