Recruitment and The Psychology of Brexit

Recruitment and The Psychology of Brexit

19 Jan 09:00 by Alvaro Camacho


I bet you’re thinking “Oh no, not another view on Brexit!” What with the ‘B-Word’ on the tips of most people’s tongues and dominating most broadsheet newspapers. I thought I’d write from a slightly different perspective (I hope!). My view, to pinch the much over-used phrase, is to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On Recruiting’ and to adopt the stance that we should continue doing what we ‘re doing until we’re told otherwise… Let’s talk about how leaving the European Union might affect the thinking behind moving from one role to another.

Deciding to leave an organisation will always have an impact on the people around you. You might be in the middle of training a young graduate – what will they do without your guiding hand? You could be abandoning a client during a critical change program – what would they do without your organisational skills? Maybe your boss wanted to promote you to lighten their load – how will they cope when one of their trusted lieutenants leaves?

The truth is that when we care about the people around us, there is always a slight sense of guilt when we decide to leave them behind. We have to do the right thing for ourselves, and it takes a great deal of courage to make the transition into an unknown company. When you decide to leave, it is nearly always with a glance behind you to remember what you had.

On the other hand, maybe you haven’t left a job for a while. You are happy in your role, you are gradually moving up the ranks, and that sinking feeling as you walk out the door is a long and happily distant memory. At least it was a distant memory until recently…. On June 24th, the UK made the decision to leave the EU. As we all woke up on that Friday morning, we all had the feeling of walking out of the door, whether we voted for it or not.

It is far too early to say what history will make of this day, but it is fair to say that half of the UK population are in a period of collective mourning for what might have been. This is a pretty wacky suggestion, but it may well even have an effect on their loyalty to their current employers. When you have gone through such an emotional rollercoaster, suddenly leaving anything seems that little bit more meaningful. Could this possibly be translated into the future psychology of the job seeker, with it being that little bit harder to persuade people to change roles?

Let’s hope not.

The UK accounts for 0.88% of the World’s population ( and we invented the steam engine, penicillin and the www. We’ve won wars and come through numerous recessions, whilst managing to remain one of the most powerful and influential countries on the Globe. It will take time but surely we can make the best of Brexit as we’ve done so often in the past when faced with adversity?

Let’s not allow the scaremongering in the media to make the impact a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, let’s adopt the optimism that maybe the grass is greener on the other side.