Britain must make its final decision on 23 June regarding whether or not the UK should remain in the EU, and with this in mind, I began to question what impact leaving the EU could have on recruiters.
In a poll conducted by Simplicity, the majority (42%) of recruitment business owners admitted that they would prefer to remain within the EU, whilst only 21% of respondents opted to leave. That leaves 37% who are still undecided, indicating that there is a real lack of understanding with regards to what leaving the EU will actually entail.
Well, firstly, there are over two million EU citizens living and working in the UK, which means that leaving the EU would cause a significant increase in skills shortages across the country. Though it is a fact that the vast majority of EU citizens account for the majority of the lower paid workforce, it is important to realise that they have also filled many of the UK’s skilled positions, particularly in areas such as IT, construction and engineering. Therefore, a reduction of the EU population would potentially mean that businesses will be forced to train up other employees within their companies, a process which is both expensive and time consuming. UK businesses can also expect to find it even more challenging to retain their skilled workers. Consequently, recruiters would face more pressure to find skilled candidates. This is because each industry will become increasingly more competitive and eventually, workers will begin to demand more.
On the other hand, it can be argued that leaving the EU would strongly benefit UK residents as it would significantly increase job openings across the country. However, it is also a possibility that many companies may be deterred by the lack of freedom of movement and may uproot their companies to be head quartered in an EU country. In the long run, the knock on effect could be extremely damaging to the UK as it would leave it rather exposed.
A Brexit could potentially complicate working relationships between companies in and out of the UK too. For example, UK workers employed in EU countries may have their position jeopardised, as the expense and burden of having to arrange work visas makes UK workers less attractive. This is also the case for EU workers that are employed within the UK.
Ultimately, there are clear benefits for leaving the UK, such as decreasing the unemployment rate for UK citizens; however, I fear that the disadvantages that a Brexit would bring are far greater.
If you are concerned about any of these issues, I urge you to get in touch with me so we can work together to overcome any potential problems for your company.
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.