HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Will leaving the EU change recruitment?

Highlights and case studies that showcase how Brexit has impacted talent strategy…
Will leaving the EU change recruitment?

Will leaving the EU change recruitment?


Highlights and case studies that showcase how Brexit has impacted talent strategy…

As organisations continue to ponder what Brexit will mean for business, one thing that has been impacted is the way in which companies attract and recruit talent. EU citizens living and working in the UK are also questioning their status.

Not only that, but the UK’s decision to leave has also impacted what EU workers think about a job in the UK. In 2018, LinkedIn’s quarterly ‘Recruiter Sentiment’ survey discovered that 44% of HR and recruitment professionals think the UK is less attractive to EU candidates because of Brexit.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) qualifies these figures, arguing that Brexit has had a dramatic impact on the talent landscape.

She tells HR Grapevine: “To say that the UK’s exit from Europe has not been as smooth as we had hoped is a huge understatement – and while we are still in the dark about what our future relationship with the bloc will look like, one thing is certain: the success of our economy post-Brexit hinges on the availability of skills. With this in mind, it’s crucial that policymakers are clear on not only the importance of access to overseas talent, but also what systems will be in place to facilitate immigration.

While this uncertainty may strike fear in the hearts of many hiring managers, Swain believes that they can indeed benefit from a skills shortage and use the shifting market to its advantage. She enthuses: “That said, it is worth noting that whenever there’s a skills shortage, smart recruitment firms can actually benefit. We can be afraid of what is to come or look for ways to capitalise on the opportunities that present themselves. It’s up to us.”

Case Studies


How are different firms preparing for Brexit?

 

Pret A Manger

“We’ve been preparing for it [Brexit] ever since the referendum but it’s just about looking after our existing staff, making sure they have all the information they need about status and what they need to do. That’s first and foremost. We are reducing our turnover to create a more stable workforce and not rely so much on recruiting in the future, and constantly driving forward our employer brand to continue to attract good applicants from loads of different areas. We’ve also increased our pay rates above minimum wage to continue to pay well and attract good people – it’s about being on the front foot, which I think is great.”

Andrea Wareham, Chief People Officer at Pret A Manger

 

Lovehoney

Lovehoney has not felt the Brexit challenge when recruiting for talent. This is mainly due to our geographic location [Bath] and having a strong local employer brand. Our two biggest challenges relate to having such low unemployment rates in our locality and seeking talented tech employees in a highly competitive part of the country (Bristol is the UKs second biggest Tech hub).

Claire Webber, Head of HR at Lovehoney

 
 
 

Searcys

“It’s such an uncertain time, but I think it’s not just confined to this sector [hospitality] it’s everywhere and we’re all sort of looking at each other wondering who knows the next step. I think if there is a big move of EU nationals who leave the country, which I’m not sure will be immediate if I’m honest, but given that unemployment levels are at its lowest you have got to wonder how we are going to fill the roles.

“For example, 40% of our staff are made up of EU nationals so there’s definitely a concern that the volume of our recruitment will increase. It might be because that some EU nationals will start to think ‘we’re clearly not welcome’ and will move home or to other countries, so there will be more vacancies. I think we need to really support our staff in making sure that whatever information we have got that we help guide them through the process, so they know they can stay, and we want them to stay.”

Kate Bell, Head of People at Searcys

As organisations continue to ponder what Brexit will mean for business, one thing that has been impacted is the way in which companies attract and recruit talent. EU citizens living and working in the UK are also questioning their status.

Not only that, but the UK’s decision to leave has also impacted what EU workers think about a job in the UK. In 2018, LinkedIn’s quarterly ‘Recruiter Sentiment’ survey discovered that 44% of HR and recruitment professionals think the UK is less attractive to EU candidates because of Brexit.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) qualifies these figures, arguing that Brexit has had a dramatic impact on the talent landscape.

She tells HR Grapevine: “To say that the UK’s exit from Europe has not been as smooth as we had hoped is a huge understatement – and while we are still in the dark about what our future relationship with the bloc will look like, one thing is certain: the success of our economy post-Brexit hinges on the availability of skills. With this in mind, it’s crucial that policymakers are clear on not only the importance of access to overseas talent, but also what systems will be in place to facilitate immigration.

While this uncertainty may strike fear in the hearts of many hiring managers, Swain believes that they can indeed benefit from a skills shortage and use the shifting market to its advantage. She enthuses: “That said, it is worth noting that whenever there’s a skills shortage, smart recruitment firms can actually benefit. We can be afraid of what is to come or look for ways to capitalise on the opportunities that present themselves. It’s up to us.”

Case Studies


How are different firms preparing for Brexit?

Pret A Manger

“We’ve been preparing for it [Brexit] ever since the referendum but it’s just about looking after our existing staff, making sure they have all the information they need about status and what they need to do. That’s first and foremost. We are reducing our turnover to create a more stable workforce and not rely so much on recruiting in the future, and constantly driving forward our employer brand to continue to attract good applicants from loads of different areas. We’ve also increased our pay rates above minimum wage to continue to pay well and attract good people – it’s about being on the front foot, which I think is great.”

Andrea Wareham, Chief People Officer at Pret A Manger

Lovehoney

Lovehoney has not felt the Brexit challenge when recruiting for talent. This is mainly due to our geographic location [Bath] and having a strong local employer brand. Our two biggest challenges relate to having such low unemployment rates in our locality and seeking talented tech employees in a highly competitive part of the country (Bristol is the UKs second biggest Tech hub).

Claire Webber, Head of HR at Lovehoney

Searcys

“It’s such an uncertain time, but I think it’s not just confined to this sector [hospitality] it’s everywhere and we’re all sort of looking at each other wondering who knows the next step. I think if there is a big move of EU nationals who leave the country, which I’m not sure will be immediate if I’m honest, but given that unemployment levels are at its lowest you have got to wonder how we are going to fill the roles.

“For example, 40% of our staff are made up of EU nationals so there’s definitely a concern that the volume of our recruitment will increase. It might be because that some EU nationals will start to think ‘we’re clearly not welcome’ and will move home or to other countries, so there will be more vacancies. I think we need to really support our staff in making sure that whatever information we have got that we help guide them through the process, so they know they can stay, and we want them to stay.”

Kate Bell, Head of People at Searcys


More from this issue
Video Feature
What will Brexit mean for HR strategy?

What will Brexit mean for HR strategy?

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
How to
Preparing for the future of work

Preparing for the future of work

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Star Interview
From apprenticeship to leadership

From apprenticeship to leadership

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd