Read our newly released 2020 salary survey

Advice, news, debate
and discussion
all in one place

What could a ‘Brexit’ mean for hiring?

The In-Out Hokey Cokey that is the EU referendum comes to a climax this week – and we are still trying to figure out the what ifs.

It’s a really interesting, albeit highly divisive, topic and we are potentially going to be seeing some huge changes taking place within hiring space.

While a “small majority (53%) of REC members believe remaining in the EU would be in the best interest of the UK economy’’ (a stat from Adecco) we must acknowledge that there are a few potential pain points for the recruitment industry as a whole if it is decided that we will leave the EU.

The first concerns the free movement of people, one of the EU’s founding principles.

Four out of the last ten digital designers I have placed have been EU citizens from the rest of the continent. They came across the Channel to work in London because of its reputation for having the best agencies, technology companies & start-ups and therefore the best career opportunities.

If we face changes to the current free movement policy it is uncertain what EU residents would have to do to be able to come and work in the UK.

It could be dramatically different, with talks of an Australian-style points system or even sponsorship requirements. On the other hand, due to European trade agreements, there may be the opportunity to maintain a level of free migration.

The second issue is that of skills shortages.

Bill Gates has commented on the risk to hiring specialist talent, should the UK leave the EU. He stated that ‘It will be harder to find and recruit the best talent from across the Continent; talent which, in turn, creates jobs for people in the UK.’

Talent pools are already limited – if there were a further decrease that would definitely pose a challenge for the sourcing and hiring process. The UK must remain competitive if it is to attract world-class tech and digital talent – decreased mobility of candidates from the rest of Europe could dramatically impact our attractiveness.

Nigel Vaz, chief executive EMEA of digital marketing agencies SapientNitro and Razorfish said a vote to leave would be damaging.

“Were [London] to lose its status as an open city and were large companies to relocate, it would become a less attractive destination for skilled talent and digital entrepreneurs,” he told CNBC.

The third area to consider in the case of a British Exit is the increased bureaucracy.

I think it is fairly certain that if we leave there will be a greater level of bureaucracy for those looking to come and work in the UK. This would place increased administrative & financial burdens on both employers and prospective employees. Recruiters like myself would have to gain a thorough understanding of the procedures and laws surrounding migration & gaining the right to work in the UK, which would take time. There would inevitably be a period of adjustment – and who can really foresee the impact that would have on employment?

At least we don’t have much longer to wait to find out the result! What are your thoughts?

Leave a reply

Leave a Reply

Latest views

The demand for UX Designers is still booming as ever, however it was interesting to see how the uncertainty of both IR35 and Brexit has had to play in the market.

If you’re looking to join the growing number of UX’ers taking the (exciting/scary) leap from perm into freelance/contracting – but without fully knowing what to expect – I’ve put together some info to help you on your way!

Recruiters asking about your current salary… so invasive right? It’s such a personal thing to ask. And who wants to be potentially judged at how good or successful they are by what they earn?! Let alone tell it to someone you don’t even know.

The prospect of doing a take-home task can be daunting for many, so I’ve put together some tips and advice to help you prep…

Identifying the key challenges faced by startups when hiring for their development teams.

That’s right, I said hiring. Not getting hired. I know, I know – another ‘click bait’ title for you. But, it’s another serious topic. Far too often I hear of companies struggling to hire because candidates are not making it as far as offer stage before withdrawing from the process, or candidates’ feedback to me […]

You may think this is fairly obvious, but you’ll be surprised at the amount of times somebody has gone to meet a company and knows next to nothing about them.

Zebra People has today announced it has joined forces with leading UK executive search and interim firm HW Global Talent Partner. HW Global has taken a controlling interest in the privately-owned London-based firm, launched in 2001 by Nick Cochrane. Zebra People specialises in hiring digital product teams, with typical roles including user experience (UX) and […]