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WMT Case Study

Article Background


Grant Thornton is the world's fifth largest professional services network of independent taxation accounting and consulting member firms which provide assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, public interest entities, and public sector entities.


Due to the fact that Customs is very much a niche area and the Customs market in London and the home counties is very small, candidates tend to be quite content in their roles and with the forthcoming challenges of Brexit, the Top 10 firms are keen to retain their existing Customs staff and ensuring they feel valued.  The recruitment team reached out to a number of specialist tax recruitment agencies with a view to completing a contingent search. We set up a meeting with the recruitment team and two senior members of the Customs team to discuss the role in more depth, find out about the team, the culture, and our recruitment strategy.


During the meeting, we discussed various options with this challenging recruitment assignment. As they had reached out to other agencies we were unable to offer a retained search. We advised them that we should look at running a contingent search but if that was not successful after a period of time we should then engage in a more proactive search by ways of mapping the market, advertising, both in print (taxation, tax advisor, tax journal) and online (linked in, taxation, ICAEW, reed etc.) in order to attract a more ‘passive’ candidate. We spoke to 58 candidates that we had live in our database and asked 32 VAT candidates for referrals. This didn’t result in any success for the short term. However, after seeing one of our adverts, a candidate who had great South African Customs experience but no UK experience applied to Pro-Tax. The candidate applied to four tax recruitment agencies and due to his lack of UK experience, did not receive a response.


After talking and meeting with the candidate it was clear that his skills were very transferable and he just needed a break and to be put in front of the client. We spoke with the recruitment team at GT and after explaining his great skill set we agreed to arrange an informal conversation/coffee with the VAT/Customs Partner to discuss further. After meeting him in the first round it was clear that the candidate could bring a lot to the role and bring some great international experience, the process became more formal and an offer was eventually made.


Six months on and Riaan is making some great inroads within the Customs team and has started to bridge the gap with the Indirect Tax/VAT teams and has already started to develop some key client relationships. Both client and candidate are extremely happy to date and Riaan is thinking about his next hire with the team "Kevin is the consummate financial recruitment professional. A subject matter expert, who is dedicated, committed, that works tirelessly to find the definitive match between you and your future employer. With Kevin on your side, you are guaranteed unparalleled advice, direction and support. In my experience, Kevin possesses the single most distinguishing trait in recruitment - he believes in you. If you are allowed but one person in your corner when searching for a position make sure that it’s Kevin. " - Riaan de Lange, Customs, Excise, Trade Remedies and International Trade at Grant Thornton.