Hadley's comment: The final countdown

Tom Hadley, REC director of policy and campaigns, asks if recruiters are ready for the challenges and opportunities of Brexit

In the words of a follically-blessed Scandinavian rock band, it’s the final countdown. With the 31 October Brexit deadline now looming large, how are recruiters preparing and what are the emerging priorities?

Our latest poll shows that 48% of REC members have undertaken some no-deal preparations but have plenty still to do, while 43% have made no preparations and only 8% feel well-prepared. This mirrors the feedback from other business organisations.  As one REC member pointed out during a recent webinar: ‘It’s hard to prepare, when we have no real idea of what we should be preparing for!’

Our regional Brexit Workshops – clocking up over 3,500 miles and counting – webinars and sector groups have enabled us to engage directly with over 1,000 REC members. In addition to the threat of a worsening economic climate, the main concerns flagged by recruiters include reduced access to EU labour, complexities around right to work checks and difficulties in sharing data between the UK and the EU. Key ‘prompt’ questions that recruiters are asking themselves include:

  • If I have clients in the EU, how will I continue to provide them with services?  
  • What are operational implications linked to data transfer and currency fluctuations?  
  • How can we best reassure and inform staff and workers on settled and pre-settled status?  
  • How might hiring activities be impacted by no-deal and how can we spread risk by looking at new sectors or overseas markets?  
  • What new opportunities can be seized, for example linking high demand roles and increasing need for innovative recruitment solutions?

8% of REC members feel prepared for a no-deal Brexit” 

But how are clients gearing up? Feedback from regional workshops is that employers are preparing in three phases: maintaining stability, managing costs and building a platform for future growth. The opportunity is there for recruiters to provide the staff and skills needed for stability and improved productivity, and strategic advice on broader workforce issues. Our goal is to facilitate this through access to the latest market data and best practice intel. The overriding priority is really about mindset: our industry is renowned for its resilience, so let’s set a proactive and optimistic tone to the way we approach economic and political challenges ahead.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @hadleyscomment

Big talking point: The word on the street

Whether you are looking for growth or worried about retaining current clients, knowledge is power

19 September 2019

Recruiters seek efficiences in a tighter market

The latest information from Recruitment Industry Benchmarking’s RIB Index shows that net fee inco

19 September 2019

The Intelligence: Building confidence in the economy

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

19 September 2019

The View: Time to own our own destiny

Annually, Collins English Dictionary publishes its word of the year.

19 September 2019