Disengaged employees searching for overseas roles

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Britain leaving the EU has prompted some staff to start searching for new positions abroad

There has been a spike in the number of British employees searching for jobs abroad following the EU referendum, according to jobsite Indeed.

Since the announcement of the result on 24 June job searches on the website for roles outside the UK have doubled.

Mariano Mamertino, economist for EMEA at Indeed, said he believes Ireland could become a top destination for Britons looking for work abroad. “These could be early signs of British jobseekers’ collective vote of no confidence,” he said. “Given how close the EU referendum vote results were this is perhaps unsurprising. British employers’ loss is Ireland’s gain; with a significant spike of inbound searches from EU countries could Ireland overtake the UK as a leading talent magnet?”

A separate report from CEB has warned that Brexit will take its toll on engagement levels, which have already dropped over the last year. This could, the report warned, harm productivity and retention levels.

The quarterly survey of more than 1,500 UK employees found that just 16.4% are going ‘above and beyond’ day-to-day (a drop of five percentage points over the last year).

“The fact remains that workers want to try new things and add value but they’re not being afforded the opportunities to do so," said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB. "Employers in Britain cannot ignore this dissatisfaction if they want to keep their best people in the long term."

Kropp added, however, that uncertainty surrounding Brexit may encourage employees to play it safe and remain in their current roles, at least in the short term. “Despite workers not feeling motivated or energised the prolonged period of uncertainty post-Brexit will make people less likely to take a risk in moving jobs,” he explained. “We can expect more employees to sit tight, at least for the next few months.”

The CEB report also found that the UK’s downward trend in discretionary effort is echoed in labour markets worldwide; global discretionary effort hit a four-year low this quarter, led by Asian countries such as China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Kropp stressed the need to engage current workforces. “As recruitment budgets contract and open headcounts freeze employers need to focus their efforts on re-energising the existing workforce,” he said. “By offering development opportunities organisations can fill skill gaps and employees can tackle challenging new tasks and projects.”

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