UK Recruitment, Post the vote in favour of BREXIT

There will be a divergence of views some may even say scaremongering as the recruitment industry tries to drum up trade.

However, let’s think for a moment.

What has changed? Nothing, in the short term, and a process to make changes needs to be followed.

This could be giving notice under article 50 but this doesn’t mean a draw bridge comes down on EU recruitment. It could easily be 2017 before any changes are made.

If the UK needs people they have to come from somewhere. So the EU citizens will be on no worse footing than candidates that currently have to apply under Tier 2 for a visa. So they can still come to the UK but if/when changes are made it will take longer and will be more expensive.

UKBA (UK Border Agency has needed serious reform for years and provides a cumbersome service under Tier 2 and according to third party users (Recruitment Agencies are not allowed to hold licences) the current brief seems to be to frustrate applications. This is evidenced by the issues that nurses from non EU countries are experiencing, even when the skill was added to the skills shortage list.

Talk of adopting an Australian points system is a quality sound bite but would need delivering by a commercially astute organisation capable of high volume processing in the digital age. Successive governments do not have a successful track record for outsourcing such schemes.

Obviously UKPLC does not want to see either increased costs or complication but this looks like the price that will ultimately need to be paid.

However, some simple steps could be put in place to reduce current free movement, subject to the EU cooperating, which may be an issue.

  1. Insist that all UK jobs are advertised in the UK for 1 month prior to trying to access international staff. Something similar is a Tier 2 requirement. 99% of employers will have done this.
  2. Insisting that unemployed UK citizens, properly prepared by Recruiters have an automatic right to an interview. If the workers will not supply the data required they don’t get an interview and benefits are stopped.
  3. Benefits tourism is stopped. Only allow people with a contract of employment into the UK.

There is no need to panic but if you do need people there might be a short term window of opportunity to recruit from within the EU whilst free movement remains in place.

The most frequently asked question has been from clients enjoying the benefits of EU workers wondering if they will need to be repatriated.

Please read this clip from our Facebook page.



This is not the biggest risk. The biggest risk is the decline in the value of sterling if it remains below 1.30 to the Euro for a prolonged period.


Eastern Europeans think of the value of UK wages in local currency and the purchasing power.  The UK has to compete against other Euro based economies for labour and the drop in sterling experienced on the 24th June needs to recover otherwise some workers will look elsewhere.

Now, if, as an employer, you need to look further afield then remember the EU was a club of 28 nations and 500 million people. There are over 160 other countries in the world to source from, with  over 6.5 billion people of which 2000 million speak English.

There are always solutions but they may not be on your doorstep.

Skills Provision is only too happy to provide advice or quotations but the markets are in a state of flux and likely to remain that way for some time to come.