Brexit - how could this change the talent landscape for Oil & Gas businesses?

The Oil & Gas industry is considered to be a global industry, more focused on macro issues like commodity price and cost reduction rather than regional affairs. However, we are starting to see that geo-political events can have a significant influence on the market and this means taking Brexit into account. 


Even if the industry is known to be global, Brexit will affect companies in the UK and therefore, it is vital that the potential ramifications of Brexit are planned for and addressed. 

There are several worries in regard to Brexit and the Oil & Gas industry but one of the main worries is if these companies will be able to move existing talent around globally post Brexit. 


Highly Skilled Workforce 

One of the reasons the Oil & Gas industry is seen as global is because they tend to have a highly-skilled and mobile workforce. One of the consequences of Brexit is that there may be a level of increased restrictions on the movement of workers between the UK and EU (and vice versa). The Brexit report on Oil & Gas takes into consideration that 5% of workers employed in the UK Oil & Gas industry are EU nationals and they are extremely skilled. 


The problem is not necessarily losing the current workers but having an increased amount of administration, the cost of keeping them and even the ability to hire more skilled workers in the future. 


Cost Management 

A report commissioned by Oil & Gas UK last summer voiced that WTO style tariffs could add around £500m, post Brexit, which essentially is double the annual trade bill with the EU. This highlights the potential increased costs of trade post Brexit and how tariffs may impact trade. 


Moreover, there could potentially be an increase in red tape for customs procedures which would be a problem because, most times the equipment is important for safety and production. Any delays or extra costs would create major issues if not properly planned for. 


The recruitment industry is dependent on the health of the economy and as a result, Brexit has a lot of recruiters worried about what the outcome could mean for organisations and candidates; especially in the Oil & Gas industry where there is a lot of worry already. 


New Regulations 

Businesses want certainty on what Brexit will hold for them before they make any big decisions or investments i.e. hiring. Due to the fact that Britain no longer falls under EU Regulations, it may not run under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which companies may not favour. 


WTO rules may make it easier for London to strike its own trade deals and Britain may struggle to secure favourable terms from countries like the United States and China. 


Big companies are already starting to move their companies into other countries just to avoid the no deal Brexit. Some believe there will be a shortage of jobs or staffing shortages with companies that rely on EU citizens as core employees e.g. recruitment. 


The changing face of recruitment 

The uncertain market and any changes that may arise could result in a change in the way recruiters do business. If there is a hiring shortage, they may face more of a challenge in sourcing new talent with nervous candidates who are reluctant to leave their current jobs. 


Recruitment professionals may end up playing a more informative role in the future, advising potential actions with Brexit. By assuring current workers that a limited number of things will change post-Brexit, Oil & Gas industries may be able to retain their talent. 


Of course, it is uncertain what will happen if there is no agreement reached when Britain leave the EU for good, but companies are always adapting to the changing face of the recruitment company.