Which companies advertised and what specialisms were in high demand throughout 2021?

So what can we learn from 2021 when it comes to the hiring activities of the in-house tax market?

Over the month of January Sal Partners has worked through our 2021 data (specifically focused on the in-house market across our key markets of focus NL, CH, DK, BE) to help answer some key questions:

(i) Which companies have hired over the last 12months?

(ii) Which of these four markets performed the strongest when it comes to total volume and seniority?

(iii) Which specialisms, as well as grades, continue to be in high demand?

Our data is derived from a variety of sources which include contacts of Sal Partners, LinkedIn and various other online websites. Whilst the insights below serve as an example of what is taking place across certain markets, it does not provide a full picture especially when it comes to senior appointments given a large percentage of such mandates are not publicly advertised.

Snapshot of who advertised (public sources) throughout 2021

Head of Tax/Group Tax Director

Bestseller | Head of Tax | Denmark

Booking.com | Head of Tax | Netherlands

Ekaterra | Head of Tax | Netherlands

Franke Group | Head of Tax | Switzerland

Gorillas | Head of Tax | Netherlands

GTB | Group Tax Director | Belgium

Lafarge | Head of Tax Strategy & Operations | Switzerland

Maersk Tankers | Head of Tax | Denmark

Myovant Sciences | Global Head of Tax | Switzerland

Nets | Head of Tax | Denmark

Nilfisk | Head of Tax | Denmark

Oriflame | Head of Tax | Switzerland

Ramboll | Group Tax Director | Denmark

Trivium Packaging | VP Global Tax | Netherlands

UCB | Global Head of Tax | Belgium

Zur Rose | Head of Tax | Switzerland

Regional/International Tax Director

Bolt | Regional Tax Director | Netherlands

Coty | International Tax Director | Switzerland

Dermavant Sciences | Tax Director | Switzerland

Givaudan | International Tax Director | Switzerland

L’Oréal | Benelux Tax Director | Netherlands

Linnea Logistics | European Tax Director | Netherlands

Moderna | International Tax Director | Switzerland

Netflix | EMEA Tax Director | Netherlands

WeTransfer | Senior Tax Director | Netherlands

Indirect Tax

ABB | Group Indirect Tax Transformation Lead | Switzerland

Align Tech | Indirect Tax Director | Switzerland

ON | Global VAT Lead | Switzerland

Otrium | Global Tax Lead | Netherlands

Philips | Indirect Tax Lead | Netherlands

Trivium Packaging | Indirect Tax Director | Netherlands

The Netherlands – total volume & seniority

The Netherlands performed the strongest when it came to the total number of in-house vacancies recorded from online sources throughout 2021 with 43%, an astonishing number, further re-enforcing the Dutch market as a hub for multinationals and tax professionals alike. Switzerland came in second (29%) followed by Denmark (16%) and finally Belgium (12%).

When looking to understand how “role seniority” faired, specifically the Director/VP grade across each of the four markets – the Netherlands once again came out top with 41%, followed by Switzerland (32%) Denmark (16%) and finally Belgium (11%). Interestingly the Swiss market “produced” a greater percentage of Director appointments in relation to the countries total number of vacancies – Genève, Zürich and Basel-Stadt “housing” the greatest number of “Directors”.

Compliance, Reporting & Tax Accounting continue to deliver

Our data was split into three categories, Indirect Taxes, Transfer Pricing and Corporate/M&A Tax. Given the breadth of the latter group, which included vacancies across Compliance & Reporting, Tax Accounting, Tax Advisory and M&A Tax, 69% of all vacancies recorded across the four markets fell into this category. Indirect Taxes (21%) & Transfer Pricing (10%). That being said, it’s clear, CIT Compliance & Reporting & Tax Accounting professionals were by far the most in-demand; a trend we anticipate will remain as we look to the year ahead.

“Managers” in high demand

49% of all vacancies recorded across the four markets sat at Manager grade and whilst titles differ across organisation, when it came to how we categorised our data, this cohort aligned with candidates with circa. 6-10yrs of experience – Assistant Managers/Senior Consultants (26%), Senior Managers (13%) and finally Directors (12%).

Sal Partners Comments

The tax market continues to improve with 2022 showing no sign of slowing down, as a result, companies are having to work hard to attract, onboard and retain the best talent. This is apparent when we consider Manager grade assignments as well as positions aligned with CIT Compliance, Reporting & Tax Accounting.

Whilst historically the in-house market has fared well in terms of attracting talent from the leading consulting/legal firms, with renewed compensation packages, more flexible work patterns and finally new retention strategies being put in place, the competition for talent is clear. Today, in-house functions are having to operate in a much more competitive market.

How companies choose to “go to market” and the subsequent process they then conduct (noting a well-structured interview schedule, clear/consistent communication and finally clarity around compensation) is vital. The challenges which surround identifying the right hire for your team are clear; once a candidate of interest is engaged, to then lose them based on a poorly executed/elongated interview process is something that cannot happen if companies are looking to gain that competitive edge.

 “The tax world continues to be more dynamic than ever before. In terms of increased transparency requirements and compliance, as well as in terms of increased digitalization in indirect taxes. Challenges include preparing for OECD’s Pillars I and II and getting ready for the ever-increasing wave of digital reporting requirements. This will likely imply that multinationals will continue to look for talents that possess a skillset that is broader than the traditional tax advisory skill-set. A good understanding of data, systems, technology and processes is key for the tax team of the future.”

Ralf Pieters
Managing Director Tax | FedEx Express | Netherlands

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