Companies that try to recruit through their own HR teams will find it especially tough - Morgan McKinley, Global Tax Trend Report
In line with our commitment to keep professionals working in the Tax discipline up to date with employment and recruitment trends, early in 2014 Morgan McKinley conducted an international survey of its consultants in four key markets. We found significant contrasts between regions, with the UK and Ireland markets gathering strong momentum, whereas things are moving more slowly in Singapore and Hong Kong, though for different reasons:
Recruitment budgets are increasing in Ireland and organisations are looking for both new and replacement headcount as the country’s economic situation continues to improve. VAT and Human Capital are the main areas driving demand, which is currently outstripping supply.
Irish companies are often reluctant to recruit from abroad as they prefer candidates with deep knowledge of local and national taxation.
“We have been surprised by the surge in hiring of tax seniors and semi-seniors in all the practices, as until recently it was only the Big Four and Top 10 that were recruiting, and primarily only in Corporate Tax. Now practices of all sizes are looking for tax professionals across most areas,” says Kate Flanagan, Tax and Legal Recruitment Specialist at Morgan McKinley. We also expect International Tax to figure strongly as a much sought-after specialisation later in the year, particularly within the in-house sector.
In addition to the relevant qualifications (ACA/CA and AITI CTA) candidates need to be able to demonstrate general strategic, managerial and communication skills in order to land the best positions. “Experience is key. There are lots of qualified accountants looking to move into tax and there are plenty of opportunities to upskill on a course with the Irish Tax Institute or Chartered Accountants Ireland, but without the experience it can be very tricky. My advice to job-seekers is
to put in a stint in the tax function at your current practice,” says Flanagan.
Hiring organisations are likely to find it difficult to identify strong candidates in the months ahead as the number of graduates and trainees hired during the economic downturn was lower than usual and this is now having a knock-on effect. “Companies that try to recruit through their own HR teams will find it especially tough in the current environment. At Morgan McKinley we are relying heavily on the network we have built up in the Tax discipline to identify quality candidates and to provide market insights".
Salaries & Benefits
We anticipate a modest increase in salaries (perhaps 3-5%) in both practices and in industry. Some firms are paying bonuses again and more will follow this year. Benefits packages vary considerably but we don’t expect that companies which have cut allowances such as healthcare will reinstate them.