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.*
What happened in Q3?
Q2 presented a strong and stable job market and this has been bolstered by an increase in activity in Q3! With a candidate market that’s already narrow, any indirect tax professional exploring opportunities will be pleased to know that as Table 1 indicates, there have been 54 vacancies publicly advertised across the financial services and insurance industry (some roles have mixed indirect & direct tax responsibilities). Spanning the UK, BENELUX, and DACH regions, London still takes gold for the busiest hub for new indirect tax hires.
Comparatively, this quarter’s job market eclipses last quarter’s 39 reported roles. There’s been a hive of activity throughout the summer which counters the typical annual dip from ‘holiday season’. To be expected, what with the season over - and dare we say it - Christmas is looming, which means that such a surge in activity should be taken advantage of. Why wouldn't you want to beat the masses that flood the January market?
Considering in Q1 there were only 21 vacancies combined over the UK & BENELUX market, the fact that there’s been 30 in the UK alone, speaks for itself.
However, what’s not changed is the strong demand for Manager level candidates. A key contributor could well be that many professionals will be leaving one Manager position, for another. It’s resulted in a competitive market across the board for employers seeking these sorts of candidates.
Here are the trends across the grades:
To be expected, London holds over 90% of the positions advertised. However, there’s been some good activity at the senior level in the regions surrounding London - good news for professionals looking to avoid the daily rat-race of the capital!
Junior to mid-level positions makes up the bulk of roles in the BENELUX & DACH regions. With a candidate pool that spans across Europe, these positions aren’t likely to be there for long. Key cities for the bulk of these roles have been in Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Luxembourg City, and a few in Antwerp & the Hague respectively.
The growth in vacancy frequency has set the stage for quarter 4 and although we’re unlikely to see an increase on the 53 positions from this quarter, these roles won’t be filled instantly. A key observation from a recruitment perspective is the lack of candidates in comparison to the number of roles. Employers will be looking to fill / back-fill these positions before the inevitable festive slow-down that we’ll see in Q4.
The rise in positions within the BENELUX & DACH regions is a welcomed sight and, when you include the number of positions that are likely not advertised, we’d be confident to say that we’re looking at double the activity when comparing the previous quarter.
I've managed to not mention Brexit up until this point, but it’s practically inevitable. With a supposed 5 weeks until the date in question, it’s hard to predict where many of these positions will be based. With many businesses investing heavily in Brexit preparation, it’s likely that if position-location was at risk, these roles may well have already been relocated.
Ultimately, it’s a great time to be a tax professional and, although you’d expect to read this from a recruiter, looking now will give you much more choice than when there’s the standard rush come January.
*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.
Ed Moore is a Senior Consultant in the Tax Division at Harvey John.
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