How to recruit and hold onto talent in a post-Brexit world

Now that Article 50 has been triggered we know that Britain will have left the EU by the end of April 2019. Of course, many uncertainties still exist about what that will actually look and feel like in reality. Politicians have argued incessantly over the past year about 'hard Brexit', 'soft Brexit' - even an 'open Brexit'. Theresa May's failure to secure the expected landslide majority in the general election has cast more doubt over what direction of travel the government's approach might take as we enter exit negotiations.

how to recruit and hold onto talent in a post brexit world

Many uncertainties still remain. However, it is becoming increasingly likely that one of the knock-on effects of Brexit will be the need for organisations to recruit and hold onto talent. Of course, this has always been important but the post-Brexit world will undoubtedly make it more challenging. Different sectors will be affected in different ways and to a different extent - recently it was announced that applications for UK nursing positions from EU nationals have fallen by an astonishing 96% since the referendum result. Other sectors are concerned about how they will now source the talent they need to grow. The pool of specialist talent from the EU is likely to shrink over the next few years. This means that businesses will need to ensure that they put competitive and attractive recruitment and retention strategies in place. 

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The tech sector is one that is likely to be most affected by Brexit. It is predicted that computer and information technology jobs will grow considerably over the next 5 years, but UK tech companies run the risk of losing out on the best talent in the EU due to the ongoing uncertainty that Brexit has caused.

Movement of workers will need to be a priority in Brexit negotiations, but it will also be vitally important for organisations to develop and promote their employer brand. It will also be necessary for businesses to develop home grown talent too, particularly through apprenticeships.

The banking and finance sectors are concerned too. Goldman Sachs and HSBC have already increased their staff headcount in Paris. Others are concerned that internal transfers and secondments, where many currently bring in expert talent from overseas, could be affected. 

Until such time as some certainty is given about what future arrangements will be, it is highly important that UK companies market themselves as an attractive employment proposition for prospective EU talent. 

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Selling an attractive employee proposition is an important part of planning for the future in a post-Brexit world. Attractive salaries will always appeal, but increasingly other benefits and a combination of offering interesting work and promoting company engagement are the factors that will attract talent.

As businesses continue to employ across a broader age range, a flexibility to the benefits that are offered will become even more important. What one employee wants could be quite different to what another is looking for.

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Businesses in the UK still find themselves gripped in a state of uncertainty about what the post-Brexit world will end up being like, but developing talent streams such as apprenticeships and focusing on promoting the employer brand will make it easier for organisations to cope with the challenges ahead.

Simon Julier This article was written by Simon Julier, Corporate Sales & Development Manager at Pertemps.

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