Brexit: the ongoing impact on recruitment

As we await the next outcome in the ongoing saga that is Brexit those of us that make our living in the world of recruitment are facing the reality of a sustained lack of clarity about the future of the UK and what it means for us.
The truth is that there are literally hundreds of unanswered questions and it feels like the only certainty is uncertainty.
Businesses aren’t ready either as a survey conducted in October 2018, by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), indicated that almost two-thirds (62%) of UK firms had not conducted a risk assessment of the impact Brexit could have on their business.
Then again is it really possible to prepare when there are so many possible outcomes?
The one thing we can be sure of is that the answer has to be a yes as the alternative is a
possible lack of competitiveness and a great deal of risk.
We need to control what we can meaningfully change and that is our actions and strategies.
By making changes we will have a stronger chance of survival and make it possible for us to help our clients stay one step ahead of the game and continue to recruit and retain the very best people.

So, what can we do to prepare?
If predictions are borne out, recruitment businesses may have to cut costs quickly to adjust to new economic demands, make strategic changes to ensure a pipeline of talent with the necessary skills is ongoing and offer new services to continue delivering on business
objectives, regardless of unexpected changes.
As we all know when businesses look to secure their financial position during turbulent times they often cut recruitment budgets. Although our clients might be recruiting less we
can focus on offering services that help clients retain their current staff and fill any ongoing roles that have skills gap and are difficult to recruit for.
And of course, finding candidates is unlikely to get any easier and could indeed get harder as the talent pool shrinks post Brexit and immigration rules are potentially tightened.
Therefore, it is an opportunity to help clients conduct more of their workforce planning for now and in the future.
Going beyond the standard role of consultant and become a truly strategic and informative partner to our clients will be key and although there might be bumpy times ahead it is an opportunity to consider new markets and niches and to focus very much on the candidate experience, which takes time.

By taking extra time we can ensure we harness the relationship with any potential candidate early, especially if people are less likely to move jobs because of ongoing uncertainty and we will therefore be more likely to have a healthy talent pipeline for our clients.
Recruiters will need to make more and more informed decisions and will need to utilise data and workplace and industry insights to make hiring decisions for their clients that fit with hiring strategies not just now but in a year’s time too.
As well as helping their clients with their workforce planning agencies will have to look at their own team’s skills and breach any learning and development gaps that are needed to face the challenges of the new recruitment landscape.
It will also be a great opportunity to evaluate your businesses’ brand to guarantee it matches the services you offer clients and how it appeals to candidates in the UK and Europe after Brexit.

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