Will greater uncertainty caused by the forthcoming general election have a detrimental effect on hiring levels or will the Prime Minister’s strong leadership give hirers fresh impetus?
After David Cameron announced the referendum 14 months ago, the permanent jobs market stagnated. The uncertainty of the implications of a possible Brexit vote meant our clients were unsure of what lay ahead for their business operations, growth and hiring plans.
That said, as soon as the result was made public on June 24 th 2016 it all changed. The phones were ringing with force again – across both temp and perm desks. What was interesting was that the uncertainty of the implications of Brexit on business were unchanged. The only difference was the assurance of knowing the result.
And now, more political uncertainty – or is it? I’d argue that we’re presented with a different set of circumstances this time around; it seems highly likely that conservatives will get back into power, quite possibly with a larger majority. And because the business world prefers the comfort that a government with a larger majority can provide, I’d be surprised if businesses react negatively.
There’s no doubt that Prime Minister May is displaying strong leadership, and her calling for this “snap election” is a bold move. These are the broader implications as I see them:
More respect from Europe
The fact she is seen to be reviewing the implications of her Brexit negotiations so far ahead will gain her further respect from her European peers before she’s even begun.
A stronger negotiating hand
If she wins, she’ll justifiably be in a better position while safe in the knowledge that she’ll still be PM until 2021, two years post-Brexit.
A cleaner Brexit
The current government will be implementing changes with Brexit in mind, without the risk of a new government coming in immediately afterwards.
Less anarchy in the ranks
The effects of anarchic forces will be felt less than they otherwise would have if the government wins a strong majority.
While pessimists might argue that the impending election will bring increased caution when it comes to hiring, the reality is that all indicators point to a positive result for the conservatives. It also reinforces Prime Minister May’s position as a strong leader. All this leads to greater confidence amongst businesses, demonstrated by the pound strengthening immediately after the announcement.
In addition, we’re seeing politics have a far lesser effect on business decision-making than ever before. After all, if businesses are to succeed, they must furrow their own paths and show proactivity. Those waiting on market forces to make decisions may well risk losing market share.
In short, I foresee the announcement to have little influence in hiring volumes or strategy. If anything, it’s a positive for the short-term and could result in even greater recruitment market stability in the medium-term.
About the author: David Morel is the CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies. David founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both employers and job seekers on best recruitment practice.