We are seeing the most demand for those with between one and three years of post-qualified experience. A shortage of appropriate candidates at this level, as well as an emphasis on staff retention, has resulted in a climate in which salaries outmatch experience. Premiums are being paid in particular for those with in demand skills, such as FATCA/CRS specialists.
The burden of compliance and complex regulation is creating challenges. A number of US funds and private equity businesses have recently established or re‑established tax functions in the UK. Whilst larger banks have been at the forefront of hiring into their compliance and reporting teams, there has been an increasing trend of recruiting newly qualified professionals to cover compliance‑focused roles.
Not only does this help alleviate external reputational risk but also relieves continued pressure from governing bodies and wider international fiscal authorities. Hiring managers are reluctant to bear the cost of outsourcing surplus work and instead will push hard to ensure budgets for additional headcount or replacement hires are approved quickly. There has been a continued demand within niche areas including operational taxes and FATCA/CRS. Many multinationals have seen high levels of activity across their transactional and deal-making teams, necessitating technically gifted M&A or international tax advisory specialists. Surprisingly, given the onset of BEPS, demand for transfer pricing specialists has not grown with any significance.
In general, salaries have remained relatively flat with little increase to be seen. However, the shortage of relevant tax professionals is giving candidates more control over their movements, and higher positions are becoming increasingly available for less experienced staff, particularly those with FACTA/CRS expertise.