It’s one year on since the UK Government invoked article 50 of the treaty on the EU and just nine months until the UK is due to leave the EU.
While the final terms of Brexit are still to be decided, recruiters can’t stand still waiting for the final agreement before addressing the likely impact on recruitment within their organisations. We should address our concerns head-on as one thing is for sure when we leave the EU it will end the free movement policy as we know it now that allows EU citizens live in any member state.
There is still much uncertainty about how the exit plan will affect job seekers and organisations who are reliant on migrant workers. The CIPD Labour Market Outlook: Spring 2018 provides a set of forward-looking labour market indicators that point towards employment growth remaining strong, but supply is not being matched, affected modestly by a relatively abrupt slowing on the growth of EU nationals working in the UK.
It is likely that you may be seeing less EU talent looking to the UK market. Some organisations are already revising their candidate attraction strategies and recruitment agencies reviewing how to attract the best possible candidates to meet demand, as after all we are in a candidate driven market!
What we do know is that some sectors will be impacted more than others. In a recent blog, we looked at the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism sector as it is a key player in the UK economy, employing approximately 4.6 million people. We know that there is already a scarcity of candidates within this sector so, as an industry that often attracts migrant workers, it will be further impacted by the free movement policy.
It’s not just this sector; many other sectors have skills gaps which may be exacerbated by Brexit. We could also see an increase in demand for contractors to plug those skill gaps where permanent staff can’t be found.
So how do we approach this?
1. Well, on the upside, UK apprentices and older workers may benefit from the anticipated drop in EU workers so review your hiring demographics and also your talent pool skills and consider alternative options to recruit. Look at talent segmentation; a means to categorise the types of target candidate audiences, where they are located and how best to attract them.
2. Recruiters would be well placed to review their hiring process and look at how they can optimise the workflow to reduce dropouts and improve time to hire. How easy it is for candidates to engage with you and track their applications through the process?
3. Whether you are volume recruiting, specialise in executive search, perm or temporary recruitment, talent pools will become a recruiters’ gold dust. Having a fresh, engaged talent pool will mean you can react quickly and having the ability to search and filter candidates by skills, location, experience or any other relevant criteria will help you rapidly place candidates. Check the health of your talent pool so when the next job requisition hits your desk, you’ll have a list of screened, engaged candidates ready for your approach.
There is some further reading on engaging your talent pool and a simple formula to grow talent pools.
4. Know what sourcing channels work for you and master these – and look at those that are not working and how you can fix them quickly. Research from the 2017 Candidate Attraction Report looked at the best sources for finding quality and quantity candidates. Professional Social Networks ranked highly so invest time in building relationships through the likes of LinkedIn. You can read more on this in a free copy of the extensive survey findings.
5. Take a good look at your recruitment analytics. Review your marketing success, set KPI’s and get alerts to the things that need to get done. What are your vacancies by department? What are your candidates by source, current open positions, talent pool size versus your targets? – having the answers to these questions can help you manage the effects of external factors such as Brexit.
Recruiters who are willing to rise to the challenge will grow and succeed; it just might not be as ‘business as usual’ as we know it now.
It’s not all doom and gloom for those organisations who are reliant on migrant workers. The settlement gives EU citizens that arrive during the transitional period the right to stay here indefinitely if they stay here for a continuous period of five years and ensures that free movement of labour and the existing trading arrangements will continue during the transitional period from March 2019 to December 2020.
Recruiters’ gold dust
Taking action to approach the impact of Brexit now will reap benefits. Here’s a free e-book that you can pre-order that explores Fantastic Talent Pools and How to Build Them. It looks at the difference between talent pools and talent pipelines and will help you understand the art of segmentation and pinpointing ideal talent.