Immigration was one of the hot topics for the Leave Referendum campaign, and access to suitably skilled Talent has become one of the key employer concerns following the vote. Most companies are working on the assumption that Brexit negotiations will deliver some form of agreement with regard to EU nationals working in the UK. Whether this agreement will expand to full freedom of movement or will require a new UK/EU visa process is likely to be a source of significant debate.
Whilst many companies are cognisant of how many non-EU employees they have (often because they have had to manage the visa sponsorship process), EU freedom of movement arrangements meant that few employers actively tracked the mix of EU and British citizens in their employment. In readiness for potential changes, technology leaders need to work with HR to understand more about the nationality composition of relevant technology teams.
“74% of tech workers think Brexit is going to make the economy worse”  Business Insider UK 
In the immediate term, following the Brexit vote, there has been a sharp increase in the number of EU and non-EU residents applying for British citizenship. Applications for citizenship impose limits on the number of days’ applicants can be out of the country in any given year and so where employers have a requirement for frequent employee overseas travel, this may impinge on an employee’s ability to fulfil their business role and citizenship application.

Consider these key questions in relation to your Talent Strategy and Brexit:

  • Do you know what percentage of your Technology team are EU (non-British) citizens?
  • Do you know what percentage of your Technology team are non-EU non-British citizens?
  • Looking at your business critical roles, what is the nationality of the incumbents? Do you have a future succession plan in place?
  • Do you have EU citizens eligible for British Citizenship and should you consider encouraging/supporting their application as part of your contingency planning?
  • Considering your current recruitment plans, should you revisit where you are hiring certain types of resources given Brexit?