Further evidence of a growing post-Brexit preference for temporary Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting professionals has emerged from South West-based recruiter Juice Recruitment. Since the referendum verdict in June, the recruiter has recorded a 27 per cent surge in demand amongst employers for temporary/contracting placements.
Businesses across the South West region have been trying to evaluate the impact of the Brexit vote on the local and national economy.
A significant indicator of emerging trends in times of economic uncertainty is data from the recruitment industry. In the two months following the “Leave” vote, Juice Recruitment, which has offices throughout the South West region in areas such as Cheltenham, Bristol and Bath, has taken the views of many employers. Most report that they do not intend at this stage to freeze recruitment.
Juice’s Managing Director, Emma Summers, said that this level-headed approach is consistent with the resilience demonstrated by businesses across the UK, most of which appear to be determined to maintain a “business as usual” approach.
The Juice team members, she said, have not detected any decrease in demand but have noticed “a significant increase” in the number of temporary, contracting and interim roles being registered.
She added: “Anecdotally, the decision makers in the businesses we work with are determined to look to the future albeit cautiously, bolstering their workforce with temporary staff where possible.”
Ms Summers observed that it is still too early to tell what impact the vote to leave the EU will have and emphasised that minimising uncertainty is essential to prevent the economy and labour market from being adversely affected.
Hiring contractors and temps appears to be an effective means of ensuring that business activity continues despite uncertain times, a development noted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC’s) Director of Policy, Tom Hadley.
Commenting on the last two REC/KPMG Jobs Reports which, in line with Juice’s findings, recorded slower growth in permanent placements during June and July and continued growth in contractor/temp placements, Mr Hadley said: “Uncertainty during the run-up to the referendum saw many employers suspend permanent hiring and instead bring on temporary contractors or interim staff to hedge against potential changes to their growth prospects.
“The best thing for businesses right now is clear and calm leadership and as much clarity as possible on what the post EU future will look like.”
Ms Summers added that the next six months will prove vital. A pre-Christmas rise in demand for staff is likely, and by year’s end, further clarity should emerge as to how and when Article 50 will be triggered – an event that will have an impact on many businesses’ long-term plans.