Tax recruitment shows no signs of slowing over the summer months

Morgan McKinley 08.07.2019

Traditional holiday slowdowns have not been as pronounced in recent years across tax; summer can be a great time to look for a new tax job.

How has the Tax hiring landscape been over the first half of 2019?

DAC 6, the EU tax arrangement seeking to strengthen transparency and fight against aggressive tax planning, is coming up more and more in the requirements from banking clients. Otherwise, the similar suspects of Brexit and making tax digital continue to influence the market, whilst the upcoming implementation of IR35 is having a knock on effect into the interim market. 

“The busiest level of hiring for permanent in-house tax professionals has been around the £55-65k mark.”

Where private client and indirect tax is concerned, the permanent recruitment market has been somewhat confusing. Candidates are reluctant to look for new roles in certain areas, and even where there is interest and offers are received, the hesitancy remains. Whether this is directly related to Brexit we can’t be fully sure, but it seems like that is the case. This said, indirect tax continues to be an area with growth potential, especially in regional hubs away from London including Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Reading. Across private client tax, organisations are still eager to see qualified and experienced professionals from Manager to Director level.

Since the start of 2019, there has been a significant emphasis on manager and senior manager roles in Personal Tax within General Practice. In the last month, this has slowed down and there has been a shift towards compliance focused seniors. Those with solid experience and a strong track record tend to be valued over those eager candidates willing to push to the top.

How to keep the workforce motivated and attract new employees

The market is generally becoming much more open to flexible or agile working. Big 4 firms seem to lead the way in terms of this and even have flexible talent networks that allow employees to work patterns throughout different times of the year to suit their specific circumstances. This has directly led to a shift in culture, inviting a more diverse candidate pool to apply for positions with the Big 4. Another part of increased flexibility is the growing number of companies offering enhanced paternity leave, where new fathers can receive 6 months of paid leave.

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What has made a Tax CV stand out? 

For Personal Tax professionals, CTA qualification is a must along with a stable background from previous roles. Advisory skills with commercial acumen are also desirable, and any experience of non-domicile and non-residents is beneficial. Those wishing to specialise in compliance are beginning to get more gateways as Tax Compliance Manager roles have come up frequently in the last few months. In contrast, there has been a shortage of mixed tax senior candidates and as ever, there is a shortage of tax seniors within General Practice.

For indirect tax, clients like to see a progressive career with a mix of compliance and advisory experience, or at least the willingness to take this on. Tax qualifications are not a necessity in this space, but varied experience or in depth technical experience will stand out.

How can Tax job seekers stay motivated over the slower summer months?

The traditional holiday slowdown, seen over the summer and around Christmas, has not been as pronounced across tax in the past couple of years. At present, the market is showing no signs of slowing down - summer is a busy time for professional services firms with client demands, holidays, year end reviews and general year end bookkeeping.

Those looking to change roles should continue their job search and be prepared to meet with people at short notice. In any spare time, do research to help understand what you want to achieve in your next move, and work with your recruitment consultant to explore any other options.

Don’t be disheartened if processes take longer, many people will be on annual leave so it is to be expected. Stay patient and keep in regular contact with your recruiter; it is their duty to apply pressure on the hiring organisation for you.

Contributors to the Tax market update:

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