As an enthusiastic remainer throughout the Brexit campaign that was so poorly executed by Corbyn and Cameron (the least likely band of all time), I was devastated (but not surprised you incompetent sh*ts) by the result on that fateful day in June 2016. What we were not to know at that point, was the many devastating twists and turns that would occur in the aftermath. We were promised by Farage et al, that Britain would be a land of opportunity and prosperity, which now seems to be increasingly unlikely. So to add insult to your no doubt unrelenting misery at even the mere mention of the dastardly ‘B’ word, I present why Brexit is terrible for the recruitment industry.
Reason 1: The current UK talent pool will shrink significantly
That’s right. With the new borders between us and Europe and a potential end to the freedom of movement, the UK talent pool will shrink significantly making hiring even more difficult. Key industries that are reliant on the fruits of our friendship with Europe will suffer, such as manufacturing and healthcare, which is surely good for absolutely nobody (nobody who likes their motor moving and not being dead anyway).
Even without borders, our talented European neighbours are unlikely to consider such an unwelcoming country as a potential home and ultimately, us Brits are the ones that lose out.
Reason 2: Businesses will up and leave as a result
What we should have had the foresight to see is that with our talent pool and connections shrinking, Businesses will take their development elsewhere. Jaguar Land Rover has moved manufacturing of its Defender and Discovery to Slovakia. Bombardier is looking for a buyer of their Belfast site and Nissan have given clear signal it may look elsewhere - which would cripple Sunderland’s economy. Not just the 7,000 people employed at Nissan Sunderland, but the 1000s of other businesses established to manufacture parts for the plant. These were all entirely predictable and will certainly leave our manufacturing industry in tatters without appropriate protection before leaving.
Reason 3: Brexit is making would be job hoppers nervous
There's no denying that Brexit is going to have a seismic impact on people’s desire and bravery when it comes to taking the chance on a new company. They’re going to be looking for ties or dependency on the relationship with the EU, and any sign that your profits may wilt as a result of departure, they’re unlikely to consider your business with full confidence and conviction. The reality is, Brexit is something everyone has lurking over their shoulder and will almost certainly dampen any enthusiasm for risk.
In the interest of fairness and impartiality, and as much as it pains me, here are the three reasons Brexit may not be such a bad thing for the recruitment industry.
Reason 1: More opportunity for the highly skilled to progress at their own pace
Riddle me this. UK workers are soon going to be a precious commodity. If you’re highly skilled and possess rare talent, the likelihood is your stock will rise as a result of Brexit. This means if you’re currently looking for avenues of progression both in salary and in career, your demands may just be listened to with wider ears than before.
Reason 2: Those who would not have been considered for jobs historically will now come into play
The UK has some criminally undervalued workforce potential. For example, people with autism often boast incredible maths and IT literacy, alongside an unparalleled eye for detail and long term memory. They’re also often incredibly creative thinkers. However, sadly, currently only 19% of people on the Autistic spectrum are in full-time employment. Some very small measures can be introduced to make your working environment autism friendly.
Another example of demographics with huge potential for UK recruiters is ex-convicts. Timpsons run incredible programmes targeting and placing ex-convicts. They have reaped the rewards enormously from their loyalty and a desire to put things right. Their current retention rate of ex-offenders stands at 75%, meaning these people are not re-offending and fully embracing their second chance. As the current figure of UK people convicted of a criminal offence stands at 10 million, it is lunacy that these potentially brilliant workers are confined to the employment scrapheap. With a dwindling of resource, it opens the possibility that more will be given the chance to reintegrate fully into their communities through employment.
Reason 3: Opportunities for development will be unrivalled.
Given the shrinking of the talentpool, employers will have no choice to train their current staff up to get to the standards which they would traditionally hire additional staff to accommodate. In terms of prosperity, if you have the ambition, confidence and drive to push, there’s no reason why you can’t consider Brexit to have added another few levels to the top of your current glass ceiling.
So there you have it, folks. Make of it what you will. One thing is certain, if you’re looking for an agency brimming with ideas on how to prepare your recruitment department for Brexit, then you should get in touch via telephone, LinkedIn, or carrier pigeon once Brexit is in full swing and the Royal Mail collapses. Only joking on that last one. Maybe. Literally dunno.
Work In recruitment and want to know more about how brexit will impact your job? Check out: How Brexit Will Impact The Recruitment Industry