Brexit: How to Keep Calm and Carry On Attracting Top Talent

Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, has continued to fill recruiting and hiring with uncertainty. Many employers have slowed hiring, while others are moving out of the country.

And indeed, like a bitter divorce, everyone has a side and an opinion. There’s a whole lot of speculation, dominated by she said/he said. What is for sure is that the UK labour market and recruiting industry will never be the same. Job seekers and employers alike are already feeling the Brexit squeeze.

The Brexit Squeeze

As a result of Brexit, research found that:

· 72% of HR professionals expect the competition for well-qualified talent to escalate. (1)
· 61% predict further challenges recruiting senior and skilled employees over the next three years. (2)

Another study(3) revealed that 38% of lower-skilled EU nationals are considering relocating away from UK businesses, a move which could damage various industries including high street retailers, small businesses and public services. The survey also found that permanent and temporary staff pay rates are rising due to the fall in job applications, pushing starting salaries to their highest in 20 months.

Brexit’s impact on job seekers

Half of jobseekers are more concerned about finding a job after the UK voted to leave the EU. (4) Other key findings include:

· 44% of all candidates believe there will be more competition for jobs following the EU referendum. (5)
· 28% say that Brexit has already had an impact on their job search. (6)
· 34% are worried about their job security as a result of Brexit.

In certain sectors, such as financial services, recruiters have reported that many candidates from the EU are now hesitant about accepting a job in the UK. And the NHS, which currently staffs 60,000 EU workers, is experiencing the largest shortage of doctors and nurses in history, leaving public health services on the brink of collapse. Nurse applications coming from the EU have dropped 96%, contributing to the glaring 24,000 nursing vacancies in the UK.

Related: New Survey: Company Mission & Culture Matter More Than Compensation

Tips for Managing Brexit

With new developments surfacing every day and no roadmap to follow, here are some practical tips to help you navigate the twists and turns of Brexit.

1. Refine recruitment & retention

Hiring decision-makers recently revealed that their number one recruiting challenge is attracting quality candidates.(7) Now it seems that Brexit can be added to the list of top hiring barriers in the UK.

As the supply diminishes and the demand for talent skyrockets, it’s vital that employers upgrade their recruiting and retention strategies. What worked in the past may not work in the current climate and certainly not post-Brexit. Despite new challenges, remember to keep the bar high. Just because there’s a smaller talent pool available doesn’t mean you should settle for less qualified candidates. And be sure to engage and hold on to your best talent with an effective employee retention strategy.

2. Save time & money with informed candidates

It’s likely that Brexit is already affecting your company’s bottom line and your recruiting budget, which is why it’s more important than ever to invest in strategies with a high ROI. Glassdoor helps significantly reduce recruitment costs and turnover by putting your jobs in front of the most informed candidates.

In fact, it takes half the CVs to get a hire on Glassdoor because the candidates who select your company are more engaged, responsive and informed, reducing the time and cost of hiring. And not surprisingly, these informed candidates turn out to be your best employees because they’re the most productive and stay longer.

Related: Hiring and Brexit: 5 Actions to Take Today

3. Become an employer of choice

As the war for talent intensifies, it’s essential that you position yourself as an employer of choice by boosting your brand, managing your reputation and making employee engagement a top priority.

A whopping 95% of Glassdoor users say an employer’s reputation impacts their decision to accept a job and 65% are more likely to respond to a recruiter from an organisation they recognise.

When you advertise jobs on Glassdoor along with an Enhanced Employer Profile, it increases the visibility of your brand and sets you apart from the competition. It also gives you genuine feedback from interviews and employees so you can continue to refine your hiring process and improve your company culture.

4. Foster communication & transparency

Whether you voted to leave or stay, everyone would agree that Brexit is full of daily surprises and unresolved problems. And with so much at stake, this can create a tense, insecure work environment. Employees may be worried about their personal and professional futures.

One way to ease people’s minds is to be as transparent and communicative as possible about what Brexit means to employers and your organisation at large. It’s essential that your HR team stays abreast of Brexit developments and legislation, so that they’re able to discuss the situation with employees, candidates and internal stakeholders.

Employee engagement activities are a great way to facilitate communication at every level. Creating a FAQ on your company website, hosting a webinar or holding all-hands meetings will give employees a chance to express concerns and ask questions about Brexit.

Learn More

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[1] CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey, June 2017
[2] CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey, June 2017
[3] Deloitte, Power Up: The UK Workforce, March 2017
[4] Totaljobs Employment Index (TEI) report, July 2016
[5] Totaljobs Employment Index (TEI) report, July 2016
[6] Totaljobs Employment Index (TEI) report, July 2016
[7] Glassdoor, Informed Candidate Survey, August 2017