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What Brexit Has in Store for Your Procurement Team



Three years since the referendum, with one Brexit deadline surpassed and the next shrouded in confusion, it can be hard to know what lies around the corner when it comes to Brexit, although we can be certain of one thing – uncertainty. 

As the October 31st deadline approaches, institutions like the CIPS are warning of huge disruptions in the supply chain if overseas goods are stopped at British borders for just one day – is your procurement team ready for this mammoth challenge? 

Brexit plan amendments 

Procurement team brexit

When Brexit was announced, businesses accepted that it would go ahead: the details of which would be worked out in the following 18 months. And although the intricacies of the possible effects have had to be somewhat estimated up until now, many organisations put in place Brexit contingency plans, but how many have been reviewed?  

According to this CIPS document, 85% of procurement professionals believe that their companies do not have a formalised Brexit plan in place. 

With constant changes regarding overseas trade deals and the Irish backstop, has your organisation kept afoot of these changes? 

Contingency aids like the British Chamber of Commerce’s Business Brexit Checklist are available to help steer businesses around the legal actualities, but how much thought is being given to the production floor - what effect does Brexit have the potential to inflict upon team morale? Upon the culture of your business? 

Effects on Recruitment 

Before the word Brexit had ever been uttered, there were trends in the recruiting sector that have only been exacerbated by its inception. 

It is a fact that we are in the tightest employment market most of us have ever witnessed in our lives, unemployment is at a 40 year low and in the higher-skilled areas of the supply chain, there are more job openings than there are (good) candidates to fill them. 

Coupled with this the dramatic 95% fall in EU nationals joining the UK’s workforce in the post-referendum years, supply chain organisations have suffered in finding the employees they need. 

The CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2017 found that three-fifths of employers anticipated difficulty in recruiting senior skilled and technical employees in the coming years – but frighteningly, this is where your procurement team needs to be robust in order to survive throughout Brexit and beyond. 

What Skills Are Needed to Ride the Brexit Storm? 

brexit and your procurement team

  • Shrewd accounting and financial foresight – uncertainty in trade markets is the leading cause of financial instability for businesses. Is your accounts department constantly checking the financial health of your suppliers to prevent a breakdown in the procurement of goods and materials? 

  • Experienced negotiators – not only will they have to negotiate contracts in the light of new and untrodden paths, they must also possess the negotiating expertise and strategic foresight to be able to assess when existing contracts need to be extended or terminated.  

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  • It might be the case that current EU contracts need to be negotiated further afield – does your current negotiating team have the ability to secure contracts from non-EU overseas sources? 

  • Strong leaders – we still aren’t sure of the full impacts that Brexit will have upon your staffing, but there is a high chance of disruption – one Guardian article quoted  that seven in 10 EU workers will not be eligible to work in the UK after Brexit in more than one of its  many proposed formats.  

Existing teams, onboarding and recruitment will look different after Brexit, and managers and leaders will need to be resilient and tenacious in order to be able to deal with possibly  challenging staffing issues and robust to deal with the uncertainty. 

Are You Ready? 

It is better to be prepared for Brexit sooner rather than later. As executive recruiters who specialise in purchasing and supply chain recruitment , we are adept at staying one step ahead of recruitment trends – we know that no business can survive without a strong team, and Brexit is a better reason to think about the calibre, and future, of your team than any. 

Is there a gap in your current procurement team? In all honesty, does your current team or are your current team fully equipped with the level of experience needed to face the challenges that Brexit is threatening? 

How Can a Specialist Executive  Recruiter Help?  

Procurement recruitment brexit

Recruiters have been called upon more frequently in the current skills-short market where the best candidates are having to be coaxed out of their current positions.  

With Brexit jeopardising the numbers of procurement candidates even further, executive recruiters with a long-established network and talent pool are in increasing demand. Your business will benefit from partnering with an experienced executive recruiter who not only specialises in procurement and supply chain, but also has a track record of sourcing candidates not only from the UK but internationally too.  

A recent survey found that after Brexit, over 50% of UK businesses would be dissuaded from hiring overseas workers – but if the procurement and supply chain specialists that you need are not in the UK, how can your business get around this issue? Your recruiting partner needs to have a crucial depth of understanding and an innovative and creative approach to hiring procurement and supply chain professionals both from the UK and overseas – this will only come from recruiters with consistent, long established and extensive UK and International recruitment expertise  

About Martin Veasey Talent Solutions 

At Martin Veasey, we have been working with blue-chip and SME businesses for over 35 years, both in the UK and around the world.  

We are an independent consultancy company with highly qualified staff, including many degree and Masters educated consultants, and graduates of professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the British Psychological Society.  

We have unique expertise in hiring for senior roles in Board & Senior, Supply Chain & Logistics, Purchasing & Procurement, Manufacturing & Engineering, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Sales, Human Resources, plus many more.  

If you are looking to work with a highly accomplished recruiting partner, you can call us on 01905381320 or get in contact today.  


Intrigued? Let’s talk

To find out how our tried, tested and trusted insight and innovation can deliver you the brightest sales and marketingtalent call
01905 381320 or email

I am highly recommending any candidates to work with Martin Veasey Talent Solutions, as they understand the candidate career objectives and match the skills required with the desired employer.