UK businesses must make workforce planning and analytics a priority to navigate the post-lockdown recovery
In less than six months time, the EU Withdrawal Bill transition period comes to an end and, with it, businesses could face restrictions on access to EU skills and labour. Whilst this was a critical discussion point for many businesses four months ago, the pandemic has diverted focus.
According to the CIPD more than half of UK businesses employ EU citizens. In light of this, TrueCue is urging all UK businesses to start leveraging workforce data if they are to manage the risks the end of the EU Withdrawal Bill transition period on 31st December 2020 imposes on talent.
James Don-Carolis, Managing Director at TrueCue comments: “The predominant focus for most organisations over the past three to four months has been dealing with the intense short-term challenges of COVID-19. At a time when most UK-based employers have their sights set on post-lockdown recovery, there is a very substantial risk that post-Brexit migration restrictions will result in skill shortages and recruitment challenges.
“EU migrants are an incredibly valuable source of labour across all skill levels, particularly where businesses face challenges attracting sufficient numbers of UK candidates. At present the government’s proposed post-Brexit immigration policy treats EU and non-EU migrants on the same basis. In other words, removing the freedom of movement provisions of the Single Market. This means that in just six months time, employers could face new costs and extra administration if they want to employ EU migrants.
“To avoid risk, it is crucial businesses build a clear understanding of the skillsets within their current workforce and the organisation’s evolving skills demand – workforce planning in this context is paramount. With the end of the EU Withdrawal Bill transitional period fast approaching, it is critical businesses leverage the workforce data available to them within their business, in order to plan for the recovery.
“There are a wide variety of tools that employers can use. For example, people analytics can be utilised to understand the size, composition and competencies within the workforce so businesses have an understanding of the potential skills shortages that may be created within their organisation. Also, organisation network analysis (ONA) can provide insight into where communication and knowledge reside in the workforce, which can help to quantify the impact of flight risk and increase the speed and effectiveness of onboarding.
“Ultimately, organisations that have a deeper understanding of their workforce, have clarity on their evolving needs and can prepare for both short and long-term shifts in the supply of labour, will be better placed to grow throughout the post-lockdown recovery period and beyond,” Don-Carolis concluded.