Q2 2019: Market Insights for Customs & Global Trade

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 trend. 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 Q2?


In the ubiquitous market of trade, there’s becoming an evident presence of increasing demand for specialists. Based on our previous insights in Q1, the shift of operational processes over to the tax and legal function created more specifically focused jobs within Customs.

Many businesses made preparations for what may be a no-deal Brexit, whilst some continue to create contingencies for an uncertain outcome. This, however, hasn’t slowed down the creation of jobs and will continue to provide ample opportunities for both job seekers and employers.

A view into the Customs market


Following a very busy Q1, the second quarter of the year has proven that Customs is becoming an extremely lucrative area of a business’ operations. In the last 3 months, there have been 100 new in-house vacancies opened across the UK, Ireland & Europe.


Figure 1. The figure below highlights the shift towards job creation in Europe.

Figure 1

In-house Customs & Global Trade Q2 2019

Establishing & Analysing the Demand


Figure 2. Reflecting back on last quarter, there’s a visible trend that’s continued preceding Leadership roles. With demand still high at more junior grade positions, there’s been a tangible increase in Mid-level management roles which could arguably be due to promotions, or other impacting factors like Brexit.

Figure 2

UK & Ireland: In-house Customs & Global Trade Q2 2019

Figure 3. Europe continues to be an area where in-house jobs are in abundance. Germany and the Netherlands in particular, control the market and make up a large portion of the 68 vacancies that have opened up in Q2.

Figure 3

EMEA: In-house Customs & Global Trade Q2 2019

  • Analyst – In such a buoyant market, it comes to no surprise that Analyst level makes up 44% of the vacancies. The demand for specialists at a more operational or strategic level remains high in demand.
  • Assistant Manager – This grade is an area that’s shown a significant increase in demand following a slow first quarter. Cementing financial plans at the beginning of the fiscal year, there’s been a notable shift of budget towards junior management positions to assist senior level managers. Assistant manager roles increased by 15% this quarter.
  • Manager – Roles at the Manager level continue to be a very prevalent part of recruitment (33%) within Commerce & Industry. In response to changes in the market or regulations in global trade, work loads continue to remain, hence a consistent need for Manager level candidates.
  • Leadership 6% of vacancies this quarter opened up at this grade. Whilst the level of work continues to rise, there are still some businesses that require further experienced candidates at this grade to manage business operations within Customs or Global Trade matters.

To conclude


You might have read recently in our Industry Blog, that having specialist roles in your business can create a positive impact on a customs function. One prevalent point to highlight, is that some businesses are starting to understand their department leads and are beginning to decipher the benefit in having a stronger core within their Customs and Global trade operations.

In what’s becoming a more attractive area to specialise in, it might be favourable to say that customs is increasingly becoming an important part in how businesses make decisions when importing or exporting their goods and services around the world.

Seeing how the market has developed in such a short space of time has given indication that Customs & Global Trade is an area that could become a very lucrative career choice for those looking to make a broad impact on how a company will develop their Customs functions.

Considering the consistency and volume of vacancies in the first half of 2019, this will continue to be a very job driven market, which will command candidate motivations in wanting to move or continue their careers in a Commerce & Industry environment.


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