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Brexit uncertainty blamed for slowest hiring rate in three years


The number of permanent staff hired by UK companies has dropped at the quickest rate in more than three years. 

Research by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, alongside a report from KPMG, has uncovered that the number of full-time recruits fell for six consecutive months to August, suggesting that ‘many firms [are] delaying hiring decisions due to Brexit-related uncertainty’. 

And it’s not just companies tightening their belts as political and economical uncertainty continues. Candidates are also bedding in and staying put at their current organisations, whilst the number of available opportunities in the temporary employment market has also slowed – now at a six-year low. 

However, new starters are enjoying higher salaries as competition for top talent continues to increase.

Businesses lacking confidence

Chief executive at the REC, Neil Carberry noted that: “The figures are a sobering reminder to politicians of all parties that national prosperity relies on businesses creating jobs and growing careers. 

“Britain’s record on jobs is world-leading. It’s a key part of our economic success, with recruiters at the forefront of it. And there are still great opportunities out there for those looking for a new job and a boost in earnings.

“But all this rests on business confidence – the confidence to invest, to hire someone, to try something new – and it’s clear that things are getting harder. Permanent placements have now dropped for six months in a row and vacancy growth is slowing. 

Read more: CBI releases 200 actions firms and government should take in preparation for no-deal Brexit, warning ‘no one is ready’

“While we continue to benefit from the flexibility of our jobs market as demand for temps holds steady, today’s survey emphasises the real-world impacts of the political and economic uncertainty businesses are facing.

“The first priority should be avoiding a damaging no-deal Brexit and giving some stability back to British businesses, so they can drive the prosperity of the whole country.”

Employees concerned by Brexit

As mentioned above, employees are also feeling the added worry as the Brexit saga rolls on. 

A poll by Gartner found that on average, employees spend almost an hour each day worrying about how Brexit will affect them, their families and friends. 

That’s 12% of the working day which will directly affect productivity rates and employee wellbeing.

If your business is falling behind in Brexit planning, see how our Brexit consultancy can help.

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