The Brexit effect on SMEs recruitment strategies


Albion Capital as been reporting on SMEs (less than 250 employees) in the form of The Albion Growth Report for five years. This years’ online survey was completed by 1,095 senior decision-makers in July 2017 and was published on the 8th January 2018.

The findings showed that 50% of SMEs have changed the way they recruit as a result of Brexit, with 15% decreasing recruitment resources, 10% beginning to recruit in different ways and 9% having made redundancies.

In terms of the biggest barriers to growth, the ability to find skilled staff was cited as a priority behind broader political uncertainty and cash flow. They weren’t too concerned about finding unskilled staff. It will be interesting to see how they feel about this next year.

Specifically, the survey also highlighted where their skills gaps lie. 65% believe their business lacks expertise, 26% lack marketing talent and this is followed by concerns about business planning (19%), IT (17%), and software developers and technology specialists (17%).  Yet despite this, only 33% are currently hiring new employees.

How does this breakdown by geography and sector? London (73%), the Midlands (64%) and Scotland (63%) are most likely to feel they lack expertise; whilst areas that are recruiting the most are London (46%), the Midlands (42%) and the North of England (33%). The businesses who feel they lack expertise are media and marketing (74%), manufacturing (72%) and IT & telecoms (67%). Yet the ones who are actively recruiting are IT & telecoms (47%), finance and accounting (44%) and manufacturing (44%). Of those SMEs who are recruiting, the areas they are keen to recruit into are sales (9%), operations (9%) and software development and technology (7%).

Patrick Reeve, Managing Partner, Albion Capital, said, “It is now obvious that SMEs are becoming more strategic in their approaches to recruitment in response to challenges from the external environment, including Brexit.

“As the difficulty of finding skilled workers increases, in particular for sales, marketing and IT roles, SMEs are realising they must adapt. While there is evidence that recruitment budgets are shrinking, employers have also refocused their efforts on retaining existing talent, or being nimble and innovative to pursue new ways of finding staff.”

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

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The Brexit effect on SMEs recruitment strategies