What UK Recruiters Need to Know About Brexit

When the referendum for Britain to leave the European Union (EU) occurred in 2016, it was uncertain how this vote would impact the UK economy. While the full magnitude of Brexit has not taken immediate effect, three years after this controversial decision, it is largely expected that limited access to EU workers combined with many UK professionals’ reluctance to step into lower-skilled jobs will lead to increased difficulty in both recruiting and retaining their staff.

In our latest eBook, Hiring and Brexit: 5 Actions to Take Today, we outline some initiatives you can take to address Brexit-related challenges and attract the talent you need in the midst of these unstable economic times. Here's a sneak preview below — download the full eBook for more tips!

Conduct a Brexit Impact Assessment

In order to create an effective strategy for recruitment, you first need to assess how Brexit will impact your business. Once you know the obstacles Brexit can present in terms of hiring, you’ll be more equipped to revise processes to make the organisation more attractive to employees. Consider doing the following:

  • Establish an internal measurement system that allows you to identify trends and potential issues that need troubleshooting
  • Consider your workforce’s relationship to the EU. Does your business employ EU citizens or plan to?
  • Review your current roadmap for hiring. Is there is a sufficient pool of UK talent to occupy these vacant roles?

[Related: 5 Facts UK Recruiters Need to Know]

Support the EU Nationals on Your Staff

If your organisation does employ EU workers, these individuals will face restrictions on their freedom of movement within the UK once the Brexit migration rules take effect. Under these new parameters, EU nationals who want to retain their UK-based jobs will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, whereas those seeking future employment will be required to obtain a short-term work visa by 2021.

You are responsible for making sure any EU nationals on your staff recognise how this will affect them and which resources are available to support them during this period of transition. As you facilitate these conversations, use the toolkit assembled by the British government to assist EU workers. In addition, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Deloitte have joined forces to supply all the information EU citizens will need as they decide how to move forward.

Invest in Upskilling Your Workforce

Given the increase in job vacancies and scarcity of workers, a more feasible solution might be to upskill your existing workforce. You provide training and career development programs so current employees can diversify their skill-sets and step up into unoccupied roles.

As a bonus, this means your staff is more empowered to tackle a broader range of responsibilities, and you don’t have to recruit as many new people. The flipside is that you may need to increase salaries to account for new roles and responsibilities.

[Related: 5 Ways to Develop a Continuous Learning Culture]

Don’t Let Brexit Keep Great Workers From Your Company

Brexit has limited where you can find talent and has made the future of UK employment seem ambiguous. However, there are still measures you can take to build an efficient, competent workforce despite all the changes and instability. Be proactive and focus on these action steps as your organisation prepares to undergo the Brexit transition.