Updated: 10th March 2020
Over three years on from the Brexit referendum vote negotiations are still ongoing, and with a general election now on the horizon, more upheaval is likely to be on the cards. The unpredictable twists and turns have made it extremely difficult for businesses to plan for the future and commit to making major financial and operational decisions, including hiring and expansion plans.
As no one quite knows how the land will lie following Britain’s exit from the EU, many businesses are holding off making major commitments until the position is clearer.
Why Recruitment is Particularly Vulnerable
While Brexit uncertainty is affecting a huge number of industries, those working within the recruitment sector are finding themselves being hit particularly hard. The issue is that the very nature of recruitment means that the industry itself touches a wide variety of other sectors by way of the jobs they are looking to place. As a simplified example, if the hospitality sector is struggling, this can have a knock on effect on recruitment agencies looking to place chefs, wait staff, and cleaners.
UK’s Desirability Taking a Hit
The UK is arguably a less attractive place for EU nationals to come and work at the moment, exemplified by a 95% year-on-year decline in the number of EU-born workers coming to the UK according to stats from The Adecco Group. This decline leads to a reduction in the number of individuals actively seeking employment opportunities throughout the country, shrinking the talent pool for those companies looking to recruit. The prospect of available overseas talent drying up could have serious ramifications for an industry which relies on talented individuals seeking a new opportunity.
The UK has become increasingly reliant on an influx of both skilled and unskilled labour from the continent, helping to fill vacancies in a variety of sectors including healthcare, hospitality, and agriculture. With this once reliable stream of talent now drying up, the pressure is on both employers and recruiters to fill vacant positions.