What a no deal Brexit could mean for the UK’s recruitment industry

Posted on 2018-10-04 by Abi Cunningham


The UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 and since then, there has been great uncertainty on how this will impact the country’s economy.


Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, recently commented that possibility of Britain leaving the EU without striking any deal with Brussels was “uncomfortably high.”


With less than 200 days to go, we take a look at what a no deal Brexit could mean for the UK’s recruitment industry.


The recruitment industry is dependent on the health of the economy and as a result, Brexit has many recruiters worried about what the outcome could mean for organisations and candidates.


New regulations


Businesses want clarity and certainty on what Brexit could mean before they commit to any big decisions or investments, such as hiring decisions. With EU regulations no longer in play, Britain could be guided by World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. This means that tariffs and other terms governing its trade with the EU would be set under the WTO – which is not favoured by many organisations.


Brexit supporters argue that WTO rules would help Britain’s economy by making it easier for London to strike its own trade deals with faster-growing countries and regions beyond Europe. However, this would take years to achieve and Britain on its own might struggle to secure favourable terms from the likes of the United States and China.


So what does this mean? Organisations may choose to relocate, which in turn will result in a drop in the number of recruitment opportunities and jobs available. Earlier this year, Unilever, the UK’s third biggest company with a market value of £103 bn, decided to relocate it’s base to the Netherlands – taking 150+ jobs.


It seems other organisations also share the same apprehensions, as Airbus has revealed that it might abandon the UK entirely if it sees a bad deal when the country exits the European Union in March next year. For many organisations, the biggest concern is the risk of a no deal Brexit which could be catastrophic due to a lack of regulations.


While some believe there will be a shortage of jobs, others believe that there will be staffing shortages, with companies that once relied on EU citizens as core employees unable to fill their roles. This is because EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU would risk losing residency and other rights.

or a fall in migration causes labour shortages.


The changing face of recruitment


The uncertain market and any changes that may arise could result in a change in the way that recruiters do business. If there is a hiring shortage, with nervous candidates who are reluctant to leave their jobs, they may face more of a challenge in sourcing new talent.


It is likely that recruitment professionals will play a  more informative role in the coming months, advising on potential actions amongst Brexit uncertainty. By giving people news, reassurance and keeping them up to date with what changing jobs might mean for their careers, recruiters will be better equipped to calm nerves, and convince people that making the leap to a new job might well still be a good idea.


It’s uncertain what will happen if there is no agreement reached when Britain leave the EU for good, with recent talks on the Chequers deal dividing parliament.


Here at Dovetail, we are seeing that opportunities are still available across the board, organisations are still recruiting and the economy is performing well. We will be ever positive and adaptive to the changing face of the recruitment industry.


If you want to hear more about our recruitment strategy or are looking for a position, please contact us on [email protected] or call 01635 43100.

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