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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

Tax search & recruitment firms - does size matter?

Friday, 7 May 2010

By Simon Godley

As we see at the time of writing this article, we have a hung parliament and there is to ensue a major tussle amongst the political parties to determine who can form an overall majority government. So clearly for UK politics (under the current system) size does matter. Along with strong leadership and incisive decision making.

But there are so many other areas of life, and more importantly in business, where size really doesn't matter. One example is the internet - outrageously successful web businesses such as Google and Facebook, with an enormous international reach, but really don't have many offices or employees compared to other business models. What has underpinned these businesses for their success are very good business ideas combined with acute technology skills, and very high levels of persistent innovation.

So let's turn to recruitment businesses, and does size matter there? Well, I think the perception amongst a lot of hiring managers is that it does matter, and they feel reassured in some way if they are talking with a large international multi-office recruitment business. Well, I'm sorry to be blunt here, but the reality is that for specialist markets like tax, it is simply not true that the larger recruitment business are the best or most effective. In fact, if anything, there is a negative correlation. In fact, there is evidence to suggest (because I've spoken to clients about it) that the larger the recruitment firm, the less effective they seem to be at being able to access well matched and specialist candidates.

Rather than size, what I think really matters the most in contributing to how well a (tax) recruitment firm performs is:

Their market network - the better their real / tangible network (and I use the words real and tangible because I'm not including e-networks such as LinkedIn), the quicker they can get assess to highly specialist candidates that have a strong match to a role / company.

Their longevity in the market - the longer a recruiter has worked a specialist market, the better their network (as above) and the more they fully understand the mechanics of job roles, and therefore what to look for in candidates and candidates' experience to match to a particular role.

Their skills in matching - note that I have also highlighted the word match in the above two attributes. Just as a successful web company needs to know how technology works, a successful recruitment company needs to know how to properly match candidates to opportunities. Often I think this is given a cursory mention, but it is the cornerstone of a successful recruiter. The ability to be able to find out what experience is really needed in a job role, not just what is written on the job spec. Then, the ability to seek out from candidates' experience if they will perform well and succeed in the role in the short and long term, and how the 'cultural' fit is between candidate and employer.

I think it is because of the above issues that a company like Talentpool, one of the smallest tax search / recruitment companies by size is very well placed to recruit for some of the very largest organisations in the world, and linking them up to the best candidates for their opportunities.

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posted by Simon Godley


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