The first call came shortly after the election. Probably a one-off I thought... then a few more after the inauguration. And then a lot more over the last few days. To explain, I run Propel, a recruitment consultancy for the digital world. And these calls were from the United States. And they wanted out.
The recruitment market is a great barometer for how the digital industry as a whole is doing. We can see the growth areas at a very early stage by noting the number of roles we have in that space and importantly, how much companies are willing to pay. On the other side, we can hear when the first alarm bells for a sector are being sounded. To me it looks like we are seeing the digital industry's reaction to Trump's first days in charge and it’s not positive.
I'm not suggesting that the entire digital industry is heading out from the West Coast or New York but there are some significant factors in play. Take a look at Twitter posting 'Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always.' Take a look at Google warning its employees not to travel while the immigration issues in the US remain; take a look at Mark Zuckerberg saying that the US is 'a nation of immigrants' and take a look at AppNexus calling upon the president to reverse his policy on immigration.
Despite Trump meeting with the major tech players and his attempts at reassuring them, this is the first time we've seen what looks like a unified response. Some commentators have gone as far as suggesting that the tech giants may even leave the US for Canada.
It's at times like this we should be proud of how London opens its arms to the tech and digital industry and how inclusive it is. Go to any industry gathering and I can guarantee you will see a mix of nationalities and religions. You will see a mix of LGBTQ, male, female, black, white and Asian. We welcome talent from all over the world to our great city and encourage them to make London their home.
As we head into ever more turbulent times it's important to remember that we should uphold those values and as a digital industry display values of inclusivity, tolerance and respect.
Melina Jacovou is chief executive and co-founder of Propel