Navigating a Time of Uncertainty in the UK and EMEA
By Oliver Wilkinson, Director of Customer & Market Insight, Allegis Group EMEA
Many global and regional trends are affecting the talent landscape in EMEA. Companies struggle to find people with emerging skill sets, particularly in high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. They are challenged to attract talent into the business, and they’re equally concerned with enduring issues of engagement and retention. These issues are all important, but they are magnified by the uncertainty borne of Brexit and its potential impact on the movement of businesses and workers between the UK and the European Union.
The Uncertainty of the Post-Brexit Future
There is a hard deadline for Brexit in March 2019, but organisations struggle to determine what they need to do about it today. Larger companies have contingency plans to relocate their operations (e.g. middle and back-office functions, and in some cases the entire business), but, in many cases, there is not enough certainty to finalize those plans and take action. Conversely, mainland Europe could benefit from an influx of businesses relocating and a possible wave of skilled workers seeking opportunity.
While more than two-thirds of financial services firms in London plan to hire new staff over the next year, and tech giants such as Google and Facebook have already announced their intentions to expand their operations in London, net migration to the UK is falling, and student visas are being restricted. So businesses are still seeking talent despite the threat to the talent pool that Brexit poses.
Employers Need Strong Recruitment Functions to Navigate Uncertainty
For employers, Brexit uncertainty will place more emphasis on the need to commit to recruitment best practices. A strong employer brand is more critical than ever. The ability to attract and retain talent, deliver a great candidate experience and create highly satisfied, loyal employees will be essential. And finally, using flexible engagement models will be critical as companies across industries reach out to employees, contractors, contingent workers and freelancers to drive business growth and success.
Companies doing business in the UK and across the European Union are engaging talent solutions partners to address their workforce challenges. The balance of assignment-based workers and traditional permanent labour will continue to evolve, and the use of staffing, recruitment process outsourcing and managed services provider solutions will continue to grow more strategic.
For an effective talent partner, filling a role for a client today is only part of the picture. There is a need for recruitment firms and companies to work closely together, to share expertise and challenges to be able to understand one another, and to work together to attract and retain talent. Working together to serve each other’s interests will be far more effective than working in a traditional client/services model in isolation of each other. The organisations that truly partner, that are honest about issues and challenges—those are the relationships that stand the best possible chance of success not only in attracting top talent, but in retaining top talent, too.
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Oliver Wilkinson, director of customer & market insight at Allegis Group EMEA, discusses the current talent landscape in the EMEA region under the uncertainty of Brexit.