How to survive the hiring ''summer slowdown'' in Tax and Practice..

David Tuohy 10.07.2019

As we move through the summer months in Tax and Practice, many job seekers and employers are doing their utmost to survive what is generally referred to as the ‘’summer slowdown’’ in terms of hiring.

As mentioned above, summer is generally a period of ''slowdown'' across the board. However, there are certain practices one can do to make the most of the summer months and ensure that you use it as a period of growth as best you can. 

  1. As an employer, start by assessing the work that needs to be done and explore all of the different ways this can be resourced. Could you distribute the workload differently to create new internal opportunities, or to allow you to consider a wider variety of candidates? The more flexibility you have in how you resource the work the better, particularly in a scarce candidate market. 
  2. Explore the potential within your team to train someone with transferable skills or less experience. Instead of waiting months for the perfect candidate you could beat the market by hiring someone with the capability to be trained into the role in that time.
  3. Get to know the international candidate market. There are some gems within the thousands of international candidates applying for roles in Ireland every week. Vetted candidates from a trusted recruitment agency are most definitely worth exploring.
  4. Yes, you need a robust recruitment process, but know when to shift from screening to selling and make sure you have the right people on the interview panel to sell the chosen opportunity. 
  5. Nowadays, people are looking for a career opportunity, not just a job. Something that delivers an improvement in salary, progression, flexibility or culture is important to jobseekers when considering their next move. Benchmark the role and your company and know where your strengths and weaknesses are so you can have realistic expectations for the level of candidate you can hope to recruit.  


In terms of trends, there is a small, but developing trend of people moving back from industry into practice. The reasons cited for this include a better variety of work, increased interaction with clear progression pathways. There is also a growing trend among jobseekers to move between firms in order to gather more experience and work with various teams. Those with a niche skill set and experience in business development can really benefit from moving between firms if their full potential is not met in their current role.  
     
As mentioned, Business Development experience makes a CV stand out for potential employers, as does outlining the key goals they have achieved in each of their roles. Candidates should make sure to highlight the size of the client companies and the industry they operate in so that employers get a sense of the breadth of their exposure and experience to date. Experience in training and developing people on their teams is also sought after, as is a proven track record in growing their own portfolio or developing client relationships. 
     
As with every quarter, the summer months bring with them their own set of challenges. For jobseekers, processes can be slower than usual as decision makers take holidays. Meanwhile, for employers the slower process can mean losing candidates to competitors that have been able to move more quickly.  
     
Certain areas which have experienced growth this quarter are practice and industry within the tax market. This is being driven by increasing complexity within international tax, an increase in the demand for tax consulting services within the private client market, and an overall shortage of tax professionals on the market. This growth is only being constrained due to the talent shortage.
   
As we look to Q3, the momentum of the last 24 months looks set to continue, with hiring looking to still be on a high following on from a successful Q2. While supply of qualified professionals remains low, we are seeing more of appetite across the market for professionals to explore genuine career opportunities. While holidays and people being on annual leave can impact hiring and timelines, new budgets are often agreed in June and    July, and therefore hiring practices resume in August, September and October as hiring managers look to meet their headcount and employees weigh up their options having received their bonuses and finding out if they are eligible for a promotion. There is set to be a consolidation of the mid-market with a large influx of 40 firms which will have an impact on the job market as the firms decide how they want to allocate and distribute their resources. 

Top Tips for Jobseekers! Although the summertime is generally seen as a sort of a slowdown period, job seekers can use it to their advantage in order to bide their time to prepare for interviews, by doing things such as having well articulated and thought out examples interview ready to showcase your expertise. 

If a role doesn’t seem like the perfect fit for you but you feel there are some elements which may interest you, then don’t be afraid to go for the interview to learn more as there may be opportunities to a role that you learn about in the interview that won’t be on the Spec. 

     
 

David Tuohy's picture
Consultant | Accounting & Finance Recruitment
dtuohy@morganmckinley.ie

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