Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

Human resource directors and business leaders are thinking of Brexit’s effects on their recruitment process as well as on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.   According to a LinkedIn survey  in April 2018, 96% of the respondents said that Brexit had affected their hiring strategies.

For 56% of the recruiters in the survey, sourcing and hiring job applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds is a major factor.  Will Brexit make it more difficult to recruit for them?

When the British voted to leave the European Union, one of the reasons was their worry over immigration. After the referendum, racist crimes increased and the fear to be the next victim reached the workplaces. 

Employers in the survey said that Brexit has made it more difficult for them to find staff. EU net migration was down to a six-year low last year, a sign of ‘Brexodus’, or the departure of companies or people from the U.K. after Brexit.

‘Brexodus’ is expected to accelerate as immigration plans for EU nationals are being released by the U.K. Home Office.  The situation is not a good sign since EU nationals come from many different cultures.

Green Park Executive Search Senior consultant, Cordelia Osewa-Ediae thinks that so far, after Brexit, a significant number of people from different backgrounds are uncertain about their settlement status and jobs. If the workplace environment causes workers to feel excluded and marginalized, affecting productivity and workplace unity.

But not all is bad within the Brexit stratosphere.

First, two years after the referendum, anti-immigration sentiments have subsidized in the U.K. People who considered ‘immigration and asylum’ as the top issues in the U.K., has dropped from 56% in June 2016 to 27% in October 2018.   

So, Brexit may not have damaged diversity and inclusion in businesses as initially feared. 

Second, some Brexit advocates are pushing for Global Britain after Brexit. Global Britain aims to attract the U.K its Commonwealth partners and other non-EU migrants.

Lastly, diversity is not just about lingo-cultural aspects but is basically about embracing differences. It’s a good thing that after Brexit, at least business leaders think more about workforce composition.

For now it appears the corporations are now thinking more about diversity and inclusion measures than ever before, and the cause of that is Brexit.