Workforce: Post-Brexit Survival for Businesses

Jul 31, 2018

How can we ensure businesses survive post-Brexit panic? With an estimated 'recruitment crisis' and annual shortage of 60,000 workers forecast, we need to ensure teams remain stable.

Service delivery whether in hospitality or facilities management, require skills and dedicated staff in all areas of their business. According to the Office of National Statistics as of May 2018;

  • There were 28.73 million UK nationals working in the UK, 417,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 2.29 million EU nationals working in the UK, 28,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 1.25 million non-EU nationals working in the UK, 20,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 81.9% for EU nationals, higher than that for UK nationals (75.6%) and higher than that for non-EU nationals (63.0%).

There has been increasing difficulty for recruiters to fill permanent positions due to people leaving the UK and a reduction in arrivals following the Brexit decision. There has however been an increase in non-EU nationals entering the workforce. A general good-practice point may be to consider providing companywide refresher training on equality policies, to highlight any forms of discrimination, including those related to race and origin.

How can businesses target their workforce to ensure they can recruit and retain staff effectively;

Raising awareness with EU nationals is a great start. The current position is that if , by 31 December 2020, they have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK for 5 years, they will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting 'settled status'. This means successful applicants will be able to live here, have access to public funds and services and go on to apply for British citizenship.

A trend affecting the market place is the popularity of flexible working, with 92% of 18-34-year olds preferring this approach to work. Employers have begun to embrace this through use of engaging tech-enabled flexible staffing platforms which draw upon and utilise a database of available staff. Systems can ensure management of wages, holidays and scheduling through PAYE. The access also provides back up staff who can be planned ahead or used to cover at short notice.

Hiring the right kind of employees to ensure success in business cannot be underestimated. Employees with the right attitude will have an eagerness to learn and can be trusted to find the right answers. Developing these people and giving them tangible management skills through coaching and dedicated time is paramount for retention of qualified and competent staffing. Short term wins in filling vacancies are not the way forward.

A further way employers are working hard, is to retain their current workforce is through positive business culture and values, Creating core values for your business allows staff to feel a sense of belonging and shared ethos. Identity in the work place, allows employees to feel empowered and strive to build on their successes and this is never more true within a very diverse workforce.