Brexit has been an unwavering focus of conversation since its controversial vote in the June 2016 referendum. From economic forecasts to social implications, Brexit has the potential to affect many facets of day-to-day life and business operations. Although there’s no shortage of conjectures about what may happen spread across the internet, the news and beyond, the truth of the matter is that no one knows exactly how the impending post-Brexit world will look. However, no matter what shape it ultimately takes, the EU egress will likely complicate businesses proceedings across Europe, particularly in hiring and employee retention. In the face of potentially dramatic limits on talent sourcing in the region, companies are anticipating an increase in the existing talent gap that has been plaguing the market for some time. As the business world awaits a more concrete decision on the new deadline of October 31 with bated breath, there are a few considerations that can bolster success in this time of uncertainty.

The Current State of Affairs

Presenting a number of changes relating to the intergovernmental trade bloc, security regulations and migration rules, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (the official mechanism for Britain’s exit from the European Union) can tangibly affect employment and hiring practices in a number of ways. Over time and legislation, much of Europe has become more or less a single market, allowing goods and people to flow freely across borders. If Britain is removed from that market, the pool of applicants and critical skilled workers available to Britain and its STEM markets will drastically tighten, causing an increasingly tight labor market and an ensuing fight for talent.

Reports are already forecasting the global talent shortage reaching 85.2 million people by 2030, costing worldwide companies trillions in lost revenues. In the event of a “no deal,” or a hard exit from the EU, the sudden transition could cause even more immediate hardship as rights of residence come into question and employment laws become subject to shifts. Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, as drafted, did preserve the free movement of labor during the transition period, but the proposed new skills-based immigration system left many fearing that it would leave companies short-staffed. Her deal was roundly rejected in any case. Many times.

Overall, the key aspect of this Brexit negotiation process that makes this hiring issue so hard to decipher is the simple fact that nobody is quite sure how it will all unfold. Here’s what we can expect while Brexit’s contours are debated: decreased applications from potential hires in EU countries as a result of Britain’s potential decrease in desirability, a shorter talent supply, increased strain from a competitive hiring landscape and the need for more creative HR practices. In fact, these changes have already been set in motion. A 2018 survey of recruiters revealed that over half had a feeling that the UK was now a less appealing option for potential hirees. The same respondents also reported a dip in their hiring from key European markets. A study completed by Cambridge Econometrics notes that the science and technology sector will be among the hardest hit by Brexit, partly due to a sudden loss of skilled labor as a result of changing migration patterns. While these forecasts are certainly concerning, businesses still have the opportunity to mitigate these hiring challenges by implementing careful planning and reinvigorated strategies.

How to Conquer the Rocky Terrain

When it comes to staying afloat in less-than-ideal hiring environments, building a proper contingency plan is paramount and allying with a professional that specializes in helping businesses find the right employees is critical. Datacenter People, a worldwide recruitment firm focusing in the data center industry, has spent years honing a system for hiring ideal talent that can deliver success even in the era of Brexit uncertainty. The team of hiring experts at Datacenter People has produced a highly specialized and thoroughly researched database of individuals that do not fall into the standard category of “actively job searching” that most other businesses are pulling from. Instead, this database reduces competition by targeting a group of more overlooked individuals the company calls “passive high performance.” At the end of the day, this method yields more successful employment and retention and provides proven talent to businesses that need it.

Brexit has been a concern that continues to loom over the heads of businesses across Britain and Europe, but the uncertainty that is testing the security of these companies’ success can be managed with the right strategy and expertise. Finding the ideal fit for any position can be a challenge, but even as the task becomes more complex, partners like Datacenter People are ready to support and empower businesses no matter what unique challenge is at hand.