EU – UK trade deal

January 16th, 2021 | Industry News

The less than snappily named UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement has finally been presented to parliament and will become law. It’s been in effect since 31 December but given the new UK lockdown the effect of many of its provisions remains largely untried.

Of most significance to the UK recruitment industry is the failure to provide automatic recognition systems for professional qualifications. This process means that medical personnel, chefs, architects, accountants etc will now have to demonstrate either competence or equivalency through mechanisms that have not, as yet, been designed, let alone tested. Applicant tracking system UK centred software will now have to cope with this factor. SAAS recruitment agencies are likely to have an advantage in this area, assuming they are not bespoke systems which may therefore require substantial reconfiguration. This is because software designed to be used online with ‘software as a service’ capacity is usually constructed to handle rapid updates and to integrate with other administrative systems.

Another element that may influence the UK recruitment sector is the exclusion of EU law and non-jurisdiction for the European Court of Justice, which has previously been involved in high level decisions about employment law.

There are also concerns about free movement of persons, which may substantially affect the contract recruitment sector. European gang labour has already declined, but limited free movement may also impact much higher level contract recruitment, such as temporary or acting executives, throughout all industries.

Working with external recruiters

The pandemic has accelerated the tendency to out-source hiring functions. But how do you find the right external recruiter? Trust is a key ingredient in the relationship and one area that many companies find difficult is not seeing ‘the whole field’ when it comes to recruitment. The argument is twofold: first, that employers ‘know what they want’ and may pick out a CV that the recruiter overlooked, second that failure to see the entire candidate range might limit an employer’s understanding of their place in the world and the nature and calibre of the candidate base.

Online recruitment software offers a distinct benefit to recruitment agencies working with external clients. This is because sophisticated recruiting software can cherry pick candidate information in ways that provide clients with substantial information about the candidate field without causing them to plough through hundreds of CVs, which is usually a large part of the reason they chose to use external recruiters in the first place.