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Recruiting For Tax Staff in 2015? Read This Before You Do

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Recruiting For Tax Staff in 2015? Read This Before You Do

Is A Specialist Tax Recruiter Worth The Cost Involved?


We live in a DIY culture. Television shows espouse the notion that we can sell our own homes and save a fortune or that we can fit a kitchen or bathroom to the same standard as an expert. But if you look closely, the grout lines are wonky and the stress of showing people around your home is obvious. It isn't as easy as it looks. Neither is recruitment and when it comes to specialist or niche areas – the chances of a company being able to find the right candidate themselves are even slimmer.


The UK is experiencing a boom in employment with the latest unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that there are now 1.91 million people unemployed and this is just 5.8% of the population – the lowest figure since 2007. This is creating a sellers market where the right talent are being snapped up and have the ability to pick and choose the roles that suit them.


A study carried out by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) late last year shows that employers are actively planning to increase their staff numbers. The survey discovered that 84% of small businesses stated that they intended on hiring more permanent staff over the following three month period and close to half of all employers expected to spend more money on agency workers in the short term. More than one quarter of these employers expressed concerns that there may not be capacity in the market to fulfil their needs.


The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has also released figures that show that filling advertised vacancies can be tricky. They discovered that 49% of job vacancies remained unfilled after 30 days and 27% after three months. In fact more than half of those jobs advertised would face a three month wait for the right staff member if they failed to recruit within the first month. This tipping point of 30 days shows how important it is to employ staff in the right way by utilising the right advice and help.


However, the fact is that the right advice and help does not come cheap. A recruitment agency will charge the employer for the privilege of their expertise and many employers wonder if this is really worthwhile. Many of those who choose to go it alone may actually have wildly underestimated the costs associated with hiring a new staff member – even when that position is filled via the non-agency route. In general these costs fall into two categories:


  • The costs associated with recruiting: This will include advertising the role, the time taken to check responses, replying to candidates, reading CVs and following up references. Then there is the time taken by top management or directors to interview new staff – a process that can take many weeks. Then contracts need to be agreed and signed.
  • The costs associated with lost output: A new staff member will take a significant amount of time to get up to speed – especially if they are not totally suited to the role. The choice of the right person for the right speciality area is essential when it comes to reducing this lost output time.


It is estimated that the total costs of these aspects can be as much as £30,000. It is certainly understandable that employers see recruitment as a cost they would rather not incur. But the investment made in a good recruitment company can really help to reduce these costs – especially in a niche market like tax where the importance of the right skills is even more obvious.


Professional expertise

A specialist tax recruitment company understands the niche they work in. They have hired the right recruitment experts to ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of the different aspects of their speciality. They will have local knowledge of the jobs market, an understanding of the types of candidates that are out there and even an insider knowledge of professionals who live locally and could be looking for the right roles. These experts can cast a much wider net than any HR department could. They simply understand the market on an in-depth basis.


A good specialist tax recruiter will also tell the employer if they are seeking a candidate that may be wrong for the company or their needs. The recruiter sees their role as fulfilling a need within the business – not providing someone to simply fill a role.


Candidate expertise

From the moment an employer asks for a position to be filled, the recruiter already has a mental picture of the right person, how to find them and what skills they will have. They may already have that person on their books or a clear idea of how they can find them. Once the CV's come in, they can look for the right attributes and will know the right questions to ask each candidate to ensure they are a good fit for the employer. Essentially a tax recruitment agency understands people and how they will fit into a role. They can also see through anyone who may be tempted to overestimate their suitability.


Negotiating expertise

A recruiter is working on behalf of the both the candidate and employer and strives to get a great deal for both of them. It is a balancing act, but the negotiation process is always a fair one. The employer can expect that they will get the right person at the right price and that this will be based on a balance of budget and the skills of the candidate. The recruiter takes over this process and leaves the employer/employee relationship to develop unhindered by talk of money.


Closing expertise

A good tax recruiter not only works to get you the right profile for your firm, but also works to ensure your preferred candidate accepts your offer. A good tax recruiter deals with the (inevitable) counter offer from the candidates existing employer and keeps that candidate on track. In a competitive market this (in my opinion and from my experience) is worth the introduction fee alone.


Financial expertise

Recruitment agencies understand the budgetary constraints of the employer and will ensure that the recruitment of a new employee meets these requirements. This includes the payment made to the agency, the cost of the recruitment, the salary offered and any ongoing costs. There are no variables that are unexpected or additional to the original agreed amounts. The clarity offered gives peace of mind to the employer.


The overall benefit of these recruitment agency positives is that the entire process is faster, easier and could even be cheaper for the employer. Many firms have discovered that using an agency helps them to build relationships and save money and that the employment process can be simplified, by just letting an expert take over.



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