Hunt for the Taxologist: The Recruiter Tracking Down Tax Technology Talent
What do you do that’s unique?
When I was a hiring manager and I needed to recruit, I often struggled to find the right talent.
I needed to hire experienced corporation tax professionals who were familiar with configuring software in ERP systems, but the candidates which were brought forward were strong on corporation tax but had no software implementation expertise.
I realised there was a real need for the industry to create a niche executive search service focused on tax & tax technology.
Because I’ve worked many years in the industry, I understand clients’ requirements and candidates’ skill sets. The industry knowledge and contacts we offer is unique.
What kind of people do you recruit?
Generally, people are looking for a cross between IT and finance – somebody technical who can really be involved in the business.
I get the tricky cases! Typically, when an in-house recruiter is trying to hire somebody, they’ll look internally first. If they can’t find anybody they’ll advertise the role, and if that doesn’t work they’ll try to source it themselves. When all else fails – they come to me!
Here’s an example. Recently, a FTSE 250 listed company needed a Tax Technologist who knew about VAT in LATAM and the US, was experienced in configuring VAT in SAP and who spoke Portuguese and Spanish. I had a week to come back to this client, I was able to source 3 candidates within the given timeframe.
I have a network I have built over the last 10 years working in this industry, I constantly leverage from it.
How is digital changing tax functions?
We are heading towards real-time access to information and real-time reporting.
Tax departments within businesses are becoming a more strategic partner with steady involvement with the operations. For a long time, tax basically functioned in silos across the organisation. But it is now more connected to the business.
Tax authorities in many jurisdictions are way ahead of companies in terms of digitalization. HMRC’s objective for 2020 to make its tax system fully digital, so there will be even more need for the ‘tax technology manager’ or ‘tax technologist’.
The tax technologist needs to be somebody curious and entrepreneurial.
This breed of tax professional is opening a need for new types of profiles: mathematicians, data scientists, computer scientists, and people with technology and business operations knowledge.
What’s the job market like for tax professionals?
There’s such a shortage of tax technologists.
It’s not unusual now to search candidates in Eastern Europe, Latin American, Russia, and the US – the market is global.
Private equity firms are investing in tax automation software, and as those firms are expanding this has created a war for talent.
There is a lot of recruitment coming from the service firms and software firms at Manager level for Tax Technologists. Candidates are realising where the market is going and you see more of them taking IT training, certifications in SAP or Oracle for example.
Where do you see your business going?
Without doubt, this business will grow over the next few years.
I was surprised by how quickly it picked up. As the legislator is putting more pressure on businesses, the need for tax technologists is growing. For now, it’s a candidate-led market and therefore the need for recruitment in this area is only going up.
If you’re looking for a new role, or you want to hire somebody, you can find Candice’s contact details at CBO Search.