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Brexit increasingly influencing recruitment, says HBAA

Brexit’s impact on UK hospitality and events industry recruitment is increasing but its influence on business is down year on year, according to the results of a new survey by industry association, HBAA.

The second annual Brexit survey carried out by the HBAA found that a year on from the referendum, only 2.3% of respondents said that Brexit had had a major impact on recruitment. Twelve months later that figure has risen to 9.6%. Those saying that it has had little effect have also increased from 17.4% to 23.1%, while the proportion of members seeing no impact on recruitment has correspondingly gone down from 80.3% to 67.3%.

When asked which positions are proving challenging to fill, 90.6% say entry level posts, while 62.5% are having difficulty with middle level roles and 56.2% report problems filling senior positions. However, as yet 86.3% of organisations surveyed have not changed their recruitment policy since the Referendum vote.

Juliet Price, consultant executive director of the HBAA and a member of the Event Industry Board’s Talent Taskforce commented: “These results give a clear picture of the growing issue that the industry is facing and why the Talent Taskforce initiative to provide evidence to government and secure support in addressing the potential consequences is vital and urgent.”

Brexit’s impact on business, however, according to those surveyed, is waning. Over 57% now say it has had no impact, up from 47.7% a year ago.

The number saying that it has had a significant impact also went down from 7% to 5.8%, and those saying it has had a slight effect also declined - from 45.3% to 36.5%.

Over 20% say that the Brexit impact has increased in the last year, 63.5% report that it has been the same and 15.3% have noticed less effect.

Louise Goalen (pictured), HBAA chair adds: “The consensus among members commenting on these trends is that the immediate impact two years ago was a rise in costs due to the significant drop in sterling, and a more cautious attitude among clients towards booking events. Over the last 12 months these challenges seem to have settled down slightly and businesses have adjusted. Now everyone is warily waiting to see what happens next. It will be fascinating to see what everyone thinks 12 months from now when we will have been out for three months!”