Each quarter, our specialist Indirect Tax team monitors the number of in-house vacancies released onto the job market across Europe to provide you with a quarterly overview of recruiting trends. The data below provides a digestible snapshot to the in-house market from adverts posted directly from employers.*
*Note - we omit the number of confidential mandates that HJ are assigned or job adverts posted by other recruitment firms. It should also be highlighted that many vacancies go unadvertised due to confidential or highly sensitive searches.
What happened in Q1?
Q1 is traditionally one of the busiest recruiting quarters of the year as it, amongst other things, follows the holiday season where hiring is somewhat less prioritised! And for the UK & Ireland, this was certainly the case as the market grew by 50%!
In total, 69 new in-house vacancies were released onto the UK & Irish job market (compared with the 46 jobs in Q4). And with the spread of vacancies slightly evening from Q4, this has been an excellent time for New Year job seekers. A key takeaway in these findings is the sheer number of regional positions on offer, which equates to approximately 40% of the market.
But across the BENELUX & DACH region, the numbers were strikingly different (see Table 1). With a total of only 16 vacancies in BENELUX and 11 in DACH, the opportunities in mainland Europe have been extremely limited in comparison. One suspects the uncertainty over Brexit is taking its toll and recruiting will typically increase once the British Parliament agree on the terms of their departure from the EU. On the other hand, the high growth of UK jobs indicates that companies are gearing up for potential Brexit complexities and look for specialist feet on the ground.
Note, however, that these numbers omit reposted vacancies from Q4. Particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium, a number of Q4’s vacancies came back onto the market, indicating that companies have struggled to close off pre-existing recruitment campaigns. This isn’t surprising with many employers becoming more savvy in their counter-offer pitches and candidates testing the market.
What were the trends at each level?
Table 2, 3, and 4 break down the grading of each vacancy across the UK & Ireland, BENELUX, and DACH. Key trends to note:
Looking at the total number of vacancies released onto the UK & Ireland and BENELUX market, there was a 7.5% increase overall but the reality is that high growth in the UK significantly propped up these numbers.
This is the first time we’ve reported on DACH, so comparisons cannot be made, however this quarter’s market was lackluster. Ultimately, recruitment here was more geared up to the manager grades with no opportunities existing for junior indirect tax professionals.
As we move into Q2 - and a new financial year for many - there are high hopes of another healthy market overall as hiring managers play with their fresh annual budgets and (dare I say it?) the British parliament comes to terms with a Brexit agreement.
Alex Mann is an Associate Director in the Tax Division at Harvey John.
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