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About In House Tax

About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

BP uses internal tax faculty as recruitment tool

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

I only became aware recently that BP had set up an internal tax faculty to help with both attracting new talent into their tax team, and for longer term retention of people. The BP tax team is very large, with something like 150 in-house tax staff, so I guess having a dedicated tax faulty within the company can be easily justified.

Their Corporate Tax Director, John Bartlett, initiated this 2 years ago. Like most large corporates, they were struggling to recruit high calibre tax professionals from the external market. "The tax recruitment market had evolved and we could no longer rely on the professional firms and Revenues releasing a stream of talented individuals into industry," Bartlett said.

The tax faculty is based within BP's already established virtual university. Here tax professionals can develop their skills from classroom-based courses, self-led modules and on-the-job training.

"The financial reward package is always important but in an increasingly transparent market, it can be a given with candidates already knowing the salaries that are generally available," Bartlett says. "Now candidates want to know where the job might lead, the variety of progression opportunities and what track record the company can demonstrate of realising them for its people."

BP's programme offers career development frameworks that will seek to motivate and develop a tax professional comparable to that of practice Bartlett explains.

To date, the programme has been a roaring success, one that Bartlett describes as 'very powerful' in attracting and retaining tax staff all over the world especially lesser known tax networks including Russia, Vietnam, Korea, Azerbaijan and Indonesia.

From past experience, I know that BP have never really had a problem with retaining tax staff. Because of the massive size and scale of the global group, they have been able to offer tax professionals a career progression plan, including secondments to other parts of finance and overseas placements, which is always an effective retention tool. However BP's method is easy to replicate and other multinationals such as Shell and GE have also established their own tailored versions.

The above quotes come from the article "The tax talent pool is diminishing" by Jo Faith in the April 2008 issue of International Tax Review (

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posted by Simon Godley


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