Brexit is impacting recruitment, HBAA survey finds

Brexit's impact on recruitment in UK hospitality and events industry is increasing, but its influence on general business has reduced.

Brexit is having an increasing impact on recruitment in the events and hospitality industry in the last 12 months, whereas business as a whole in the sector is less affected. These are the key findings of the second annual Brexit survey carried out by the HBAA.

Juliet Price, consultant executive director of the HBAA and a member of the Event Industry Board’s Talent Taskforce said: "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.

Findings around recruitment issues include: 

  • On the first anniversary of the referendum, 2.3% of respondents said that Brexit had had a major impact on recruitment. 12 months later that figure has risen to 9.6%

  • Those saying that it has had little effect have increased from 17.4% to 23.1% while the proportion of members seeing no impact on recruitment has decreased from 80.3% to 67.3%.

  • Entry level positions are hard to fill according to 90.6%, 62.5 % are having difficulty with middle level roles and 56.2% report problems filling senior positions.

  • Despite this, 86.3% of organisations have not changed their recruitment policy since the Referendum vote.

  • Findings around whether Brexit has impacted businesses as a whole:

    • 57.7% now say it has had no impact, up from 47.7% a year ago.

    • The number saying that it has had a significant impact has decreased from 7% to 5.8% while those saying it has had a slight effect has declined from 45.3% to 36.5%.

    • 20.2% 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, HBAA chair added: "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."

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