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BREXIT - A dirty work for the "HR Manager" - Workforce Planning

Britain is due its formal exit from the European Union set on 29 March 2019, EEEEK it isn’t long. Better get planning! But what can you actually do?

Here are a few tips on helping you to plan your workforce when this date finally arrives and into the following years. Remembering you are going to need your "Key Talent" to continue delivering on your business plan to ensure delivery to customers/stakeholders/partners over this challenging time.

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Some organisations are very worried regarding Brexit. You may have covered many of the points below but some organisations are not so affected and remain unclear of what the impact will be. So what key steps do we recommend? Some will appeal to you, some may not - but have a look at the following which could give you a good steer for your organisation.


1. Know Your Workforce

  • Collect personal data - If not done already, find out how many EU workers you have.

  • Ask employees to update their HR records.

  • Run voluntary and mandatory surveys using software other than your own HR systems (e.g. Survey Monkey)

  • Have a "bring your passport to work" day where managers check and take copies of employees documents.


2. Considering internal and external factors to your organisation - Carry out a PESTLE Analysis.








3. Scenario Planning and Risk Assessment

  • Try to consider the top scenarios that may affect your organisation and weight the likelihood of occurrence - this assists you to review options sooner rather than later and to challenge assumptions.

  • Compare the current workforce strategy with what you may require in the future and create an action plan for change.

4. How to Address Recruitment Gaps

  • Build rather than buy – develop your internal team using succession planning to allow you to fill vacancies from your existing workforce.

  • Redeploy – Use different teams with spare time to deliver projects.

  • Restructure work - Consider short or long terms organisation changes.

  • Improve retention – Be the place people are dying to work for.

  • Improve attraction – As above!

  • Use Contingent Workers – Consider freelance or agency workers.

  • Find a new labour source – Keep abreast of which countries we can utilise for new entrants.

  • Outsource – Could another business do it better than you?

  • Collaborate with others – Working with other stakeholders or even competition to consider your options.

  • Automate – Make better use of technology to reduce your workforce requirements. While many roles and processes cannot be easily automated, even small changes can free up your workforce.

  • Relocate work – Could you “offshore” the project or department Do we want to be advocating this? I think that it has been discredited and many organisations have made a ‘big play’ of the fact that they no longer do it.

  • Apprentices?

  • Build links with colleges and universities.   


The outcome of Brexit is still very unclear at this stage. The very best you can do is to be slightly ahead of the game with plans in place and at least know where your organisation and HR Team stands.

We hope you enjoyed our article please call us on 0345 4599710 or email where we will be happy to support you.

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