By Huw Martin
In our Edinburgh office we have a small and comfortable staff room. It has pictures of staff events, sofas, some tables and a few posters/pictures with our values on the walls. Nothing too remarkable but at least is a small space to get away from the desks and for teams who sit on different floors to mingle, communicate and collaborate.
Today, over a lentil soup (dieting MD), a few of us discussed the impending ‘Brexit’ debate. We’ve had many heated debates in our place over the years (none more so than Indy Ref) however we’ve all remained friends and today wasn’t as heated but with the backdrop of Donald Trump “debating” on the TV, it made for some interesting chat.
It got me thinking about the potential impact other factors impacting our country could have, with a particular focus on talent and skills for our workforce. So, without further ado, here are a few recruitment-related ‘exits’ to think about:
The sheer speed in which the city of Aberdeen has gone from being a cornerstone of the UK economy’s ‘fuel’ to a semi ghost town is frightening.
Our team recently went up to Aberdeen and ran a small candidate event to try and show that there are opportunities for employment outwith the city as there are so many skilled workers who are out of work, about to be made redundant or are fearing for their livelihoods.
If the oil price stays at the current levels or worse drops further the future of a number of large organisations and their workforce looks more and more bleak.
Finexit (FS Companies)
I don’t think we in the central belt truly can comprehend the feeling in Aberdeen at the moment. Its on TV in the local news so we hear it but we’re not feeling it yet down here. The closest comparison I can think of would be if all of the FS companies in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling were to move out of Scotland; what would that mean to the employees, families, supply chain and so on?
Its a risk that hopefully won’t come to pass, but as technology advances and the numbers of humans needed in these companies will inevitably reduce as will the need for lots of large offices.
Unicornexit (The ‘Unicorns’)
How can we help ensure that the Skyscanners and Fanduels don’t leave Scotland due to the perceived lack of talent or other unforeseen external forces?
We’re all extremely pleased to see that the technology industry in Scotland is thriving and the ecosystem for start-ups is here with the likes of Codebase, Techcube and a number of others in the pipeline. However, without doubt, if we can’t find the people due to a combination of increased demand, high expectations, increasing salaries etc. then companies will be (and in no doubt are) contemplating their exits.
Gradexit (International Students)
This is still a big one for me. Why oh why change the visa rules to tighten up immigration for highly skilled workers when they are the ones we really want to fall in love with the country they have studied in?
We want top talent from anywhere in the world to learn at our top-class academic institutions, but most of them leave after graduation due to the rules. CHANGE THE RULES! If they’re good enough to study here and pay the fees to come, then let them plant their roots, develop their companies, and contribute to the economy. Otherwise, what’s the point in letting them study here in the first place?
Politics is potentially dangerous territory to tread on when it comes to our company blog, and I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I hope this has kicked off a few interesting discussions. I suppose my view is, like so many industries that are being disrupted left, right and centre, nobody can really afford to rest on their laurels and assume that everything is going to be peachy.