HR · 2 December 2016

A third of small firms expect Brexit to damage recruitment prospects

Brexit recruitment
A quarter of UK firms called a halt to all recruitment immediately after the EU referendum
Over three in ten decision makers at small companies are braced for a hit on their ability to attract and retain future employees as a result of Brexit, new research has found.

The study, undertaken by freelancing website Upwork, questioned small business owners on their expectations for profit growth and talent acquisition in a post-EU Britain. While owners remained split over the overall impact on their business, fears over effective recruitment have been found to be a pressing issue at many companies.

Any Brexit deal that sees the UK opt out of freedom of movement would remove access to the pool of 500m European workers, a demographic of particular importance to Britain’s thriving community of tech companies, while the residence rights of current European nationals within the UK is still undecided.

The research presented another concerning statistic of the companies expecting recruitment problems, just 11 per cent have prepared strategies to minimise the impact of Brexit on securing talent. Such firms are expecting to spend an average of over 100, 000 over the next two years to compensate for workforce uncertainty.

Commenting on the findings, Rich Pearson, senior vice president of Upwork, stated that a winning strategy? for small business recruitment depended on investing in alternative ways to source talent.

there is already a well-documented skills gap in the UK, and our research suggests that leaving the EU will make it even harder for small businesses to find the talent they need to compete effectively, he added in a statement.

In a recent article for Business Advice, CEO at talent acquisition firm, Rorie Devine, outlined a post-Brexit startup recruitment strategyfor entrepreneurs. He highlighted the importance of embracing the ongoing churn? of employees and ofrecongising the temporary nature of many modern workplaces.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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