According to Page Group, one of Britain’s leading recruitment companies, companies are hesitant to hire senior staff due to Brexit uncertainty.
While Page Group’s profits rose 18.1% in recent months, its Michael Page arm, which deals with senior jobs saw a fall of 7%.
The Michael Page arm recruits finance directors, accountants, IT leaders in industries ranging from financial services to healthcare and manufacturing.
“Brexit-related uncertainty [has continued] to impact decision-making from clients and candidates at the more senior levels of the market,” Page Group said.
General business confidence falls
This slowdown in recruitment seems to be reflecting general worry and uncertainty among businesses in the UK. The Brexit deadline in March looms with no deal currently agreed on.
A poll of FTSE 350 businesses by ICSA: the Governance Institute revealed that 55% of company board members are expecting a decline in their business over the next year.
Confidence has shown clear signs of falling, as six months ago the figure was only 24%.
While fears about Brexit have lessened, from 54% a year ago to 42% now, no respondents rated Brexit as ‘positive’ compared to 9% who did in 2016.
Peter Swabey, policy and research director at ICSA said: “It is hard to see any other reason for continuing pessimism over the economy other than the ongoing government infighting over Brexit and the lack of a clear plan if there is no deal at the end of the negotiations.”
With fewer EU citizens coming into the UK, businesses are struggling to fill vacancies. The number of people moving to the UK from EU countries has fallen to its lowest level since 2013. This is according to a survey of 2,000 employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The CIPD said that the number of applicants per vacancy had fallen since last summer across a range of different skilled jobs. Half of those with recruitment problems say that they have increased starting salaries in response.
Have you seen a slowdown in recruitment at your company? Are you optimistic or worried about a Brexit future? Let us know what you think.