Since the results of the European referendum were announced in 2016, there has been an underlying state of anxiety amongst the UK business sector. Where many are concerned as to how their business will fair under new laws and legislations, a downturn in the economy has fuelled others to panic and question whether the finite deal will ultimately result in the collapse of their company.
This sense of anxiety has been felt within the recruitment sector, where throughout 2019 we saw a clear pattern of businesses withdrawing from recruitment with every Brexit deadline, suggesting companies are anticipating a post-Brexit apocalypse and an immediate impact of leaving the EU.
However, once the deadline has passed, reality will outweigh practicality and business owners will realise that they still need staff. Sadly, for some, it is already too late, and their current workforce has imploded through either being overworked or undervalued. This has resulted in employers starting to panic hire, not always recruiting the right calibre of staff for the job in-hand.
Now the date is set for some form of agreement to be implemented on the 31st January 2020, we will enter this ‘binge’ hiring pattern once again. But, how will this continue to impact businesses over the next few months, and what steps should employers take to move through this without impacting both day-to-day operations and staff alike?
Over the last three years, the hiring process has adopted an unhealthy approach. Recruiters and employers are aware of the new Brexit date, and vow to stop hiring and halt all business growth. Just like crash dieters, they stop eating and starve themselves to the point that they have to eat to excess to make up for it.
The same process applies to employers. To make up the time lost due to lack of staff and resulting productivity, the deadline passes and there becomes a sudden rush of urgency to start recruiting again.
One step forward, two steps back
There are many things to consider when hiring the best employees for your business. Not only should they be able to do the job at hand, but they must have a certain level of experience, have a clear understanding of your industry and be a great culture fit.
Unfortunately, panic hiring can mean hiring somebody who becomes more detrimental than useful. On many occasions, often not through fault of their own but due to their staff already being overloaded, there is no time to train new hires or to complete a thorough induction process. Aside from being thrown in at the deep end, this approach means the new hire is unlikely to have all the available information to ensure they are effective within their role and able to make a positive difference to the business.
What’s more, with many businesses taking the same approach, there will be a huge demand for talent within your area. Great staff that ‘fit’ your business can be hard to come by when you need them most. When every other business is looking for those staff members too, this becomes all the more challenging.
Ignoring your existing employees
Panic hiring could seriously impact your current team. A constant drip feed of staff leaving is never good for morale. Even if you have a string of loyal employees, they will start to think about leaving if their working environment suddenly turns into a negative one.
In fact, as reported in the 2019 edition of the Angela Mortimer Group Employment Survey, a positive work environment came out on top when candidates answered: ‘What do you think makes an attractive employer?’. What’s more, out of the 415 employers that were surveyed, work culture was voted the top priority.
It is, therefore, imperative that even during an economy sting, your current employees are considered a top priority. A negative work culture creates an endless, damaging cycle if good employees leave and you have no choice but to replace them with bad ones.
Has there been a change?
This unhealthy approach to company employment is only detrimental to those at the top. We have seen these recruitment patterns emerging since the 2016 result and, in reality, Brexit hasn’t actually physically changed anything – it has only created apprehension over what ‘could’ occur.
Our advice? Create a long-term recruitment strategy that focuses on maintaining a strong workforce whilst spending the time to recruit new, experienced talent that can help your business grow. If you have the right people in place who care about the future direction of your firm and delivering the best possible service to your customers or clients, your business will inevitably thrive – deal or no deal.