New research from Morgan McKinley’s 2019 Salary Guide for the UK found that despite overarching Brexit concerns, employer hiring plans remain strong.

The study, conducted by the recruitment consultancy firm, uncovered a relatively moderate drive in the level of hiring in the UK across certain sectors including Accounting and Finance, Compliance, Financial Services Operations, Legal, Strategy Projects and Change and Tax last year.

And the driving force behind the level of UK hires is the recruitment process. It seems that the majority of interviewing processes carried out were swift and succinct as employers recognised that long-winded applicant processed would likely turn candidates off and send them packing towards competitors. These factors alone will have contributed to stabilised hiring plans for the foreseeable future despite growing Brexit-related uncertainties dampening the employment market.

Cost-cutting exercises were also evident within organisations as they continued offshore functions to cheaper locations, while other businesses have taken steps to move contractors to permanent locations to better their organisations ahead of Brexit.

The Salary Guide shed some light on the increased importance of strong talent attraction and retention with a revival of new benefits packages and counter-offers to attract candidates. Many employers have recognised the required steps to establish stability in their workforces as the UK prepares for Britain’s leave date next month.

David Leithead, Chief Operations Officer of Morgan McKinley UK said recruiting in the professional market endured a bumpy and uncertain ride last year and this is partially attributed to Brexit.

He explained: “Brexit caused many hiring managers to hesitate, but it also caused others to press ahead and strengthen teams to deal with the new world order; companies seemed to see 2018 as a critical time to secure talent in the run up to March 2019.

“There was also plenty of business-as-usual hiring in response to new regulations, with GDPR being a key theme in the first half and MiFID II continuing to be a focus for many.”

“Whilst job seeker numbers and advert responses were up, this didn’t signal a switch to a buyer’s market – talent remained king, in short supply and fiercely contested for.”

However, not all industry sectors have been able to bolster strong hiring plans. The report found that recruitment in the banking, financial and professional services sectors across London, the Home Counties and the South West remained resilient in 2018 – there were slight decreases in professionals actively looking for work across Compliance, Financial Services Operations and Strategy, Projects & Change when compared with 2017 figures.

The study cites that this can be partially attributed to organisations doing everything that they can to retain employees with a view to stabilise the workforce.  

The research found that many professionals are ‘jumping at any opportunity to work on Brexit projects’ as it incurs as a once in a lifetime opportunity and is a topic that many Brits have a vested interest in.

Leave a Reply