Can Contractor Recruitment Thrive Post Brexit?

I’m hired as a Super HR Contractor with a reputation that precedes me.  I swoop in to help an HR department in distress, leaving it a more organised and efficient place. My X-ray vision allows me to analyse a department’s processes and responsibilities at a micro-level. I can also rapidly absorb and see the wider vision of overall company structure. I then apply my independent powers of logic and reason to reshape and restructure for the greater good.

Because of my varied workplaces, I’ve a wide and varied understanding of company hiring and policies. After Brexit, I was called upon to allay potential fears of many other contractors about what that means to future recruitment opportunities. I like to share good news, so here are five reasons contractor recruitment could be boosted by Brexit.

1.    As the Dust Settles, Opportunity will Arise

Fellow Super Contractor Dave offered his opinion about ways in which Brexit won’t impact on contractor mortgages. He explained what it might mean in regards to mortgages and the potential benefits as a result. Company recruitment could be seen as sharing some of the same challenges and opportunities as the housing market. Both paused to take stock while there is uncertainty, but are also aware there will be new opportunities to seize. Something myself and my fellow Super Contractors will always do with both (gloved) hands.

2. Contractors Ready!

We’ve seen companies cut back on spending and hiring of permanent staff before in times of economic doubt and instability. The post Brexit report issued by the Institute of Directors, states a third of businesses intend on pausing their permanent hires.[1] Like The Flash deciding to slow down, the brakes are applied to permanent hires. What then tends to occur is greater engagement of the contractor sector. This was evident by contract placements booming during the 2008-2014 financial crisis. In fact, within the inner super sanctum, “the theory is the last financial crisis ignited a contractor revolution in the UK.”[2]

This was when myself and other Super Contractor’s cut our teeth and really proved our worth.

3. Agency Agents

We may be two years away from full EU exit but a lot can happen in that time. There are fears that the UK’s access to skilled migrants will suffer as a result. However, the smaller potential talent pool means more roles for current UK based contractors. It’s also ripe opportunity for my allies in contractor recruitment agencies. They will fill these roles with local talent and tempt those uncertain about their current standing in a company, towards businesses offering greater job security.[3]

4. Super Apprentices!

I always make a point of suggesting to companies to hire those in apprenticeships to suit filling short term positions. Such appointments are ideal to carry out lower level tasks at reduced costs. They also reward the apprentice with the valuable experience they are eager to engage in. As a result of skilled migrant caps, it may be that we will see much wider investment placed in home grown talent. Training and apprenticeships schemes may expand to meet a much needed skills shortfall in IT & digital sectors for starters. In fact if you know anyone looking to upgrade their skills, check out specialist boot camps such as the Data Science ‘Boot Camp’. Forward thinking agencies, such as MBN solutions, are even offering free places worth £7,000.

5. Codename IR35

There’s a challenge that every contractor must overcome – presenting their status to The Taxman. This is to determine whether they are a contractor or a permanent employee for tax purposes thereafter. George Osborne spearheaded changes to come into place next year meaning the recruitment agency placing the contractor would shoulder this responsibility. With him and Cameron both now out the picture, it now looks unlikely that a stronger stance and proposed changes to the IR35 will now occur.

This is potentially good news for contractors on a number of levels. It has been suggested that if HMRC’s planned changes to the IR35 do go ahead then contractor incomes could fall as much as 13%[4] It will also possibly be counterproductive for contractor friendly companies as a flexible contractor led workforce will now be increasingly important. This view is shared by Chris Bryce of IPSE who believes that that cutting red tape around contractors is vital, stating that “The government’s proposed changes to IR35 should now be dropped completely.” [5]

Some company staff often herald the arrival of an HR consultant as a potential portent of (Dr) doom. I’m definitely not the bad guy, or girl however! I’m here to impart, improve and power up that department and others in the company. A protector who whips the company into shape to shield it from harm.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice.

[1] Sonovate, Five Positives for Recruitment from the Brexit, July 2016,

[2] Exchequer Accountancy, Did the recession trigger a new contractor culture in the UK? October 2014

[3] Recruiting Times, Brexit – bad for permanent staff but great for contractors, say recruitment firms June 2016

[4] iQ Contracts, Contractor wages could fall 13 per cent if IR35 changes go ahead, July 2016

[5] Contractor UK, Call to axe IR35 and T&S reforms amid Brexit, July 2016