Trump win may benefit business and recruiters in the long term

Recruiters expect hiring intentions across the world to be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s election as US president in the medium to short term. However, his victory could benefit US construction and manufacturing recruiters, as well as UK recruiters if Britain can quickly strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

Wed, 9 Nov 2016

Recruiters expect hiring intentions across the world to be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s election as US president in the medium to short term. However, his victory could benefit US construction and manufacturing recruiters, as well as UK recruiters if Britain can quickly strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

In the early hours of this morning it emerged Republican Donald Trump had beaten Democrat Hillary Clinton in the country’s presidential elections.

Commenting on Trump’s victory, Peter Searle, chief executive of global workforce solutions provider Airswift, told Recruiter the election of ‘protectionist’ Trump as president will have an adverse effect on world recruitment.

“The one thing that can be said is one [candidate] was an international figure and the other is significantly more nationalistic, which is one of the reasons one would assume he got voted in to power. If Trump comes into power as he is, we can see that he will he will be far more protectionist in his outlook and his view is ‘American jobs for American people’; and of course that will have some restrictions on trade.

“I think in the short term it will have a slightly negative effect on people’s desire to invest, and cause some uncertainty, which is always a negative thing for the UK recruitment industry and the world recruitment industry really.

“If you look at the stock markets, they have plunged. I think the macro view will be one of uncertainty about what his policies are going to be. Regardless of a potential trade deal, which will obviously positively affect the UK in the medium to long term, in the short term, the uncertainty will cause a slowdown in recruiting as people wait to see what his policies will be – both domestically and overseas.”

On a more positive note Brian Wilkinson, chief executive at Gattaca, told Recruiter Trump’s victory could be good news for recruiters exposed to US infrastructure sectors.

“Both Clinton and Trump were very assertive about infrastructure spending during the campaign, and in fact Trump referred to infrastructure spending specifically in his acceptance speech this morning.

“Clinton promised a five-year $275bn (£221bn) programme to deliver infrastructure; Trump said he would spend at least twice as much and that it would be financed with debt. If anything like that amount of money is spent on repairing and replacing US infrastructure that will be a massive boost for their economy, and it will be very good for us because we have just launched our Matchtech engineering infrastructure service line in the US.”

And infrastructure recruiters in the US may not be the only ones to benefit, with Wilkinson expecting manufacturing recruiters to benefit from the US dollar plunging in value following Trump’s election in the same way Sterling has post-Brexit.

“Arguably you could have the UK and the US as two highly competitive countries in terms of manufacturing goods and actually starting to beat off some of the competition of what has traditionally been seen as lower-cost countries.

“What we don’t know is what will happen on trade barriers and tariffs which would wipe out that benefit.”

Trump’s election could also be good news for the UK recruitment space, with Trump representatives claiming Britain will be offered a free trade deal before the rest of the European Union if the Republicans win the US presidential election only last month, Wilkinson adds.

“We need some friends and allies on trade deals if there is to be a hard Brexit. He took a very different position to the one President Obama took, so we have to see that as a positive if he is as good as his word,” he said.

James Pepe, director at executive search firm Poseidon Search, told Recruiter he anticipates a deepening of the “special relationship” between the UK and the US following Trump’s election.

“I do think he’s going to try and forge an even deeper relationship with the UK depending on what happens with [Prime Minister] Theresa May and if she calls an early election. But I don’t think our relationship with the US is going to change; in fact, it’s going to get deeper.

“We may well be in front of the queue in terms of trade.”

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