Recruiters voice opinions on the Scottish Yes/No Campaign

Recruiters voice opinions on the Scottish Yes/No Campaign
16th Sep 2014

 As the Scottish referendum looms, many firms recruiting in or into Scotland are putting on a brave face when questioned about how a vote either way will affect their business.  reports the recruiter

Some have told Recruiter there could be little impact on their businesses, as they recruit into countries in Europe or worldwide and are therefore used to dealing with different regulations and currencies.

Others have said it is very much a wait and see situation – that whatever way the vote goes, there would need to be a lot to sort out to meet currency and tax requirements, for example.

Martin McCrum, director of multi sector recruiter Aspirare Recruitment Scotland, said there seemed to have been a lot of “scaremongering” in the country and initially he was going to vote ‘no’ but was now “more swinging to yes”.

“I think the no camp in Scotland has been very, very negative and I think there has been a swing to yes because of that.”

A yes vote from him would not mean stopping business with the rest of the UK though.

“It’s not a question of sentimentality, it’s not a question of a 300-year-old relationship. UK and Ireland will always be our neighbours and trading partners.”

David Mains, director of Scotland-based IT recruitment company Enigma People Solutions, said the “perceived wisdom” was that a vote either way would make “no real difference”.

He said Scotland’s use of the pound was a “non issue” as “we invoice in whatever [currency] our clients tell us to invoice in”.

Helen Smith, chief executive of Newcastle-headquartered oil & gas recruiter Oil Consulting, said that for her global company, Scotland is just one piece of the puzzle.

She said her company mostly placed temporary contractors into Aberdeen or offshore-based roles and feedback from them showed that they were concerned about the potential for changes in the tax system.

She was anticipating tax increases regardless of the outcome of the vote and said that was something the company’s contractors were “considering quite closely”.

She said the company’s Scottish contractor base was “very, very keen to be at home for the vote” though most seemed to be undecided on which way they would vote.

Hays’ boss Alistair Cox recently told financial publication This is Money that independence could lead to a hiring boom as Scotland rushed to plug gaps in bureaucracy and services, although he has been unavailable to talk to Recruiter.

McCrum said whether the country become independent or not, there would be a big turnout at the polls and the vote looked like it was going to be a “very close thing, so there could be half the voting population unhappy with being in the union or vice versa”.

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