11 Aug 2019

Brexit X Nomatophobia

Gavin Beale

Brexit (snooze). Given the result and immediate weakening of our beloved currency and FTSE 100, describing the now distant memory referendum by its alias seemed to add notoriety to the situation.

Now is a time to galvanize. Now is a time for solidarity, positivity and most certainly not a time for fear, which is what the term (I no longer use) represents.

“fear of names or other words because of their meaning”

Hereon in I refer to Br@#it simply as the ‘people’s choice’. Be it an informed one (to vote leave) at ballot time, or an opportunity seized by individuals venting frustration at how the UK has been run for the last decade, the majority3 spoke on that day, in that moment.

Impending economic storm aside, what intrigues me as a recruiter is the knee jerk reactions by a business or organisation when it comes to their growth, using recruitment as a barometer.
June figures show a 6%-18% job growth in every UK region last month, according to Lee Biggins, founder of job site CV Library.

At Twentyfour Recruitment, we saw a handful of clients put their vacancies on hold, however these were all very senior roles (£80k plus salaries). Candidates in the £20-50k bracket remain in demand and so far, we have seen no slowing in job flow.

Good old British pluck may well be playing a part at the moment. Most people are sure that this uncertainty is not just from our end, but on the EU’s side too. After all, neither the EU or Britain know how exit and subsequent new deals are going to pan out.
When the rain comes, do you raise the umbrella and continue your journey, or do you run for the nearest shelter and hide until the heavy grey clouds pass? Brits are typically the umbrella kind.

Let us assume that Earth plans to continue spinning on its axis and that plants will continue to photosynthesise the suns light, for a moment.
Freezing recruitment and limiting operations is no straight forward choice. A business who trades with overseas suppliers might need a re-jig, or an enterprise from France may have to rethink whether their London offices should close, for example. But ultimately everyone still needs to eat, and any displaced workers might well find new opportunities created where other businesses have themselves altered their operations in line with the changes brought by leaving the EU.

Caution and shrewdness will play a part and no question, all businesses will be on red alert. Being objective, nobody (government included) knows what our next step as a country will be in terms of trade agreements and legislation brought in to weather the storm.

Sure, we’re going to be forced into altering our economic setup, but surely it has to be viewed now as an opportunity to turn our home-grown lemons into lemonade?

‘Teach 24’ (our original agency name) was founded in 2011, mid recession. We’re still here, albeit we’ve evolved and are certainly quite far removed from our original form.

What use is fear when you are simply a passenger on the Brexit ride, not the driver? Life continues and businesses still need to exist. So for now, I say we pay attention to how so little has changed and focus on how to extract wine from sour grapes!