Hiring with Brexit - in or out?

How Brexit will affect recruitment

So, Brexit is approaching, and everyone is in a bit of a panic, but exactly how will the big exit affect businesses and recruiters throughout the UK?

With an estimated 2.38 million EU national employees working in the UK it is clear to see how vital it is for businesses to prepare for the incoming legislations; in order to get ahead of a possible turnover explosion. It seems to have already began in the health sector with 9,832 EU doctors, nurses and support staff having left the NHS, including a 92% drop in EU nationals registering as nurses in the UK. 

Brexit Effect


It’s not just the health sector that has taken a hit however, following the lowest drop in the British pound in 31 years; manufacturing companies have seen a 2.9% rise in inflation. Both manufacturing and construction will suffer greatly with new migration laws as such industries rely on overseas, low-income employees – many of which have already started leaving the UK.

Office based enterprises are expected to feel the economic affliction too with a loss of 10.500 jobs in finance as soon as Brexit is implemented, and a 25% plumage in business investment by 2019. IT firms with a higher-than-average risk saw a bankruptcy probability rise of 6.3% to an average of 39.8% in December­­ – with so much uncertainty and fluctuation, it’s best to keep informed and start planning in advance. 


Talent is becoming scarce in the UK, and with Brexit around the corner the competition for well-qualified candidates has risen to 82%. Companies are finding it harder and harder to find applicants with the right skillset; a 3rd of employers are hiring workers from the EU for greater aptitude which means the challenge will become greater with the approaching difficulties involved in recruiting overseas. Smaller firms with hard-to-fill vacancies will experience 17% more strain when recruiting than larger establishments and recruit diversity will fall by 14%.

Unemployment in the UK will rise from 4.9% to 5.5%, the Bank of England has already taken precautionary measures following a predicted wage surge by increasing interest rates for the first time in a decade. With 47% of high skill-set EU nationals planning to leave the UK in the next 5 years, and two-thirds of firms hiring EU nationals due to a lack of Brits applying, recruitment will be feeling the impact of specialised skills shortages; facing unknown struggles ahead. 

What to do

There are a few practises that recruiters have started to implement in order to soften the blow from Brexit and retain talent. If you’re in the HR industry it’s important to focus on your current employees, it may be worth investing in developing skill sets and improving communication to develop better employer-employee relations.

So here are our top 10 tips to hack it with Brexit:

  • Up-skill existing employees for hard-to-fill vacancies
  • Create new opportunities to communicate effectively and improve employee retainment
  • Be strategic when recruiting; planning effectively can significantly reduce wrong-hiring; saving time and money
  • Develop existing employees through training and promotions as difficulty in recruiting senior skilled staff will increase
  • Use technology to your advantage; incorporate new software to help boost your recruitment process, keep organised and attract top talent
  • Brush up on work visa requirements and ensure your company can provide information and support to EU candidates
  • Use social media to source diversity when recruiting; diversity has been shown to boost financial performance by 62%
  • Focus on developing a quality ATS/CRM system to obtain the highest quality and quantity of candidates according to the Agency Sourcing Quadrant
  • Consider incorporating a Brexit clause in supplier/client contracts in order to preserve relationships and provide security
  • Carry out an assessment of the impact of Brexit on new/existing contracts, legislations and permissions for early planning and preparation 

It’s not all bad however; to put a positive spin on Brexit, and despite recruitment shortages, 64% of businesses will likely see a revenue increase in the first 2 years of commencement. The recruitment industry can also take advantage of approaching changes as an opportunity to innovate and adapt to technological advances in order to identify qualified candidates; being aware of upcoming trends in the market and incorporating digitised tools can go a long way in balancing out the effect of Brexit and turning it into an opportunity!


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National Statistics (ONS)

#Hiring with brexit #Brexit and recruitment #Gdpr #GDPR recruitment #New legislations #Technology #Digital Recruiting

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