Recruitment agency serving Milton Keynes, Northampton and the surrounding areas

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How your business can survive Brexit

OK, so emigrating to another country isn't an option for all of us. So, we need to face MORE uncertainty around Brexit but that's after we've endured another general election. We don't really want to focus on the details around the General Election - but here's a good article from the BBC  just in case you do.

What we'd like to focus on is how a business can survive Brexit. In the 16 years since I started Ascendant Recruitment, I've lived by one principle and it's seen me through the worst recession in UK history and I'm hoping it will see me through the next one!

That principle is flexibility. There's no doubt about it, the UK has never faced greater uncertainty and many critics of Brexit feel that it's impossible to predict what the likely scenarios are. But if, as a business, you aren't able to respond to changing market conditions, then you're putting yourself at risk of not making it through the post-Brexit world. 

Here's a few things I think are important that will help make sure your business is able to remain flexible and adapt during these changing times:

  • Do a Brexit Impact Assessment. You'll need to think about how this will impact how you sell your products, purchase your materials or your staff.  Understanding the risk to your business will help you adapt your business model, providing you with the ability to weather the Brexit-storm.
  • Be a good employer. If you employ EU nationals, make sure you are able to support them to remain in the UK if they are eligible.  Make sure your HR team is up to speed with the details of the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • Have a solid recruitment strategy. If you rely on agency staff, you may wish to think of a model that allows you to scale staff up and down as you need them, but offers you some stability from a workforce who's loyalty to their recruiter may be tested if their life in the UK feels under threat.  Contract workers who sign up for a fixed period might be a better solution to a team who work on a day-by-day basis
  • Attract the best talent. If your business is going to survive, you will need an engaged, skilled and motivated workforce. Make sure you've looked at your company culture, the package and benefits you can offer and ensure you're progressing the right people - this will help to get your business in to the best position possible and make sure you're as recession-proof as possible.
  • Diversify and adapt. If part of your business is propping up another, then consider how long this is viable for. Work out strategies to make this area profitable or look at stopping this area so that you can focus on what you are successful at.

We can help you to limit the risk of Brexit impacting your business by advising you on your recruitment strategy. We've been doing this for a long time and have seen a lot of creative ways to minimise risk to businesses. For an informal discussion, please contact me on or send me a message on Linked IN.

Later this week, we'll focus on how candidates can position themselves to get the best possible job as the Brexit debate rumbles on.

Why an age-friendly culture matters

The landscape of work has changed massively over the last decade for many reasons, including technological advances, globalization, the so called 'gig economy.' 

But something that hasn't been as widely documented, perhaps, is the fact that our population is ageing. Projections forecast by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 'in 50 years' time, there are likely to be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over - a population roughly the size of London.' 

You might be wondering how an ageing population affects the workplace. Well, according to the ONS 'employment rates have doubled for those aged 65 years and over between 1993 and 2018, and increased by almost one-third for those aged 50 to 64 years.' That's a huge amount of change to occur in just over two decades. 

With this in mind, it's vital that businesses foster an age-friendly culture that supports every individual regardless of their age. Here are some tips on ways you can make your business more age-friendly. 

What does an age-friendly culture look like? 

If you have a large number of older employees in your workforce, it's important you consider their wellbeing, and are continuously looking for ways to improve the environment and ways of working. When it comes to creating an age-friendly work culture, it's more simple than you think. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your workplace suitable and inclusive for all ages? (e.g. toilet facilities, desk space, signage etc.)
  • Do you provide equal opportunities to your staff irrespective of age?
  • Do you - and your employees - listen and respond to the voice of older people, and enable people of all ages to actively participate?
  • Is your workplace a friendly, respectful and welcoming place for all ages?
  • Could you do more to promote flexible working so that your older employees could work a shorter week if they wanted to?

It's important you speak to employees and ask them to share their own views and thoughts on the matter. Encourage feedback and you'll create a more open space that doesn't shy away from criticism. Your staff will also feel more valued too.

How to avoid age discrimination in the workplace

Encourage senior employees and managers to talk to their team - and older staff members, in particular - about any areas that could be improved within the business. Approach the subject with open questions, such as:

  • Are we doing enough to accommodate older employees?
  • What could we do differently?
  • How do you rate our facilities?

You could also ask them to list three things that could be improved to harness a more inclusive environment. Discuss what changes you can make to accommodate their ideas, and if necessary, create a focus group that meets regularly to track the progress. This encourages transparency within the business and makes senior employees accountable for auctioning change.