2017 HR predictions: Recruitment a likely challenge

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Recruitment in 2017 is set to be more challenging for the government and UK businesses

A third (30%) of employers expect post-Brexit recruitment to pose a significant challenge in 2017, according to research from Cascade HR.

While one in five (20%) respondents don’t foresee any Brexit-related challenges for them in the coming year, managing organisational change (13%) and staff morale (10%) were cited as significant potential post-Brexit challenges. Nearly six in 10 (59%) said they will rely on technology to help them manage this change.

Cascade’s CEO Oliver Shaw said that employers should view change as an ongoing state rather than a one-off Brexit-related project to manage. “We must acknowledge that change is now commonplace within the business environment,” he said. “While we must all develop plans to equip ourselves with the challenges – and opportunities – that Brexit may bring, we cannot become fixated on this issue alone.

“HR departments, in collaboration with senior management teams, need to analyse the ‘temperature’ of their workforce and develop strategies to overcome all of the changes that may lie ahead.”

The CIPD too has warned of the numerous challenges over the horizon in 2017. Acting chief economist Ian Brinkley cited slower economic growth, a modest rise in unemployment, fewer new jobs, and downward pressure on pay as the UK continues to suffer from low productivity and continued uncertainty about Brexit.

“The Brexit vote didn’t cause the economy to fall off a cliff edge in 2016, but there’s been a clear loss of confidence in international markets signalled by the fall in the pound and slowing inward investment,” he said. “The single biggest thing the government could do to help in 2017 would be to give businesses greater certainty over the direction of travel, the residence status of migrants already in the country, and the likely extent of restrictions on new flows of migrants.”

However, Brinkley suggested that productivity could be one area where the UK shows improvement. “Once again in 2016 UK productivity has failed to turn a corner. But we should expect a better year in 2017, thanks to investments announced in the Autumn Statement,” he said.

“However, while The National Productivity Investment Fund is a step in the right direction it contained no specific measures to boost workforce skills and development. When the supply of migrant workers coming into the UK from the EU is likely to be restricted it’s a massive oversight to not take the necessary steps to invest in developing the skills of the UK workforce.”

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