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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 jobs search - are you 'on-line' or 'on the line'?

Friday, 6 September 2013

As a recruiter, providing a business service to professionals, I often ask for testimonials to find out a candidate or client’s feedback after a recruitment process.  From the candidate side, recurring comments are often 'I felt that I was prepared well for the interview' and 'I feel that I have benefited from Simon's knowledge of the market'. 
 Now these comments are usually from satisfied tax candidates that have been successful in their job search, so all ended happily.  But a common thread from their feedback is inherently expressing the value of fully engaging with a recruiter for a recruitment process.  And fully engaging has to involve the most basic communication function – talking.    

Before the arrival of mass market internet, let’s say pre-1998, someone looking for a new job in the tax market would look at the advert columns in the back of the tax and accountancy magazines, most of which were advertised through agencies, or they would get a recommendation of an agency used by a friend or colleague.  In present times, the job search process will undoubtedly start by typing in 'tax jobs' or something similar into Google.  This will throw up much of the same type of content that would have been seen in the back pages of the tax magazine, mostly on job boards or on recruiters’ websites.  Also, there will other sponsored-type links to apply / send a CV directly to employers job vacancies or other CV deposit zones. 

The main difference in job search processes between the 2 time periods is that in pre-98 the person would have picked up a phone to initiate the process.  That’s right, nothing would have happened until the person picked up the phone and spoke to someone.  In the present time, the phone might not be used at all, and a candidate might now spend quite a lot of the early job search process sending e-mails, sending CVs over the web etc, and not actually speaking to anybody.  As we know, it's quite easy now to book a (very expensive) holiday without speaking to anyone, and the job search process seems to be going that way too.  This is particularly the case for the younger / new graduate generations, as they possibly don't know another way.

However there are many pitfalls with this, from both the candidate and client sides, in particular from the candidate side.  The main ones are:

-          Not all web jobs are live or active.  So lots of time could be spent applying to jobs that are either already filled or on hold.
-          You can apply to lots of jobs, but will you get any feedback?  Usually not.  Most hiring authorities and recruitment professionals will make a decision on a CV within a few seconds, and if you are not matching up exactly to the spec, then they could be quickly hitting the Delete button.
-          You may have to fill in a long on-line application form.  This could also take up a lot of time, and you may still be no closer to knowing whether you will be considered for the role, or whether your background is relevant.
-          Your CV could be received and then sent out to firms / companies without you knowing about it.  I think this practice happens less these days, but keeping control of your CV and where it is being sent will reduce problem scenarios further down the line.

Don’t get me wrong, applying to jobs through job boards and other career sites is often an essential activity if you are actively looking for a new position.  But in some cases, picking up the phone to a recruiter or to a person named on a job advert could save a lot of time, and it could lead to getting some valuable advice.  Some job boards are very clever, some can automate a whole selection process, but what they certainly can’t do is give tailored career advice to you in your current situation.  They also can’t look at your CV, and then advise you to apply for a different role, which may be more suitable for your experience or more accessible for you. 

These things can only be done through discussion between a knowledgeable recruitment professional and a job seeker at the start of a job search process.

It may feel old fashioned, but picking up the phone and talking could avoid a lot of frustration in what can sometimes feel an arduous job finding process.

Simon Godley is Director of Talentpool Selection, a specialist tax recruitment firm covering the London / South East market in the UK.  If you would like to discuss you current career situation with him, please call on 0870 46 056 46.

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posted by Simon Godley


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