Comment on ONS labour stats: 70% of businesses agree Brexit will intensify war for talent


Matt Weston, managing director, Robert Half UK comments on today’s ONS labour market statistics, showing a record high of employment:

“The UK jobs market remains strong with intensifying competition for top talent contributing to the rising number of people in employment. The low rate of unemployment is further proof of the strengthening of the ‘buyer’s market’. Employees with in-demand skillsets are benefiting from competitive salary negotiations as businesses are paying more than they initially planned to secure their favoured candidate. This war for talent is also reflected in the most recent wage growth figures, which show a 3.3% rise, well above the current level of inflation. This trend is set to continue as employers look to plug a widening skills gap in the race to adapt to an increasingly digitised business landscape, which is already dramatically disrupting traditional business models and roles.

“Our research found that 70% of UK business leaders agree that Brexit will make it harder to attract talent that can support business growth. As the talent dilemma intensifies, it is now more important than ever for businesses to adopt flexible hiring strategies. The employers that will thrive in this fast-paced market are those that can act quickly to identify and attract quality candidates and offer benefits beyond remuneration, like training and flexible working. The companies that get this right will be able to persuade in-demand professionals to join their firm over another, and increase overall productivity levels by providing a collaborative, flexible workplace.”