To share a very British sentiment… How is it mid-July already? As we enter the summer months, the Ashes are here and been lost already, the Lionesses are poised to be bring back some more silverware and, after a 2-week hiatus, the spontaneous summer heatwaves are set to return (I am waiting!). So now, as I enjoy some morning sun, it feels like the perfect time to review and reflect on the Q2 taxation recruitment market.
It continues to be a very busy time for us here at Pro-Tax, with smaller practice and independent roles showing great returns in terms of revenue and job flow. The Big 4/Top 10s are continuing to show signs of slowing, however the independents and mid-tier firms continue to strive ahead with their growth plans, meaning our team are currently working on the highest number of mandates within this space since pre-covid times.
Big 4 & Top 10 growth plans
Following several Partners meetings within the Big 4 & Top 10, our team have gained insight into their forthcoming recruitment numbers & growth plans for H2, where we have been told to expect a mini ‘bounce back’ as we wrap the year. As always, the promotional and pay review meetings for the Big 4 & Top 10/20 often sees some not so ‘happy campers’, and this year we have seen a record number call us for support with salary benchmarking across the market.
Personal Tax / Private Client Advisory / Trust
We have seen are large influx of new roles being created throughout Q2. It is well-known that the Private Client market often tends to flat line during this period, but the war on talent within this space has certainly heated up, with a real push toward experienced hires (Manager/Senior Manager/Director) to work with clients directly on client planning/advice seeing. As a result, we have seen an uplift of 170% in new roles taken on based on YoY stats for 2022.
In a candidate short market, the big 4 have closed several roles within this space on their recruitment portals – with one Big 4 firm going as far as to instigate a recruitment freeze! However, with 3 of the Big 4 still in action, the key Partners are aware that the ‘war on talent’ remains fierce. M&A has slowed up across the transaction market throughout H1 with a global slowdown on M&A activity. However, 9th hole insights from a leading Tax partner in the transactions space suggests we should remain optimistic for their H2 numbers. It has also been pleasing to see more newly created international tax roles throughout Q2, with an uptake of around 60% against 2022 figures.
VAT / Indirect / Customs
Pro-Tax have seen some significant movement within the VAT space, with some of our recent placements at Partner & Director level now looking to reshape current teams, creating a further increase in roles within the in-house space, which has instigated a strong uptake in candidate flow.
As noted above, the biggest uplift of placements throughout Q2 has been across the smaller independents and in the mid-tier space, with many highly skilled Big 4 candidates seeking to make the move to smaller firms. The top 3 reasons being ‘hours’, ‘change of environment’ and ‘improved flexibility’. My recent article ‘Debunking Common Myths About Big 4 Tax Teams’ explores this topic in more detail.
This article seeks to provide an overview for Q2, as well as insights into the market as we enter Q3. We’ve seen a record number of new joiners to the industry as the Big4, Top 10/50 and smaller tier firms continue to push ahead with their graduate and school leaver programmes. This, coupled with base salaries and compensation packages still on the rise, it remains a great time to be a tax candidate!
For more information on this article, or for advice on your next career move, contact Kevin Racher on 07968 202512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org