Worried about Brexit recruitment strategies? You’d be foolish not to. Brexit will undoubtedly present many challenges for employers in the coming years.

However, instead of fearing Brexit, there IS an opportunity for forward-thinking. You CAN turn your Brexit problems on their head to gain a competitive advantage.

Here’s how the top 10% of employers are turning Brexit into an opportunity for a top-talent goldmine.

  1. From Brexit recruitment woes to the employer of choice

At just six months prior to Brexit, 62% of UK firms haven’t conducted a risk assessment of the impact it will have.

British Chamber of Commerce

Things to consider:

  • Would providing workers with extra support with applications for Leave to Settle result in better retention of skilled talent than your competitors?
  • Would offering enhanced contractual employee rights make your organisation more desirable, in the event that employment protections such as equal pay or maximum working hours are watered down?
  • Or would implementing a strategic approach to your talent pipeline for the short and long-term be worth the upfront investment?

We provide further insight into the ways employers can use Brexit to improve their employer brand in our Brexit Recruitment & Retention Checklist.

2. Upskill existing employees: one size does not fit all

CEOs’ top initiatives in Western Europe to bridge the skills gap are retraining/upskilling (44%), followed by hiring from outside their industry (at 21%).

PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey 2019

Brexit will further widen the skills gap, with fewer EU workers and the unique customs challenges that will require their own skillsets.

Upskilling is the word on the lips of many HR Managers and CEOs – and seen as the most important strategy to bridge potential skills gaps in a recent PWC survey. By providing employees with additional training to meet changing needs, it not only helps bridge the skills gap but can increase engagement and loyalty. However, it needs to be done correctly.

“To be able to upskill your workforce you need to develop a good understanding of what skills and knowledge people need to do their job well. Rather than sending employees on days-long courses, use digital learning and provide them with the right resources that are available to them at the time of need. Invest in performance coaching, which will address real issues and will help your business to perform better in the future as well.”

Eva Adam, Learning & Development Manager at Cast UK

Tip: Customs intermediaries and traders can unlock grants to help prepare for Brexit – see the Customs Trading and IT Grants Scheme.

3. Consider the wider talent pool

Upskilling may be many businesses’ first port of call. However, sometimes it doesn’t go far enough, sometimes a fresh perspective is needed and sometimes time is of the essence.

With the skills gap widening, forward-thinking organisations are realising that casting their recruitment net a little wider may reel in a prized candidate. With technology accelerating at such a rapid rate and the fresh challenges that Brexit poses, candidates with a track record of regularly adapting and upskilling are more valuable than an exact experience match.

4. Lockdown good candidates

In 2018 we saw many employers looking to secure talented candidates by making the interview process as quickly as possible, in a bid to fend off the competition. This trend is only likely to increase post-Brexit.

Consider ways that you can reduce your time-to-hire, such as block-booking interview slots or making use of tools such as video interviewing software.

Read more: 7 ways to reduce time-to-hire (and avoid losing top talent)

5. Hire interim staff

During times of uncertainty, temporary or fixed-term contractors can help employers quickly respond to changing demands and the skills-sets required by the transformation that Brexit will bring. Interim employees often thrive on achieving short-term goals, which they roll out before moving onto a fresh challenge. They can, therefore, be a shrewd commercial and operational move for employers looking for highly skilled workers who can bring new insights gained from their breadth of experience.

Get a Brexit bulletproof hiring strategy in place with our Brexit Recruitment Checklist. It covers all the employment areas you need to consider.

Turn Brexit from a threat to a top-talent magnet
Download your Brexit Recruitment Checklist

Download your Brexit Recruitment Checklist