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Why hiring contract staff could be the best response to Brexit


So with Brexit now nearly two months behind us people are looking around and surveying the fallout. While there is plenty of doom and gloom to be found in the press, evidence on how Brexit has impacted business and recruitment suggests a rosier picture

For example in the run up to the referendum, and the weeks following it, there was widespread fear of a fall in employment and even a recruitment freeze amongst UK firms. But thankfully this hasn’t materialised. A Bank of England survey revealed two thirds of businesses are pressing on with recruitment undeterred and even in the financial sector, which many thought would be hardest hit, there is evidence things are nowhere near as bad as expected. For many things still look buoyant.

But while much of the negativity now seems unfounded there is still an air of uncertainty while we all wait to see how Brexit will pan out. You could be forgiven for thinking twice about hiring new permanent staff until the dust has settled – uncertainty can make some more risk averse.

But holding off on employing staff can present risks in itself. Life has to go on while the politicians sort out the finer details of the referendum result. And it appears this won’t be a quick process. Article 50 has to be invoked, negotiations have to be had and then there is the very real possibility of a slow, drawn out withdrawal from the EU. Some suspect it might never happen at all. But while these protracted negotiations unfold in the coming years, firms needs to fulfil their obligations – current and scheduled projects need to be completed, the show must go on!

Which is why the answer for more cautious employers could be to hire contract staff. This looks like the most strategic approach to take in the current climate. In fact it could even prove to be advantageous to your business turning the challenges presented by Brexit into opportunities.

Here are a few reason why:

  1. Increased staffing flexibility

Recruitment agencies offer you a pool of workers available as and when you need them with minimal hassle. This gives you much greater flexibility to hire people based on the fluctuating needs of your business in a potentially fluctuating market.

There’s also the added advantage of being able to hire staff with a unique skills set for a particular task. This is an ideal way to match people to projects without the obligations that usually go along with hiring permanent employees. It’s also a great way of seeing who is the best fit for your business.

  1. Outsourced payroll

Hiring temporary staff to keep your company running smoothly as we ride the storm of Brexit has the added advantage of no payroll to deal with. Other admin and HR headaches you’re usually responsible for – pensions, sick pay, redundancy, interviews can all be efficiently dealt with behind the scenes. This gives you more time, flexibility and control over your budget which leads us to the next advantage of working this way…

  1. Greater control over spend and budget

Recruiting contract staff gives you greater financial control in an ever changing economic environment. If things are looking up good people can be retained and more staff can be hired. If things take a dip people can be let go without the worry of redundancy packages or drawn out notice periods. It’s the easiest way to gain control over scaling up or down as the wider economic picture takes shape. While you may not have control over the bigger picture following Brexit you can take control over your how your business responds and becoming ultra flexible is one very good way to do it. It means you can easily adapt to the whatever the future holds.

  1. Temp to perm options – ‘try before you buy’

Hiring contract staff doesn’t have to mean you have to keep them on temporary contracts. Many employees are motivated to work hard to prove themselves in a temporary position and you might discover some exceptionally talented people you want to keep on board. On the other hand you might realise someone is not a good fit for your firm and want to let them go. Either way you are in a great position to choose how to proceed.

Plus, if everything pans out well and the economy doesn’t take a tumble after all, you will have a ready made temporary workforce you can switch to permanent almost instantly.

If you’re an employer working in the Property Design or Maintenance Sectors and wish to discuss your current resourcing needs or plans for future expansion please get in touch with one of the Hunter Dunning team – consult@hunterdunning.co.uk or 01243 779789.

About me:
I am the Managing Director of Hunter Dunning, specialising in the recruitment of architectural and interior design professionals throughout the UK.  Feel free to get in touch if you are considering a move in the future, we would love to hear from you.