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Trump: Good or bad for the UK recruitment industry?

David Morel, CEO/founder of Tiger Recruitment

To what extent do major changes in the political landscape affect the UK recruitment market?

2016 has seen Trump win the US election against the odds and before that the UK voting for Brexit, which caused a change of leadership in the UK and a cabinet re-shuffle. 

There is talk of further surprises to come as a number of elections are held across Europe over the next 12 months. 

So, what does all this mean for the UK recruitment industry?

I have spoken with MDs and CEOs covering different recruitment sectors over the last month and most have said they have seen little or no change in hiring since the Brexit decision and subsequently the result of the US election. It seems that the financial services sector has been most affected, although the number of requirements has picked up to normal levels over the last couple of months. Based on our own activity at Tiger Recruitment, the third quarter was the best of the year so far and I fully expect the fourth to match it. 

This is clearly very positive news and I confidently suggest that many recruitment managers are both surprised and relieved. But will there be a sting in the tail given the triggering of Article 50 before the end of March 2017 and whether this will take place as expected? As much as one can accurately forecast, I see no reason why hiring patterns should change in the immediate term beyond any normal seasonal fluctuations. I say this on the condition that Article 50 is triggered as timetabled. It is also important that as the UK Government reveals its hand in the following negotiations, particularly around free trade and free movement of labour. It also need to provide a sense of how the negotiations might develop and the rhetoric around it, which is broadly positive.

I believe that Trump is a good result for the UK recruitment industry. The incoming US administration seem to be more motivated to start talks about free-trade agreements with the UK than the outgoing one. Perceived global instability caused by the results of the US election coupled with this suggestion should persuade global businesses and particularly investment banks to retain a full presence in the UK. Political instability in Europe should rubber stamp this thought process and the UK recruitment industry should benefit accordingly.

To return to my original question about the effects of changes to the political landscape on the recruitment industry, I think we have seen something quite remarkable and quite reassuring since the Brexit vote. We have seen a confidence of business leaders across a broad range of market sectors to “continue as normal”. There is an appetite to do business, an entrepreneurialism across companies of all sizes to say to politics – “you guys can interfere as much as you like (whether there is intention or no intention), but at the end of the day we have a business to run, employees to look after and a global landscape to compete on which transcends national and to an extent international politics”. Yes, fiscal interference will still have an effect and confidence is key too; BUT it seems that at the moment, UK companies are taking a very “British” approach and the UK recruitment industry is broadly benefitting from this.


David Morel is the CEO/founder of Tiger Recruitment. Morel founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both employers and job seekers on best recruitment practice.

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