How Recruiters can tackle the Brexit brain drain

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Theresa May triggering Article 50 not only brings us one step closer to Brexit, but also throws up several challenges for the recruitment industry, one of these being the freedom of movement of workers between the UK and the EU. Figures released by the Office For National Statistics (ONS) reveal that one in seven workers in the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants sectors is a migrant worker, with over half a million coming from the EU. Restrictions on inbound EU workers is likely to exacerbate an already serious skills shortage and limited talent pool. This begs the question; how will recruiters find the right candidates to fill all these vacant positions?

Talent acquisition and the possible impact of Brexit on candidate availability continues to be one of the most pressing issues for organisations. Warnings about skills shortages have been issued across a variety of sectors and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests those who will be hardest hit by this reduced labour pool include healthcare, hospitality, agriculture, construction and food manufacturing. Technology, engineering and finance have also been reported as struggling to fill enough roles to meet demand.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) predicts a shortfall of around 60,000 workers each year if access to EU workers is significantly restricted. The reliance of the NHS on EU workers has also been widely publicised in recent months, with a shortage of 10,000 doctors expected by 2020. The financial technology sector is another sector which could suffer.  London is the world’s leading Fintech hub, but many companies struggle to find both the volume and quality of British graduates to meet their needs. Presently, the skills gap is being bridged by EU tech talent, but what will happen in two years’ time?

As talent becomes a scarce commodity, many recruiters are putting strategies in place now in order to ensure that they continue to get the best candidates for the role. While analytics and data-driven recruitment have long been a given for successful talent management, now more than ever it is a vital tool for providing insights into the skills of the wider workforce.

However, many recruiters struggle to unlock the value or streamline their data into the few key pieces of information that they need. Recruiting analytics dashboards cut out excess information and focus on the relevant data, helping to make the shift to data-driven decision-making and increasing their productivity and agility by bringing more transparency.

Harnessed effectively, this effective use of data not only saves recruiters time but ensures that vacancies are quickly filled by the right individuals and that candidates are matched with the right role; something that will become more difficult post-Brexit.

While post-Brexit access to EU workers remains unclear, understanding the exact composition of available talent pool will identify any strengths and weaknesses. Geomapping can also show, in real-time, where current jobs and candidates are so they can be matched with opportunities. Showing the relationship between data and locations in this way highlights where the focused action will produce results and it increases the efficiency of candidate recruitment by specific sourcing for live roles. It also enables recruiters to canvas prospective clients by location faster for new roles where the volume of available candidates is highest.

The new focus for recruiters is on real-time metrics that are happening today, and predictive metrics, which alert everyone about the issues and opportunities of tomorrow. Those recruiters who will be the most successful post-Brexit will be those able to distill all the information they collect and turn it into actionable insights to help them recruit more efficiently and effectively, finding skilled workers across all key sectors to sustain business growth and prosperity.


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