Mr / Mrs HR – brace yourself. Get ready for post-Brexit workforce challenges.

No point being shy about it guys, I think Brexit was a mistake. Huge mistake.

The whole populist shouting, focusing so much on immigration and making Britain ‘great’ again – that just does not go down well with me. A Polish national who has been working her butt off for the last 10+ years on the UK ground. It doesn’t go down well with amazing Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and other guys, who came here with double Masters degrees and continue to add tremendous value to any company they choose to work for.

The fact of the matter is: Nobody knows what the outcome of Brexit will be. In fact, most likely only our children will truly know the real affect Brexit will have on the country and our lifes.

However here we are, Article 50 is triggered and we are on a runaway train hurtling towards uncertainty.

Fact #1: EU workers poised to leave the UK

Immigration was and remains a hot button topic and as Mrs May steams us along, it’s fast becoming clear that the writing is on the wall. In fact, a survey of EU nationals employed at various FTSE 250 companies showed that a massive 56 % are “highly likely” or “quite likely” to leave the UK before the conclusion of the Brexit talks.

Fact #2: UK does not have enough skilled or unskilled work force to cover the positions currently held by the Europeans.

Frighteningly, healthcare will be the hardest hit sector with 84% of employees in the sector saying they would leave, with a further 96% drop in the number of EU nurses registering to work in the UK since the Brexit vote, according to the Nursing & Midwifery Council. The Engineering sector is now reporting a 16-month low in candidate availability and the Tech sector is under threat too. With 40% of the country’s tech workforce being EU nationals the industry obviously relies on overseas talent.

What the hell are we meant to do when all that talent heads for more welcoming shores?

We’ve all heard the sage wisdom of the boy scout “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail!” But how do you prepare for the massive question mark that is Brexit?

Some companies are advocating advance hiring to get around the potential difficulties. Great! Problem solved, I’ll just drop a few hundred thousand £ in getting a decent amount of safety hires in to cover me when Brexit makes it too difficult. Except, wait… I left that spare £200k in my other jeans…

Or, as many Brexiters advocate, focus on hiring British people! Oh, but hold on a second, haven’t I just pointed out a huge deficit of talent with British passport? And whatever the pool is here already, it is being stretched thinner every day!

I think I may have some sensible solutions to help you ride out the imminent recruitment crunch.

Value your current EU workers.

Speak to your EU workers, make sure they know that they are valued at your workplace. Reassure them that you will offer whatever support you can to help meet their needs over the turbulent times to come. Keep an eye on the legal and visa situation and ensure your HR department is on hand to keep them supported. (Don’t forget all your other guys along the way though!) If they are already planning to leave, speak openly about helping you find a good replacement for their role. At the end of the day, recommendation from your current team is the best advertising you can get. You can also consider remote working opportunities if they do feel they cannot stay in the UK.

Remote working is the future

While some more established companies have been typically slower to pick up on this trend, the remote worker is a god send to the UK start up.  By embracing remote and flexible workers UK based companies can work directly with talent from across the globe. Taking advantage of a global talent pool without the major inconvenience of getting them into the office day in & day out!

A study by Stanford University has reported that job attrition rates fall by 50% in companies that offer working from home arrangements. The sunk costs of a remote worker are lower as you only need to pay a fraction of the operating costs. Atop this, crucially, it meets the needs of younger people. A point which rather neatly segues me into my next piece of advice…

Start investing in apprentices, get in there before anybody else can.

We know there is going to be a skills shortage, therefore it’s no big leap to assume that kids in school right now on the path to higher education are going to be in high demand. Speak to your local schools and education institutes to arrange open days, work experience and recruit apprentices. (Just be careful with the work experience, as per our latest blog Terrified! – Obsessed! – Focused? it can sometimes turn out to be a challenge, to say the least.) Apprentices are amazing!

Being acutely aware of this Aspire have worked hard to get ahead of the curve. We’re setting up partnerships with some of the best schools and universities to create a deep well of young and well qualified candidates ready to be snapped up and shaped by our clients. The key to success in recruitment in a post Brexit world may well revolve around establishing reliable sources of talent.

Boy scouts everywhere would be proud, no preparing to fail on our end!

I’m going to say it again, long live the sharing economy!

Well this is no coincidence, we’re also investing into creating a talent hub concept. It will allow companies to share their talent pools between themselves for mutual benefit. Maybe you have some cracking developers on your books that another company is in need of, you pass on their details and next time you need a software engineer, maybe that company will have one in their pool from a previous recruitment round.

Embrace one another – Sir David Attenborough.

Bottom line, yes, I think Brexit was a mistake and a rash move on the behalf of the UK populous. Even Sir David Attenborough recently expressed his disappointment  stating that he would prefer that people “…embrace one another than spat in one another’s face”. And that is Sir David Attenborough talking! He’s a goddamn knight of the realm and a national treasure in anyone’s book.

I don’t know what post Brexit UK will look like, and neither does anybody else. One thing I do know however is that Brexit isn’t going to catch me napping. Aspire was designed to change recruitment and not even Brexit can change it! (pun intended)

 

Feeling the impact of Brexit in your sector yet? Maybe you’re already feeling the recruitment pinch or perhaps Brexit is the best thing to ever happen to you?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Aspire is now open for applications! We are an invite only platform so if you don’t want to miss out on your opportunity to be involved, check out our website at Aspireapp.co where you can request an invite.

 

 

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