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.
Following a highly active start to 2019, recruitment into indirect tax and tax technology across the UK & Ireland, BENELUX, and DACH grew by 21% in Q2. However, with a slight decline in new vacancies across the UK - and yet another poor quarter of activity in Belgium and Luxembourg - this overall increase was propped up by a growing appetite to recruit in Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland.
Figures in Table 1 present Q2’s market share of new employment opportunities within indirect tax and tax technology.
The UK & Ireland continued to take the lead in Q2 but candidates faced a 17% decrease in the number of new positions offered in commerce and industry. Compared with Q1’s surge of regional roles, this quarter’s activity was predominantly London and Dublin based, which more or less accounts for the reduction in new jobs.
As you’ll recall from our Q1 Market Insights, opportunities in the BENELUX were extremely scarce and - unfortunately for job seekers here - this flat trend continued with only one more vacancy added this quarter (17) compared to what we saw in January to March (16). However, the story for candidates in Q2 wasn’t all doom and gloom as the number of reposted vacancies from Q1 remained very high, indicating that companies are struggling to fill jobs. Even amongst leading multinational brands (whom you’d expect to attract a sizeable talent pool), vacancies were still re-released onto the market. There are many answers to this (*as I scribble down a new blog idea*), but it appears that the use of unspecialised recruiters and poor in-house recruitment efforts have prohibited the successful completion of these positions. The candidates are certainly out there!
In the neighbouring DACH region, however, an influx of new jobs in Germany and Switzerland contributed to a 309% increase on last quarter! With a fairly equal spread of jobs across the grades, one key trend that we identified was a heightened demand for tax technology professionals in both industry and professional services. With 42 new vacancies emerging onto the DACH market, the task that now lies ahead is ensuring they’re filled!
Whilst we explore the peaks and troughs in these reports, it’s important to remember that - with another quarter’s worth of evidence - it remains an excellent time to be an indirect tax or tax technology professional. In industries that are so easily affected by economic or political turmoil, the world of tax (and particularly indirect tax) continues to grow.
The prevailing issue, though, is not only finding these sought after skills, but securing them. Anyone can perform a LinkedIn search or write a job advert, but this quarter’s data alone highlights how competitive the landscape is for employers in this space and, ultimately, how far more needs to be done to engage with such a specialist market.
Until then, let’s hope for a healthy Q3! As we enter the holiday season, our inboxes at Harvey John consist of a lot of “Out of Office” subject lines, typically delaying processes. But we remain positive and expect the demand for indirect tax and tax technology talent to continue.
Alex Mann is an Associate Director in the Tax Division at Harvey John.
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