Brexit Fears Cause Slowdown in Hiring by Multinationals in London

Jun 12, 2016

  • Drop-off in US nationals applying for highly-skilled worker visas
  • Senior talent would inevitably shift to other European business hubs if Brexit occurs

Multinational companies have reduced the number of senior executives they are bringing into the UK as a result of fears over the impact of Brexit, says global executive search firm DHR International.

There has been a significant drop off in the number of highly-skilled worker visas applied for by US nationals in Q1 of 2016 compared to 2015 and 2014. DHR International says that this is seen as a key indicator of the flow of senior talent at multinationals into the UK.

There were 1,399 applications from US nationals for highly skilled visas in Q1 2016, down from 1,490 in Q1 2015 – a 6% year-on-year fall.

DHR International says that slower hiring in London may be offset by multinationals shifting some staff to other European business hubs such as Frankfurt, Paris or Brussels.

Brexit fears cause slowdown in hiring by multinationals – drop-off in US nationals applying for UK skilled-worker visas


Anna Marietta, a partner in the European Financial Services Practice Group at DHR International, says: “Uncertainty over Brexit means that some major companies have put their plans to hire senior talent in London on hold – additionally some internationally mobile executives may be more hesitant to relocate to the UK.”

 “Whether or not Brexit happens the vote is already causing uncertainty and hampering growth for multinationals operating in UK.”

“However, this slowdown in hiring presents an opportunity for companies who are prepared to take on new staff in the UK. Fewer active hirers should mean a larger than usual pool of talented executives available for new roles.”