This is How Brexit is Tightening the Talent Pool for UK Recruiters3 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
UK recruiters are hiring more British workers, as the country has become a less attractive destination for EU professionals, according to LinkedIn. A new report has shown the number of EU workers coming into the UK has fallen by a third since 2016. The drop in EU applicants has triggered a rise in UK domestic employment, with increased competition for roles tightening the talent pool for recruiters.
Learn how to Brexit-proof your recruitment process.
What are UK Businesses Doing to Increase Retention of Domestic Workers?
According to the report, there has been a 34% drop in the number of UK professionals taking non-EU jobs. It appears near-full UK employment has contributed to fewer British workers looking for opportunities overseas. With British workers staying put, UK employers are now looking to the domestic market, and are improving their salary and benefit offers to attract new staff.
Some are increasing their existing workers’ wages to stop them from leaving. Almost half of the UK recruiters surveyed have reported businesses are improving their benefits’ packages, such as pension contributions, and 41% are offering candidates flexible working opportunities to help secure their candidacy.
Will UK Recruiters Find it Easier to Recruit Non-EU Workers After Brexit?
UK companies wanting to employ a non-EU applicant on a Tier 2 visa must first have a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. Applying for a Tier 2 sponsor licence is a costly and labour intensive process. If UK employers want to employ overseas workers on a Tier 2 visa but don’t have a sponsor licence in place, it can lead to long delays.
On December 2018, the UK government published an immigration white paper, outlining a post-Brexit skills-based programme. Skilled EU workers are likely to be subject to Tier 2 visa rules after Brexit, which currently only apply to non-EU nationals.
Employing a non-EU skilled worker on a Tier 2 visa on a three-year contract currently costs more than £5,000 per person; this includes application fees and immigration health and skills-based charges. The visa cost will increase if they want to bring their spouse and two children to Britain, with prices rising to as much as £11,000 per employee.
After Brexit, many UK companies looking to stay competitive will need to look beyond the EU for skilled professionals, but the prohibitive hiring costs will limit their ability to hire international staff.
Many UK businesses are severely unprepared for hiring both EU and non-EU workers after Brexit. Such is the UK’s stringent immigration rules, 41% per cent of British companies have already experienced a drop in skills. Research has shown up to 76% of mid-range companies also have no contingency funds for life after Brexit.
By focusing on UK domestic talent exclusively, there might be greater opportunities for heretofore marginalised workers. While there are short-term benefits for British professionals, such as rising salaries, having restricted access to the EU talent pool could lead to skill shortages in future.
For the time being, there’s never been a better time for a British worker to ask for a pay rise.