Game over for tech recruitment on Brexit?

Brexit has not solved any of the UK’s problems yet, however the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit did lead to a number of unanswered questions and irrational fears due to lack of knowledge on the subject.

Recruitly, being an UK based technology business offering cloud services to Recruitment Sector is no exempt to this phenomenon. We created this article with the hope it helps fellow technology businesses and our recruitment friends.

The 5 Brexit questions we asked ourselves:

  1. Has uncertainty round the Brexit affected the ability to recruit technology staff?
  2. Will the UK’s economic growth slowdown after the Brexit due to lack of immediate access to wider talent pool?
  3. What is the role of technology in shaping the UK’s economy?
  4. Will the recruitment landscape change drastically?
  5. Will Brexit affect the EU citizens already living and working in the UK?

We tried to find answers to the questions above and our research gave us the confidence that Brexit is not the end of the world for tech recruitment and that it will not affect the Recruitment market to the extent being portrayed by a section of media with their very limited and at times with no knowledge on the subject.

Role of Technology in shaping the UK’s economic future:

Technology is crucial to the UK being a globally competitive economy. The UK’s economic future lies in high value, innovative and knowledge-intensive activities. To pursue this course a highly skilled technology and engineering workforce is essential.

According to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, IT professionals and engineering professionals are the largest job families in terms of employment and are expected to have the most significant recruitment needs in future.

IT professionals” is easily the largest of the job families followed by engineering professionals and then managers and science, engineering and production technicians.

International benchmarking suggests that weaknesses in STEM talent base hampered science and innovation system of the UK which is primarily due to a deficit of technical, practical or job-specific skills, supported by the evidence that employers cannot get the skills that they need.

According to the UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey, 43% of vacancies for professionals working in research, engineering and technology are hard to fill due to skills shortages which is almost twice the average for all occupations, making it the worst affected.

Will Brexit make things better or worse?

It all began 2 years ago with the triggering of Article 50 the formal process by which the UK leaves its membership of the EU – which is scheduled in law to occur on 29th March 2019.

Recruiting EU nationals currently in the UK

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. Meaning Brexit has no affect on hiring EU nationals who are already in the UK (Those who opt to stay in the UK by applying for settlement). EU citizens and their family members will have at least two years to apply for Settled status in the UK. During this time period and until their applications are decided, they will enjoy their current residence rights.

Recruiting EU nationals outside the UK post Brexit

Immediate access to the EU talent will reduce after Brexit, however that depends on the levels of travel restrictions imposed on EU citizens after Brexit. It is not quite certain whether UK government offers a special category entry for EU citizens to freely enter the UK for a limited period of time and find employment or whether it grants an Indefinite Leave to Remain for highly skilled individuals from the EU.

What does this mean for small technology businesses 

There will be little or no impact based on the levels of flexibility in movement within the EU for work. Plan ahead and train your existing workforce inline with your future needs. Make every effort to provide opportunities for your employees to grow and learn, and let your employees know there is room for advancement in your company. Remember that UK-based skills will become significant after Brexit and that every other employer would try their best to attract the talents.

In short – Employee wellbeing is everything.

What does this mean for technology recruiters

As you saw in the Analysis of Labour Workforce Survey highly skilled technology professionals are a paramount for the UK to remain a global player and to be a competitive economy. Recruiters will continue to play a crucial and rather important role especially in the challenging first few months post Brexit.

It is an undeniable fact that businesses have kept few projects on hold and there is a reduction in recruitment activity – but only because of Brexit uncertainty not as a result of the Brexit. On the bright side, the current impasse could result in a reduction in permanent recruitment but have a positive impact on temp recruitment – with more and more businesses opting to hire contractors to see through this phase.

But after the Brexit will hiring the needs decline, or expand? Will there be a second referendum on the final deal? Answer is a resounding ‘no’, so in summary it is very early to predict the outcome and to shift the directions. Remember that technological needs are ever growing and Brexit could become an insignificant factor – remote working and the recent revolution in communications is changing the recruitment landscape and Brexit might just present the opportunity for companies to embrace the change.

Recruitly is a cloud-based recruitment software for the agency recruiters. If you want to explore our solution please talk to our friendly sales team today on +44 161 533 0867.