Talent Acquisition : The Role Of HR In A Brexit Transition Period

Posted by Kate Smedley on 28 Jun 2016

Political upheaval, stock market uncertainty and a petition for a second referendum are just some of the consequences of last week’s Brexit vote. But for the majority of employers, life continues as normal - for the time being at least. As the dust attempts to settle, what can HR do to manage this interim period and strengthen talent acquisition strategies?

Reactions are mixed. A post Brexit poll carried out between 24th to 26th June by the Institute of Directors found that around a quarter of businesses expect to freeze hiring but 32% will continue with hiring plans. 5% state that they will make redundancies following the vote. Meanwhile, although HSBC has threatened to move 1,000 staff to Paris if the UK leaves the single market, just over 70% of IOD members confirmed that they will not move operations out of the UK.

The situation is exacerbated as the majority of UK businesses didn’t have a contingency plan in place in the event of Brexit. HR has a vital role to play during this transition. Here are some of the areas where its overall approach can promote stability during a challenging time.

Communication and reassurance : The CIPD reports that thousands of migrant workers have signed up to take part in a proposed day of ‘workplace action’ on 4th July to try and secure legal protection for their employment status. During this uncertain time, HR can take the initiative by reassuring vulnerable workers with ongoing communication and engagement with all of its employees. Jonathan Beech, Managing Director of Migrate UK warns of potential pressure if the hiring of EU workers becomes ‘extremely selective’. The status of migrant workers from outside the EU is not affected by Brexit.

Identify risk areas : Particular concern exists around the availability of talent in several sectors. Recent headlines include:-

  • Reports of a tech talent exodus from London to Berlin if access to the single market is lost, while others are confident of London’s position as the tech talent capital and financial hub.
  • The ability to attract the best talent to the UK in the competitive fintech sector is deemed crucial. Some businesses have expressed concern about their ability to hire qualified candidates and attract the investment the business needs.
  • UK scientists are wary of the consequences of the withdrawal of EU funding, together with a predicted risk of a talent exodus.
  • Sectors such as healthcare, hospitality and construction also rely heavily on the EU’s migrant workers to fill key jobs and maintain business prosperity.

Move to data driven recruitment : The ability to predict trends in hiring and source high achievers quickly in a shrinking talent pool is achieved effectively through data driven recruitment. Understanding where your best people come from will drive your talent acquisition and retention strategy in the coming months. The most successful global brands rely on data driven recruitment to identify and attract top talent to their organisations. As a degree of uncertainty is set to prevail for the immediate future, data driven recruitment is one of HR’s most vital tools to navigate its way through this period.

It is still impossible to accurately predict the Brexit effect on talent acquisition. As the situation remains fluid, with political and financial upheaval changing on what seems like an hourly basis, it is ‘business as usual’ in terms of creating effective talent management policies. Article 50 has yet to be triggered and negotiations may take up to 2 years. During that time, free movement of labour is not expected to change.

Prepare to access a shrinking talent pool with sophisticated HR technology that helps you to hire better people faster. Contact Advorto today to arrange your 30 day free trial.

You might also like to read:-

Brexit : What Does It Mean For HR?

Driving Business Success With HR Analytics

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Topics: industry-article

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