Marcin Czyza founded a platform connected disappointed “remoaners” and European businesses seeking candidates with UK experience. The accelerated growth of this talent search platform may foretell a brain drain for the UK.
Following Theresa May’s highly anticipated speech about Brexit negotiations, the Prime Minister declared “no deal is better than a bad deal”, and re-iterated her mission to take Britain out of the single market.
The speech immediately set off several large banks and fintech start-up founders to declare their intention to relocate parts of their businesses overseas, but the question is where would be the next hub for business growth?
According to former commodities trader, Marcin Czyza, Europe is the natural choice. Cities like Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris have thriving start-up communities, with investment funds to match. Czyza’s experience working in the Netherlands, studying in Vienna, and originating from Poland made him a natural expert for many of his British clients who sought advice on job opportunities beyond the UK.
In a few short weeks, Expatexit.com was born.
“Expatexit.com was created to help UK-based professionals who wanted to expatriate after the disappointing Brexit vote,” Czyza tells GrowthBusiness.
The platform serves both individuals looking for a career in Europe, and businesses who are seeking candidates with UK experience.
“Very often, I’ve heard that Brexit was just the icing on the cake. Many UK professionals have been thinking about relocating for their own reasons, but after the referendum, it became clear. Many think that Brexit will negatively impact the British economy, and I agree with that. The sooner you make the decision to find your new chance abroad, the better for you,” he says.
After the PM’s speech earlier this week, Czyza says his site had four times the usual number of registrations, which suggests the possibility of a brain drain in the UK.Immediately after the UK’s vote for Brexit last June, tens of thousands of British jobseekers were clamouring to look beyond the EU for work, with English-speaking countries dominating the most popular choices for would-be emigrants.
Data published by job site, Indeed, reveals that the share of Britons searching for work in the US jumped by 77 per cent in the aftermath of the referendum result. More recently, a poll conducted by online moving platform Movinga revealed that 50 per cent of 5,000 British nationals between the ages of 25 and 35 said that they will look at relocating over the next five years.While experts suggest that the overseas job search spike may be an emotional response to a vote that divided the nation, it suggests the stirrings of a growing trend of UK-based talent being lured away to dynamic labour markets in English-speaking countries.
“If a hard Brexit has a negative impact on the economy, there’s no reason to stay in a country which will be struggling to create jobs and help its professionals advance their careers. In my experience, the UK produces the most experienced talent in finance, IT and many other sectors. There’s no need for all that talent to stay somewhere that won’t take them far,” says Czyza.
Potential critics may view Expatexit.com as a catalyst for UK’s impending talent drain, but he remains confident that it’s natural to expect the best talent to gravitate to where there are opportunities.
“It’s not my fault that people see opportunities abroad and are worried about what can happen to their plans. Let’s not forget that many people came to the UK with the prospect of making a great career, and many will continue to do so while staying in the UK. But it’s about the trend. There will be more growth in continental Europe and it’s normal for people to go where possibilities are greater.”
According to Czyza, this is also symptomatic of the stirrings of xenophobia that the UK has seen ahead of the referendum. “This is what they wanted in the UK. Many foreigners feel less welcome in the UK now, so that could be a reason for them to seek new opportunities somewhere where they are more welcome.
“90 per cent of registrations on Expatexit.com are from foreigners who have lived and worked in the UK for years. They’re from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the US, Brazil, Columbia, a whole mix of nationalities. These are people who have a lot to offer but may feel like it’s time to move on,” he explains.
Of the thousands registered for jobs in Europe, only 10 per cent are UK nationals. Even so, Czyza believes that this could be problematic for the country. “Personally, I’d like the UK to reverse its decision. The economy will suffer and the best people will be thinking about leaving. For UK nationals, working in Europe’s biggest cities isn’t difficult at all. Language isn’t a barrier anymore. There are so many positions you can hold by only speaking English, especially in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Barcelona.”
As the platform continues to grow, Czyza thinks it may be time to let Expatexit.com evolve into a recruitment agency in its own right. “That’s been the plan from the very beginning,” he says. “With so many HR departments of European companies looking for candidates with UK experience, and with more and more professionals looking to leave the UK, I’m quite close to developing Expatexit.com into a recruitment agency…perhaps in the next three months or so.”