Retaining access to talent in a post-Brexit UK could be the key to the continued success of your business.
If freedom of movement of people ends, the available talent pool is likely to shrink. Here are six things you could do now to put your recruitment business into a stronger position come next March.
1. Keep on top of business immigration developments so that you’re ahead of the curve. The immigration system is likely to change. It may well become totally overloaded. If they don’t already have one, it might be beneficial to talk to clients about obtaining sponsorship licences.
2. Think about where the likely shortages of skilled workers will be within your target industries and ways to address this.
- Could you help clients to engage and upskill their existing workforce?
- Could you, or your clients, use benefits and packages to make vacancies more appealing so that EU citizens want to work in the UK, and so current UK staff aren’t tempted to move on? Share option schemes, for example, could be used to encourage UK staff to stick around.
Think stick as well as carrot. Well-drafted employment contracts with legally enforceable restrictive covenants might make key employees think twice before jumping ship to a competitor.
3. Look at your contracts with others to see how you can better protect your business in light of Brexit.
- Who’ll pick up the cost of any visa applications and expenses?
- Who’ll bear the costs of currency fluctuations?
- Who’ll be liable for costs/losses incurred if a hire falls through because a candidate doesn’t/can’t get a “right to work”?
4. Secure your business’s supply position via clearly and commercially drafted client contracts. Unambiguous transfer and secondary introduction fees, as well as clear charging and rebate structures, will help you to retain ‘ownership’ of candidates/workers and ensure you receive fair fees.
5. Personal data and its use and protection will remain important whatever happens. The UK government hopes to get EU approval for its ‘Adequacy+’ model of data protection. If they don’t achieve this, you’ll need to understand how and when you can move data across borders legitimately. Either way, systems, contracts and processes to adequately and lawfully protect, while also enabling the use of personal data, will be needed.
6. Do you currently supply services into mainland Europe? If so, consider the pros and cons of creating legal entities/a legal entity elsewhere in mainland Europe.
Graham Hansen, Associate, and the team at HRC Law are here to help you and your recruitment business with Brexit-related issues.
Head of Commercial at HRC Law LLP