Leaders strike optimistic note at Recruiter’s Brexit Summit

Recruitment leaders at Recruiter’s recent Brexit summit struck an optimistic note about the prospects for the UK staffing sector and for the UK economy as a whole following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU).

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 | By Colin Cottell

Recruitment leaders at Recruiter’s recent Brexit summit struck an optimistic note about the prospects for the UK staffing sector and for the UK economy as a whole following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU). 

Speaking at Recruiter’s Brexit Summit in Leeds, sponsored by law firm Irwin Mitchell, last Friday, Tony Goodwin, group chief executive and chairman, Antal International & Antal International Network, told that audience that the experts and doom-mongers who had predicted Armageddon had been proved wrong. 

Goodwin, a member of the panel, said he had sounded out 23 people before the summit. “Commercially the vote has had very little impact,” he said. “The overall response had been middling to fairly positive.”

In the longer term, Goodwin said that he was confident that a deal could be struck between the UK and the EU. “It is all down to commercial terms,” said Goodwin. “BMW is not going to want to stop selling BMWs in the UK, and we are not going to want to stop buying them. As one of the most entrepreneurial countries on the planet, we are not going to stop Nissan building their cars in Sunderland,” he added.

Gethin Roberts, managing director of driver recruitment agency Drivers Direct Recruitment, told the audience that although business hated uncertainty because it stymied investment, it also provided recruiters with opportunity, at least in the short term. “If companies are not investing in their own staff, they will invest in our staff. We have to be ready so that when the certainty comes along, we are able to grow.”

Paul Duffield, managing partner at specialist HR recruiter Eyzon, which has offices in Leeds and London, said that after an initial lull, the aftermath of the Brexit vote had seen some uplift in the firm’s interim business as well as HR mandates for global mobility staff. “It’s that threat/opportunity bit, but it will balance out, and if you work hard you will make money,” he said.

Neil Clark, performance director at specialist technology and change recruiter Nicoll Curtin, told the audience that he didn’t see “any mass exodus of business from the UK”. And neither as most economists had predicted did he “see the UK economy going into recession any time soon”.  

Clark said one possible cloud on the horizon was the threat to investment, which could lead to companies in the UK’s burgeoning fintech sector relocating outside the UK. Brexit would inevitably bring uncertainty and changes to our relationship with other countries, and in the longer term to many of our laws. However, Clark said the UK would always find a way not just to cope but also to prosper. “We are a nation of entrepreneurs, and as a nation of entrepreneurs, we will find a way around any changes and laws.”

If you are a recruiter or an in-house recruiter or resourcing professional and couldn’t make the Leeds event, why not sign up to Recruiter’s FREE Brexit Summit in London on 23 September?

For further information and to reserve your place, please click here

  • What do you think about the post-Brexit landscape in the UK? The Comment box is at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the glitch but just scroll right down and share your opinions!
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