Brexit won't affect number of people hired according to almost half of UK businesses

New research conducted by totaljobs offers insight into opinions of both employers and candidates following the EU Referendum.

There is certainly reason for jobseekers to be hopeful, as June figures from the totaljobs Employment Index (TEI) have revealed that the number of jobs posted on the totaljobs website is up 4 per cent from May to June, showing UK employers are still actively hiring. However, despite this, almost half (48 per cent) of UK jobseekers are more concerned about finding a job now than before the EU Referendum.The research was conducted by totaljobs in July 2016, following the EU Referendum, and surveyed both employers and candidates. It reveals that 44 per cent of all candidates believe there will be more competition for jobs following the EU Referendum, while 28 per cent say that Brexit has already had an impact on their job search. Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) have become less selective about the jobs they apply for, compared with 16 per cent who are now more selective. Of those currently employed, 34 per cent are worried about their job security as a result of Brexit, whilst half (52 per cent) are not concerned.Unfortunately, many employers have not yet taken steps to ease employees’ concerns. In fact, 72 per cent of employees say their employer has not spoken to them about the impact of Brexit. Just 18 per cent say their employer had talked to them about its impact on the business, and one in 10 have been spoken to about the impact of Brexit on them personally. One in four (24 per cent) businesses said they haven’t communicated with employees on the impact of Brexit as they don’t know what they should be saying.It does seem, however, that employers are much more confident about the economic outlook than candidates. Nearly half (44 per cent) of businesses said that Brexit wouldn’t affect the number of people they hire, compared to a quarter (23 per cent) who said they are likely to hire less. Whilst almost a third (30 per cent) stated they had already noticed the impact of Brexit on their business, the majority of employers said they won’t delay hiring for roles (54 per cent) and that it is unlikely they will have to let people go (61 per cent).Most employers don’t think Brexit will have an effect on their ability to attract and retain the best talent (61 per cent). When asked for their views on a number of post-Brexit scenarios, the vast majority do not think there will be a recruitment freeze (65 per cent) or a salary freeze (78 per cent) – good news for jobseekers and the economy generally. Looking slightly wider, only 21 per cent of businesses say they are now less likely to hire EU nationals than before Brexit, and 21 per cent think Brexit will have no effect at all on their businesses.

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John Salt, Group Sales Director at totaljobs, said, “The Referendum and Brexit vote has stirred up an amount of uncertainty among candidates and some employers. What we’re seeing is that jobseekers are now slightly more concerned about their ability to find or keep a job. Nevertheless, what we’ve also found is that this uncertainty is not matched on the same scale by businesses, who in general remain pretty confident of their ability to attract and retain staff. This business confidence is certainly backed up by data from our totaljobs Employment Index report, with job postings on totaljobs up month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year showing businesses are still eager to keep on hiring.”He continues, “Despite this confidence, it’s important that the Government does all it can to steady the ship and push forward a business-as-usual agenda in these uncertain times. Some responsibility must also fall on employers, who we’d urge to talk to their employees and update them as best they can. This can be as simple as a conversation about the impact of Brexit on the company or its plans for hiring. Adopting a proactive approach will reassure employees, helping them to stay productive, engaged and loyal to the company.”When asked which industries they think will be most affected by Brexit, candidates noted banking (44 per cent), manufacturing (36 per cent), construction (35 per cent) and finance (32 per cent). The totaljobs Employment Index (TEI) shows that banking, insurance and finance jobs are down 5 per cent month-on-month and quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). However, the totaljobs Employment Index has also shown that job postings in the construction industry are actually up 9 per cent from May to June and up 6 per cent from Q1 to Q2. The ratio of applications per job, a measure of job competitiveness, is also up 30 per cent year-on-year in the banking, insurance and finance sector, and 16 per cent in the construction sector, showing that candidate demand is outstripping vacancies.

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