Brexit: What are the top concerns for recruiters?

In 2017, a year on from the EU referendum, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found that the availability of workers suffered its biggest fall in 18 months. Additionally, a survey of 2,000 UK-based EU citizens by KPMG revealed that 8% are planning to leave and another 35% are considering leaving.

Such stark figures are leading businesses in the UK’s recruitment sector to question what impact Brexit will have on their business. We highlight some of the top concerns of recruitment business owners surrounding the UK’s extraction from the EU.

Widening the skills gap

Perhaps the most common concern that we continue to read about in the press is around access to labour. With many businesses relying on specialised workers from within the EU, the idea that Brexit may be placing their status into question has sparked worry about lower levels of interest from overseas applicants.

The UK’s hospitality industry, in particular, is set to suffer the biggest blow if freedom of movement is restricted. A KPMG report found that EU citizens make up a quarter of the three million workers in this sector, including 75% of waiting staff and 25% of chefs. A mass exodus of EU workers could spell real trouble for the industry that’s currently Britain’s fourth-biggest employer along with the dedicated recruitment businesses that supply it.

Uncertainty and the pound 
One of the biggest frustrations around Brexit is that there are still question marks over a whole host of areas that have the potential to impact recruiters. Although The Bank of England has a plan to save the falling pound, there’s no escaping the plummeting trust in the UK economy that’s felt across the globe.

It’s been widely stated that the current low interest rates may mean borrowing just got a whole lot cheaper, presenting opportunities for prosperous recruiters looking to grow. However, as ripples of international uncertainty continue and the pound remains weak, the bottom lines of businesses will continue to take a hit, which spells bad news for suppliers, like recruiters.

Greater competition for talent 
According to the CIPD’s Resourcing and Talent Planning 2017 survey, 82% of UK businesses agreed that competition for well-qualified talent had increased over the past year. With Brexit potentially depleting the UK talent pool, heightened competition is expected to continue with employers placing a greater emphasis on developing a strong employer brand. This presents an opportunity for recruiters who are able to apply industry insight and expertise to clients’ businesses at a time when they need it the most. It means recruiters need to get more hands-on when it comes to developing relationships with clients to ensure they are viewed as a valuable extension of their business rather than another supplier.

While we don’t have a complete understanding of the full impact of Brexit on recruitment businesses, now is certainly the time to focus on agility and optimising business processes to help cut costs and boost cash flow. Our FastTrack360 cloud software moves candidates through each stage of business from job placement through time, bill and pay, streamlining business to enable you to get results sooner.

Find out what we can bring to your recruitment business by signing up for a demo today.

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