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Brexit will force businesses to plug staffing gaps with tech, says report

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit, coupled with a weaker pound, is making it hard for businesses to attract temporary workers, and pushing them to plug staffing gaps with technology.

That’s according to a new white paper published by Adia, titled ‘Future of flexible work – recruiting in the now economy’. The paper says that businesses will need to reach quality ‘flexible’ workers faster and in greater numbers, through social media recruiting and app-based technology.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy suggests there are close to 2.8 million people working in the ‘now economy’ in the UK. Those involved are generally younger than the rest of the population, with over half (56%) aged 18 to 34.

They are made up of those who choose to earn their main income from flexible work; casual earners who take on flexible work on the side of permanent positions; individuals who take on flexible work in addition to permanent work as a financial necessity, and those who have to pursue flexible work but would like a permanent position.

Adia CEO Ernesto Lamaina said: “If you take the hospitality sector, for example, a recent study by KPMG warned that the sector would need to recruit another 60,000 workers a year on top of 200,000 staff already required to meet its needs if EU migration is restricted. 

“With all trends now suggesting that the ‘now’ society will grow, businesses must move with it to ensure they are recruiting the kind of quality staff they need to operate.

“We can change this by matching people to jobs; by giving employees the flexibility to choose the jobs they like or that pay well; by embracing technology and AI in recruitment and building trust through things like rating systems. This also means workers are gaining more experience and learning new skills and that has to be a good thing.”