The secrets to success for jobseekers and employers in Tax

Morgan McKinley 15.04.2019

Organisations have offered especially high salaries to the most desirable professionals in an attempt to ensure they fill vacant tax jobs with top quality talent.

Employer trends seen across Tax at the start of 2019

It’s safe to say that teams with annuity type services (tax returns etc.) with returning clients have performed well; it’s notable that these services are not dependent on the political environment. The private client tax market is still growing, and despite the crack down on non-domiciles, advisory services are still in demand, along with tax risk management which is seen as an add on that clients look for to compliment and safeguard planning, subsequently increasing revenue.

Within professional services as a whole, there has been a significant increase in the interests of employee welfare, with benefits and working lifestyles on offer to make employment as comfortable as possible. This is particularly evident when talking to candidates as their demands for flexible working have been much higher than we’ve previously seen. Additionally, employers are paying high salaries and counter-offers have been rife to ensure they hold onto their top talent. As a result, some professionals have effectively been priced out of the market.

How to attract and retain Tax professionals

Beyond flexibility in the workplace, the following benefits have also been noticeable across all areas of Tax, inclusive of General Practice firms:

  • Sign-on bonuses
  • Covering clawback fees
  • Attractive pension schemes
  • Generous holiday allowance

In addition, as part of the hiring process, firms have been clear in mapping out prospective employees’ routes and time frames for promotion or progression so they have clear expectations for their future. Firms are also offering study support to encourage employees to further their careers and extend their skillsets.

What have professionals done to succeed in their roles?

Across most disciplines, there has been an increased advisory focus, as well as the demand for business development skills. CTA is somewhat a necessity for private client tax professionals, along with commercial acumen. Indirect tax professionals also require strong advisory skills and possessing HMRC experience has been considered highly attractive.

What has influenced Tax recruitment?

Professionals have been increasingly cautious to seek new opportunities due to an uncertain market, primarily caused by Brexit (or the lack thereof) - this hesitancy has been true across most areas of tax. However, we would continually stress to candidates who are considering a move that if companies are hiring in the present climate, it means they have a real need as signed off business cases are currently harder to come by.

The US tax reform is having implications for organisations that have a presence in America - they need to review the business impact, from financial reporting to workforce strategies and tax function readiness.

Within private client, a particularly busy end of January deadline, coupled with last minute tax planning for the end of tax year on 5th April, means there has been no downtime so far in 2019.

Finally, with the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) being mandated for VAT and Income Tax for businesses on 1st April, organisations have been putting plans in place to accommodate for the new systems and ensuring they are making their returns compliant.

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