The UK faces ongoing uncertainty as the deadline looms closer to making a decision over separation from the European Union (EU). This has had a large impact on employers in the region, as well as large international firms. Employers are tasked with maintaining recruitment marketing strategies while things remain in limbo.
During the referendum of June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union in a move referred to as “Brexit”. This action has now led to indecision on how to properly leave the European Union without upsetting all members of the United Kingdom (namely Scotland and Northern Ireland).
As everyone involved has a different implication for leaving the European Union, there has yet to be a consensus within government on a deal that best supports the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
This has left employers wondering what will happen after the recent deadline was extended to April 12th by the British Parliament. The EU has requested an emergency leader’s summit for April 10th to discuss the choices that Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has in front of her. If Brexit passes, this could open up trade talks between the UK and EU -- which is currently not permitted under EU law. If no deal is agreed upon, this could spell financial woes for the UK.
Meanwhile, the nation has been in a watch-and-wait period for nearly two years. The full-fledged implications of Brexit mean that companies hiring, construction projects, movement of people from country to country, and banking institutions are all unsure about how this will unfold. How will Britain maintain adequate personnel levels when the nation still has a large portion of its skilled labour tied up in EU agreements abroad? If Brexit passes, it could discourage foreign workers from heading to the UK, and prohibit UK students from studying abroad.
During the period between the referendum to now, when the British Pound was at an historical 30-year low in value, a number of banks left England to move to Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany. Many financial jobs were moved along with them. Depending on whether Brexit passes or if it’s reversed, Britains can expect to experience the instability of economic conditions until things settle down.
For employers in both the UK and EU, while they have managed to try a number of strategies to maintain workers, they still need to prepare for whatever outcome Brexit signals. Here are a few recommended ways that employers can set themselves up for success:
Employers will want to step up their efforts to use recruitment marketing to attract skilled labourers. With the understanding that recruitment must be adaptable during this time, the Four Pillars of Talent Attraction can create a strong foundation for any recruitment needs. This includes data-driven programmatic job advertising that maximizes your efforts. Employers must also utilise all marketing avenues to get in front of talent wherever they are. Having a strong employer brand awareness is a critical aspect of marketing to workers. And, unless your organisation is actively sourcing and engaging with candidates (active and passive), recruitment measures may not be as effective.
At the same time, employers must note that communication is a critical aspect of retaining current talent. According to the Brexit: Age of Uncertainty study conducted by Right Management, 42% of UK workers need additional clarity on how Brexit could impact them. Further, one-in-three survey participants said they, “expect a freeze in pay or promotions after the UK leaves the EU.”
As a leading recruitment marketing agency, our in-house experts can help guide you through any talent losses you may either be experiencing now or anticipate in the near future.
Your stance during this time of uncertainty isn’t to hide and wait for things to blow over. Instead, ”It’s important to keep in mind that Brexit is a process, not an event”, says David Duffy, GM of Right Management. He adds, “These might be uncertain times, but the best businesses will use Brexit as an opportunity to examine and re-assess talent strategies.”
Put the right recruitment marketing and job advertising programs in place now. This should not only address skill shortages, but future leadership pipelines and development of key people in your organisation. Tap into best-in-class recruitment marketing software to innovate and update processes. Sign up for our free recruitment marketing analytics platform, Recruitics Analytics, to take a step in the right direction. Recruitics Analytics will show you which sources perform best to help you attract and hire talent efficiently and cost-effectively so your business is fully staffed.
The best course of action for employers is to keep an eye on updates concerning Brexit from non-biased sources of information. While the news may have a tendency to sensationalize Brexit, listen for bits of information that impact your business and the labor market. There is a chance that your current employees, or their relatives or friends, may be personally impacted by whatever decision is made. Be mindful of this.
Prepare for the worst, but plan for the best. Louise Haycock, Director and Solicitor at Fragomen, advised in a recent Workable presentation, “There are certainly elements that we can look at and start to plan on a worst-case scenario basis and on a best-case scenario basis.” She clarified that whatever happens, nothing will actually change much until well into 2020 once Brexit takes effect.
It’s not a time to panic, but it is a time to stay informed. Focus your efforts on retention of talent and improving the organisational culture in partnership with a recruitment marketing solution.