Here’s what Brexit readiness for recruiters might look like.

There are just days left of the transition period until the UK exits the EU. Despite the narrow time frame, few terms of the exit have been finalised. And yet… you have no doubt seen those adverts and billboards reminding business owners to ‘prepare for Brexit’. But what exactly should we be preparing for?

In this post, we take a pragmatic look at the measures recruiters should put in place before any Brexit outcome is revealed.

As you read this, please remember that we are saying this is what Brexit readiness for recruiters might look like. Until a deal is finalised we cannot be sure to what extent any changes may affect existing systems and agreements. However, we have taken the opinions of several experts, and this is what we have learned:

Data could be the biggest sticking point

Remember all of that compliance work you did back in 2018 for the GDPR? Depending on how the Brexit cookie crumbles, you could be asked to re-visit that workload again.

In many ways, personal data is the cargo and commodity of the recruitment industry – and we have all seen those lorry parks in Dover. But the good news is that every early indication has suggested that the UK will follow existing EU rules. And, as a result, this should not cause too many problems for British businesses on January 1st.

However, our legal statuses will have changed, and our companies will no longer be based within the EU. Strict GDPR legislation states that the personal data of EU citizens should not be passed to, transferred or shared with recipients outside the European Union. For this reason, it is advised that you take some essential steps to ensure basic data compliance obligations.

Here’s what we think you should do:

Map your data flows

One exercise you should definitely undertake is to map your data flows and keep a record of your processing tasks.

Your map needn’t be a complex network diagram. Just list your actions and interactions with personal data. For example:

1) ACTION: Candidate personal data collected
• SOURCE: Online Form
2) ACTION: CV Data parsed and stored
• SOURCE: eBoss recruitment database automation
3) ACTION: Candidate personal data retrieved in CV search
• SOURCE: Applicant Tracking System
4) ACTION: Personal data submitted to client
• SOURCE: Applicant tracking system

This provides you with a very simple, linear explanation of how you use personal data in your business. It doubles up as a checklist, which you can use to ensure you have necessary processing rights for each stage (consent, legitimate interest, etc).

If you are still unsure about your personal data responsibilities and GDPR after brexit, we have plenty of further reading on the subject.

Set a course for the future

Make tough decisions early. For example: will you be sourcing EU citizens as talent in the future? New earnings benchmarks for EU citizens in the UK may severely limit the types of placements that your EU candidates will be seeking in the future. The salary threshold of £25,600 will mean that many vacancies are no longer available to candidates working on an EU passport.

Rules are changing, and you must be aware. Employment and data protection rights cover EU citizens anywhere in the world. So, even if you stop actively looking for talent from sources on the continental mainland, you will still be exposed to EU legislation if you attempt to find employment for, or process the personal data of, EU citizens who are already living and looking for work within the UK.

recruitment software eboss in action
gdpr for recruitment

Modernise to stay ahead

So how do you keep track of all these new obligations? Use recruitment software to get this right. The eBoss applicant tracking system is well placed to handle these tasks. All candidate information is viewable from a single screen, and we offer integrated GDPR tools, too.

Changes in the Competition

But the right software is just part of the answer. Data and earnings limits may encourage you to redirect your existing talent searches a little closer to home. If this is the case, you may have domestic considerations to keep in mind,too. With these changes to worker rights in place from next year, the UK jobs market is being re-shaped.

Talent shortages in unexpected places

Certain sectors may no longer benefit from the steady stream of EU workers which they have relied upon in recent times. This could mean staffing shortages in sectors that have never struggled to find key workers in the past. Perhaps these industries could provide rich picking to recruiters in 2021?

Construction, nursing and care for the elderly are some industries which employ a large volume of migrant workers. Positions in these sectors do not always guarantee the minimum earnings threshold. With difficult economic conditions already existing, employers are unlikely to raise wages to meet the benchmark. Recruiters should be ready to source homegrown talent to fill positions usually popular with EU nationals. But the challenge is this: how to attract the requisite talent to new areas of the UK job market? Below are a few suggestions:

• Improve your candidate experience

The job market in 2021 could be something a little unusual for recruiters. After many years of skills as a sellers’ market, we may have finally closed the skills gap – albeit, in a less positive way than we may have hoped. Some analysts suggest that up to five million new jobseekers could enter the market in a new rush for work. Dealing with unprecedented high volumes of candidates could pose new problems for unprepared recruiters. Demonstrate that you are working for candidates’ best interests, and not shoehorning them into available placements.

• Update your applicant tracking system

A big chunk of the extra workload can be taken care of with a smart software system. Automate your talent acquisition and sales generation. Make searches safer and fairer. Keep candidate profiles updated and in the loop. You may be asked to double-check your data more frequently after Brexit. It’s so much better to have it all available to you with a single click.

• Look again at how you are marketing your recruitment enterprise

Where is the return on your costs for acquiring candidates or making sales? If you move your focus to meet a supply shortage in a new sector, your margins may change. Are you marketing effectively across the right platforms and channels for each role? Recruiting on social media may be a more suitable return on investment for some roles. But you won’t always find the right candidates if your efforts are not correctly targeted..


    Here’s what Brexit readiness for recruiters might look like.