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Brexit. How will it impact recruitment? Will I be affected? Will redundancies have to be made? What will the future look like? What will happen to the job market? So many questions and not enough answers!

Let’s we’ll first start with some facts. According to the CIPD website, recent data has noted that 44% of employers experienced greater difficulty in recruitment during 2018. Alongside this, another 34% faced a similar challenge in retaining staff. Expanding on this, the prevalence of hard-to-fill vacancies has continued to prove a challenge for many companies. In the autumn of 2018, 70% of employers with vacancies said that at least some of those were proving hard-to-fill compared to 51% in spring 2017 (CIPD, 2019).

In May 2018, LinkedIn reported that 96% of hiring strategies had already been impacted by Brexit. The same study found that 44% of recruiters believed that the UK was becoming a less attractive prospect regarding work to EU citizens.

Sounds scary right? But there’s no need to fear! We have survived the threat of automation, so what means to say we can’t survive this?

Therefore, it is important that we, as recruiters, step up our collective game. We need to go beyond the placement making and headhunting to utilise our consultative skills. These should now be concentrated on helping candidates and clients navigate the obscure vision Brexit has given us. This can include; aiding a candidate in the transition from one role to another, offering advice to clients on team structure, next steps, contingency plans and how to fill those pesky unusual roles. One of our main objectives now is helping others adjust to Brexit.

The prolonged uncertainty could be argued to be one of the biggest concerns that the UK is facing right now. Recruiters, hiring managers and candidates alike are now faced with the challenge of preparing for something that currently has no definite outcome.

To answer the questions posed at the beginning of this post, the situation is pinning us to a resounding ‘we don’t know’. However, no matter the outcome of Brexit – we as recruiters, can all plan to make a meaningful change, starting with adjusting our own strategies and processes.


  • (2019). Brexit impact on workforce trends.Available: https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/brexit-hub/workforce-trends#52112. Last accessed 20th March 2019.
  • Wilson, R. (2018). How will Brexit affect recruitment?Available: https://www.recruitment-international.co.uk/blog/2018/09/how-will-brexit-affect-recruitment. Last accessed 20th March 2019
  • Linas, P. (2018). The impact of Brexit on the recruitment industry two years on.Available: https://www.apsco.org/article/the-impact-of-brexit-on-the-recruitment-industry-two-years-on-3682.aspx. Last accessed 20th March 2019.