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Jake Hearn

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Jake Hearn

Consultant - Tax

Recruiting tax professionals into industry across all levels from Tax Accountant up to Tax Director. I specialise in Technology, IT, Internet and Media industries.

My network ranges from FTSE and large corporate groups to SMEs. I am not just limited to London, my client base spans from the South West up to Scotland and across Europe.

My time at Pro is my first foray into recruitment having progressed through an excellent AC training program. Having always had a keen interest in the media and technology industry, it has been interesting to learn of the industry’s tax implications.

When I'm not at work I like to stay active by playing sport or going to the gym and to socialise with friends. Very cliché and uninteresting.

jake's latest roles

  • International Tax Manager - In-House

    £75000 - £85000 per annum

    International Tax Manager London Up to £85,000 Are you a corporate tax specialist looking to broaden your experience? Do you want to join a historically acquisitive business with ongoing projects? Do you wan...

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  • Tax Accountant

    £45000 - £55000 per annum

    Tax Accountant London Up to £55,000 Are you working for a mid-tier firm looking for a first industry move? Are you interested in broad, mixed tax positions? Do you want to join a successful team in a newly-c...

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  • Tax Advisory Manager - In-House

    £60000 - £70000 per annum

    Tax Advisory Manager London Up to £70,000 Are you a corporate tax specialist looking for a unique advisory in-house role? Are you keen on joining a FTSE listed business? Do you want to work for a household b...

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What people say about Jake

This was the first time I interacted with Pro Tax and it has been very positive. I've very much enjoyed working with Jake in securing my next job. I found Jake was particularly good at keeping in touch and keeping me up to date with progress.


The candidates you put forward for interview were at the correct experience level and had the right personalities required for the roles. You were very honest when assessing whether potential candidates were genuinely interested in the role, to avoid time wasting.

 

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Companies Jake has worked with

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Vodafone is a multinational telecommunications and constituent of the FTSE 100. They own and operate networks in 26 countries and have partner networks in over 50 additional countries.

PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay, Inc. 

Founded in 1983, Pret-a-Manger is sandwich shop chain headquartered in the UK with approximately 500 shops in 9 countries. This includes Europe, the US  and  Asia.

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jake's articles

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Is your interview process correct?

Posted by Jake Hearn

In a candidate driven market it’s key for clients to get their interview process right, but what is the right process, how many stages should there be, who gets involved and at what stage and what level of detail do you go in to? Some clients surprisingly present an offer after just one meeting, this can create problems, particularly if you’re interviewing a candidate who is either; Making their first move from practice They are not actively on the market and they have been headhunted for the role They have other interviews happening over the space of a few weeks This is the first interview they have attended It can be a bit overwhelming, seem pushy and candidates don’t feel like they have seen enough of the business or the people at the firm. More importantly, it can make a business look desperate! On the flip side, some clients will do a five-stage plus interview process which involves significant testing, a technical grilling, meeting with various different people in the business which can sometimes make candidates lose interest, particularly if they are interviewing at another company which has a shorter process, obviously this is level dependent and if the investment is significant then more senior candidates will understand this approach and structure to the onboarding process. The most effective and engaging process I’ve found, are those which are three stages: First Stage Get the technical grilling done if they are not technically strong enough then there is no need to progress. Second Stage The more traditional interview stage, a fact-finding exercise for both parties, going through the CV, getting under the skin of what the candidate really wants and selling your business to them, in the current market this is so important. Don’t make the mistake of assuming all candidates want to work for you, it’s a two-way street and it’s as much them selling to you as it is you selling to them. Third stage The meet and greet, invite their peers, people from other departments that they would interact with, this ensures that both parties get an insight into the personalities of each other. This may well be offsite and it is a more informal stage, but this is the key time to cement the decision for everyone. Time between interviews is really important to candidates, especially if they have other options, it’s important that things come to ahead at roughly a similar time. In this market, it is key for clients to communicate feedback to candidates as you would expect feedback from them in a timely and detailed fashion. In summary, your interview process shouldn’t be too long or too short, do the technical at the start, ensure there is passion and personality in your interview process and make sure that candidates are not waiting too long for decisions or feedback.

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June 2018: Tax Movers & Shakers

Posted by Jake Hearn

Practice The summer holiday season has certainly not slowed things on the recruitment front across Tax with some senior career moves that will pack a real punch in the market! Luke Prout has moved from Macintyre Hudson as a Tax Manager in Peterborough to the Peterborough office of Streets at Partner level. Having headed Mazar’s Poole office as the Tax Director for 11 years Richard Meller has just joined RSM Southampton as their Tax Director Jumpstart the Research and Development Tax Specialists have just appointed David Woods and Simon Mitchell as their Business Development Managers who will focus on sweeping the South East Of England. With a strong foothold in the South West Tax Market Bishop Fleming haver promoted not one but three Directors to Partner which are Isobel Savage, Nathan Coughlin and John Talbot. Finally sure to cause waves across the midlands Eleanor Macdonald has moved over to the powerhouse that is EY as their Director in Technology and Transformation in their Birmingham office and joins from Deloitte where she spent ten years of her career. Commerce and Industry Claire Hodgson has joined Brewin Dolphin as Head of Tax based in London. She joins from Kornferry where she was a Tax Project Manager. MBDA have appointed Jonathan Eldridge as Group Tax Director based in Stevenage. Jonathan joins from Huawei where he was International Tax Director for 2 years. GVC Group have announced the appointment of Charlie Sutters as Director of Tax, Treasury & Insurance from June 2018. Charlie joins from Ladbrokes Coral Group where he has been since 2016.

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60 Seconds With: Kerry O’Connell UK Head of Tax at National Australia Bank

Posted by Jake Hearn

If you could banish anything to room 101 what would it be and why? Airlines not enforcing carry-on luggage size (and number) restrictions. What do you do to unwind at the weekend? Take the Caterham out for a drive and play racquetball. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to make Head of Tax? Don’t get siloed in a role and always try and maintain some involvement in all taxes. What do National Australia Bank do well? They do vanilla investment banking exceedingly well, treat staff well and everyone works as a team. What is your biggest bugbear about CVs? They don’t convey the personality. Often CVs tick all the boxes but until you interview you have no idea how the individual will fit in the team. How would your team describe you? Experienced and engaging. If not in tax, what would the dream be? To be on an F1 podium. Biggest superstition / fear? Driverless cars! What is your morning routine before work? 30-minute train journey reading the Times and checking emails. Skiing or beach? Skiing – although in the South of France and California the two can be only an hour or so apart. Who is your hero? Difficult to pick one but Warren Buffett, John Surtees and Jahangir Khan spring immediately to mind. What is your life hack / top tip? Pack a lot in – some box sets are great but it’s an interesting world out there.

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Money talks – but should you talk about it at interview?

Posted by Jake Hearn

As a nation we are known for a few things; Impeccable queuing skills, moaning about the weather and reviewing holidays on their comparative cost of beer. However, nothing epitomises Britain more than awkwardness about money. I recently discovered that my family hadn’t the foggiest about each other’s salaries; so never wanting to cause embarrassment, their discussions about money revolved around the increasing cost of travelcards or, more upsettingly, the price of an Arsenal season ticket. In fact, when I brought the conversation up at dinner last week it was a sight to behold as seven fully-grown adults developed seeming obsessions with their shoelaces. But in an age of transparency, published gender pay gaps and BBC salary scandals it’s increasingly important to have these conversations. Now, I’m certainly not saying that you should start boasting to Aunt Mabel about your latest bonus, but when it comes to salary negotiation, the conversations should begin the moment you start an interview process. Here at Pro-Tax, we coach candidates through every aspect of their interviews and, if you’re currently in a process with us, your designated consultant will arrange a face-to-face practice meeting to ensure tailored assistance for that role. However, here’s a general guide on why to discuss salary at interview: 1. Time - Your time is valuable and there is absolutely no reason for you to waste time interviewing for roles pitched at the wrong salary. The opportunity may be well below or above the range you were anticipating, which should ring alarm bells in any case about the level of the role. 2. Confidence - You are good at your job and your CV has got you this interview – if you hesitate when discussing the salary you know you deserve it will cause the interviewers to question your ability. 3. Control – There is nothing more uncomfortable than stumbling over your words when they ask you the dreaded question “What are your salary expectations?”. However, bringing the topic up yourself will allow you to keep the answer vague rather than setting your stall up early in negotiations. 4. Interest – Whilst discussing your salary too early in an interview may make you seem mercenary if you time this conversation correctly it will show that you are imagining yourself in this role and emphasise your interest in joining them. 5. Closing – We’ve all had interviews where we’ve left feeling confident, only to realise that we don’t have a clue when we’ll hear back or what they are likely to offer. Ending an interview by discussing salary expectations and asking when you will hear from them again will again show interest and confidence. If you have any questions about how to handle salary questions and negotiation in interview, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

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Should you ever accept a counter offer?

Posted by Jake Hearn

When you start to look for a new role, you must know going into this one thing is for certain, in 2018’s market you will end up with multiple offers and one of those will be from your current employer. I am going to talk about the pros and cons of counteroffers. Which are the good ones and which are the knee-jerk reactions purely to save cost and time. Most candidates that we act for are subject to a counter offer when they come to resign. Each counter offer we see plays on different wants or needs of an individual; more money, reduced hours, promotion etc. Unfortunately, it is far too common that we see individuals accept the counter offer. They are happy for a short time but are back in touch with us as fundamentally, nothing has materially changed, and it was just a quick fix. When should you start to think about counter offers? Before you look for another job! The moment you are not happy with the location, salary, job responsibilities, reporting lines, staff etc. This is the moment that you should be speaking to your employer and having an open conversation about things that can be fixed. Ultimately this will save you, us and any potential employers a lot of time. The last thing you want is when you are 8 weeks down the line for them to tell you they can change the one thing that you are not happy with. Think seriously about your reasons for leaving the business. Be open with your Manager and make sure you have explored all your options internally before you come to market. When is it a good counter offer? Never. If you have done the above and spoken to your current employer, you should never get to this stage. If you are valued then they will change what needs to be changed before you resign. When is it a bad counter offer? Once you have resigned! If you receive an offer from your current employer that is because of you resigning, then it is too late. Often a counter offer is a better time/cost saving exercise over an above replacing you. Your resignation is a complete frustration to your current employer. Ultimately, they want to provide you with what you need so that you return to work and continue with your role as normal. To replace you your employer will have to factor in the below costs; An increase in salary for the new incumbent A recruitment fee The cost of no one in the position The cost of training someone new Ask yourself the following questions… Would you have received your salary increase/promotion if you hadn’t handed your notice in? How will this discussion of you handing in your notice affect the relationship with your boss? How will that affect the future of your salary, bonus and promotion prospects long-term? Does the offer get rid of your original reasons for wanting to move? What about the great job/s that you have been offered, will you be missing out on a great career move? Handing your notice in can be an emotional thing to do. You went through so much to get to the stage of getting an offer, you were proactive to change things that you could control. You saw things at your current firm as deal-breakers that couldn’t be fixed, so you found a role better suited to your long-term plan. Don’t let emotions, flattery or extra cash effect your judgment. So stay strong and set on your decision, tell your current boss that you politely decline the counteroffer and start the countdown of starting your new job!

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60 Seconds - Will Flint, Director of Tax at Daily Mail and General Trust plc

Posted by Jake Hearn

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to make Head of Tax? Don’t be afraid to make clear decisions and recommendations: tax is complicated, so the businesses want you to tell them what to do. What does DMGT do well? DMGT give me the freedom and autonomy to just get on with it. What is your biggest bugbear about CVs? Superb CVs landing on your desk that get you excited, only to be told the person is no longer available. How would your team describe you? I’d like to say “He can always find humour in the situation.” I suspect they would be ruder than that. If not in tax, what would the dream be? Sinking the winning putt at the Open. Biggest superstition/fear? Heights. The Sydney Harbour Bridge walk was at once my biggest terror and biggest thrill. I’d love to do a bungee jump, but they would have to throw me off the top! What is your morning routine before work? Early morning cup of tea in bed before the kids need getting up: there’s no rest once you start chivvying the kids to get dressed and breakfasted. Skiing or beach? Beach. There’s nothing like being buried in the sand to make the kids happy. Who is your hero? My wife: it’s amazing quite how often her judgment is spot on. What is your life hack / top tip? Get the work/life balance right: you can always get another job, but you only have one family.

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60 Seconds - Niki Phillips, Director of Tax at The Financial Times

Posted by Jake Hearn

Niki Phillips started her working life as a VAT Executive Officer in H.M. Customs & Excise, before retraining as a Chartered Accountant in tax with EY. Having moved into industry more than 10 years ago, she currently heads up the tax team at Financial Times, which has been built up from scratch over the last two years, since Nikkei Inc purchased the FT group. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to make Head of Tax? Take every opportunity that works for you, you never know where it might lead and, if something’s not working out, move on. What do Financial Times do well? Technology. FT has made this a priority to keep moving with the times. In 2012, our digital subscriber base exceeded print circulation for the first time and in 2016, digital revenues exceeded print revenues for the first time. Digital now represents more than three-quarters of FT’s total paying audience and mobile drives almost half of the total traffic. What is your biggest bugbear about CVs? Waffle. Never put something on a CV that makes people think “well, what does that actually mean?” and never include anything that you can’t back up in a discussion, with solid examples. How would your team describe you? I was recently introduced by one of them as ‘the fountain of all knowledge’ which is definitely an exaggeration! I think they’d normally describe me as a little bit mad, because I’ve spent a large part of my ‘working’ life not actually working, but sailing! If not in tax, what would the dream be? That’s easy because I spend half my life doing it – sailing … long-term, long-distance sailing. Biggest superstition/fear? My fear is getting to the end of my life with serious regrets. I don’t have any yet, thankfully. What is your morning routine before work? Up at 6.20. Three mornings a week I go swimming before going to the office. Skiing or beach? I’d have to say skiing, as I used to race (slalom), though I haven’t been skiing now for about 20 years. Who is your hero? I’ve never had an all-encompassing hero, but I most admire ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things and especially those who don’t shout about it, so nobody’s ever heard of them. What is your life hack / top tip? Always be bold with thoughts and actions and stand up for what you believe in.

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First impressions count

Posted by Jake Hearn

You should be heading to your interview feeling thoroughly prepared with research on the business/the interviewer, know your CV inside-out, brushed up on competency answers and have plenty of questions to ask - these are the key things to ensure a successful interview. But with the obvious preparation done, some of the softer preparation can be forgotten and in a market where competition is fierce, first impressions really do count. Typically hiring managers will know within the first 2 minutes if they are interviewing someone they will hire, rightly or wrongly so, first impressions count and can’t be changed easily, so the moment you walk through the door, the pressure’s on and you have to make a stellar first impression. My advice: 1. Arrive on time... BUT don’t be too early! It goes without saying to arrive on time and don’t be late! But the flip side is don’t arrive too early - I can’t stress enough how frustrating it is when someone arrives more than 10 minutes early, you may be ahead of schedule but your interviewer won’t be, they will be expecting to start the interview at the time it was booked for. Arriving too early will make them feel rushed and it will straight away start the interview on a bad tone which no one wants! If you do arrive far too early, take a stroll, sit in a coffee shop or go into reception but explain that you’re early so and would like to wait for your arrival to be announced! Don’t make the interviewer stop what they are doing and feel agitated before they meet you. 2. Dress the part It seems obvious but how you are dressed is the first physical impression they will get. Dress in a way that is professionally fitting to the position for which you are applying. In almost all cases, this means wearing a suit and remember it’s always better to be too smart rather than too casual. Even if you are going somewhere that’s not corporate, you don’t want to push the boundaries – this is the first thing they see, a smart suit, ironed shirt, clean shoes and tidy hair will go a long way. 3. Smile You would be surprised at the number of people who forget this key thing when going to an interview, yes it can be nerve-wracking and you don’t fully know what to expect but they wanted to see you for a reason and they are looking for someone they can work with, what better way to introduce yourself with a smile to warm up the interview. It shows your enthusiasm to be there, your excitement to meet them and your interest in the role - Positive energy goes a long way in creating a positive first impression! 4. Be confident When you shake hands and greet your interviewer, have a firm handshake, make direct eye contact and have good posture - You want to project confidence, even if you’re nervous. 5. Break the Ice If circumstance allow before the interview begins, try and break the ice and build some rapport - simply ask your interviewer how their day has been, it gives you the chance to speak to your interviewer less formally before interview begins and should hopefully make you feel more at ease, you may even find that you have something in common. Connecting on a personable level as well as professional will go a long way towards standing out from the rest of the candidates.

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