Don’t shy away from the ‘B’ wordTo encourage applications from a varied and high-level talent pool, companies must work to remove the barrier of Brexit stigma during the 200-day countdown. By making clear reference to the political issue on their websites, businesses can put forward a clear narrative, including acknowledging the reality of Brexit and reassuring potential candidates that there will be opportunities to discuss related matters before and during interviews. This will allow businesses to project an impression of professionalism and corporate calm.
Be assertiveThis ‘waiting game’ period provides businesses with the perfect opportunity to discuss employment rights and recruitment strategies following the Brexit deal. Senior SME staff should take the time to outline clear hypothetical routes the company should take when a deal is reached. If these points have been agreed upon, they should be made clear on company websites and at interview stages with EU candidates. This should reassure prospective employees that the company has a clear and concise agenda on employment rights for EU nationals. This should include their stance on protecting the employment rights of EU nationals already employed with the company whilst also creating an attractive environment for candidates from Europe.
Be positive and vocal, even in a ‘worst case scenario’Don’t be nervous about talking about the future following the Brexit deal, it’s the reality. To fashion this reality in a semi-positive way for EU candidates, employers must remind them that if EU nationals are already employed with a British business, they are more likely to be able to remain in the country. This should help EU candidates remain positive about employment in Britain, and may encourage more people to apply for jobs idespite the political uncertainty.
Put your money where your mouth isThe post-deal landscape will likely be littered with mounting visa and ‘settled-status’ applications from European citizens wanting to remain in the UK. In order to help your best and brightest remain in the country – and in your company – employers must start budgeting for this probable reality now so they can lend a helping hand to those they value.
Positivity sellsNo doubt there will be numerous statements made by the government on the rights of EU nationals, including their rights to settle and work in the UK following the Brexit deal. Unfortunately for SMEs and all other businesses, they will have little choice over how these rights will look. The only thing they can do is something that businesses have always done; convince clients, including potential EU employee candidates, via their own media and within candidate interviews, that there are still great opportunities for them. Crucially, employers must ensure that they will do all in their power to attract and retain the best workers, no matter where they are from.
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