Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is likely to have a profound effect on the UK IT recruitment sector.
A report by KPMG, titled ‘The Brexit effect on EU nationals’, polled 2,000 employed EU citizens that currently work in the UK and 1,000 citizens living in the 10 largest EU net contributors to UK migration.
It revealed that 35% of EU nationals living in the UK were considering leaving because of the Brexit vote, and that younger, better-qualified, and higher-paid people were more likely to be mulling over thoughts of leaving. ‘IT designers’ were identified as one of the main job titles in this grouping.
With negotiations continuing, a lot remains to be seen about Brexit and the impact it will have on the IT jobs market and IT recruitment agencies. However, some changes already have been noticed within the recruitment sector...
John Salt, Group Sales Director at TotalJobs, wrote for Recruitment International: “Firstly, nervous candidates can be less likely to leave their current roles and secondly, employers, whose budgets may be under increasing scrutiny, will err on the side of caution with regards to taking on new hires. For many employers, this uncertainty is manifesting itself in inactivity and silence.” For Crimson, this means that some clients’ IT teams are cutting back on non-critical IT projects, and therefore require fewer staff.
KPMG suggest that “Brexit can be the catalyst for a fresh look at workforce strategy” with robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation being likely to pick-up some of the responsibilities of the skilled workforce that will be lost due to Brexit.
But until the mass adoption of AI and robotics happens, IT recruitment consultants should be doing more to help and reassure candidates and employers. The best agencies will make the effort to stay up-to-date with the latest legal, economical, and social changes surrounding Brexit and will share valuable insights with clients and candidates about any changes that could affect them.
Beyond this, only time will tell what the true impact of Brexit on the UK IT recruitment industry will be.