Top expat talent now reluctant to relocate to the UK

Published:  1 May at 6 PM
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Continuing uncertainty about the direction Brexit will finally take is affecting the numbers of expat professionals applying for relocation to the UK.

According to recently released research, with just under a year left before Brexit finally kicks in, human resources professionals and recruitment agencies are complaining their hiring strategies are having to be regularly revised. Some 50 per cent of firms which took part in the study envision an even more devastating effect is on the way. The research, carried out by LinkedIn, reflects trends already seen in the jobs marketplace, with major negatives including potential candidates’ reluctance to accept positions in the UK.

Once the statistics are broken down in country specifics, the picture becomes clearer, with 37 per cent of recruiters noting a decrease in hiring from Italy, 35 per cent seeing reluctance from France, 35 per cent citing falls in hirings from Germany and 32 per cent reporting less interest from the Netherlands. A fall in hirings from Spain was noted by 29 per cent of firms surveyed. Unfortunately, the same trend is becoming evident in decreased hiring from South Africa, Canada, the USA and Australia. The study makes it clear that international expat professionals don’t want to risk becoming victims of Brexit.

Close to half of the recruitment agencies taking part in the study confirmed Britain is now far less attractive as an EU27 expat relocation destination, with 39 per cent adding the same applies to applicants from many other world countries. London in particular has lost its appeal due to projected Brexit effects, with the study proving the UK’s EU divorce is the most important factor impacting present day hiring strategies. It’s now obvious that the UK is about to take a back seat in the struggle to recruit the brightest and best overseas talent.

Sectors feeling the most serious impact on hiring of specific talent are banking and finance, education, healthcare, manufacturing and construction, all of which are essential to maintaining the UK’s lead as a 21st century state. Recruiters believe the way forward is to concentrate on company brands by establishing them as market leaders irrespective of their UK locations. Another strategy is to plan new hirings along the lines of what will be needed in the near future rather than what’s needed right now. It remains to be seen whether any strategy will be able to beat out the threat of far stricter and less easily obtained visas, work permits and family permits for those relocating.
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