Should I start my job search prior to Christmas?

Pres Pillai our consultant managing the role

Should I start my job search prior to Christmas? If I had a pound for every time a candidate has asked me this question or told me that they are not looking for a new role until the New Year then I would be sat on a beach somewhere sipping Margaritas.

The answer to this question is yes and here’s why… 

I have been a finance recruiter for over six years and have experienced both very busy and very quiet times from a candidate perspective. Having always focused my attention at the part qualified and transactional level I have noticed trends as to when candidates start their search for a new role. 

Before the changes to ACCA or CIMA exam dates, we always used to see an influx of candidates twice a year following exam sittings and results which would make for a very competitive market place from a candidate perspective. 

This also happens in the New Year. January, a time for New Year resolutions, to lose a few pounds, get fit, quit that smoking habit or cut back on the alcohol following the festive period and of course, ‘New Year, New Role’! 

Why put yourself on the market when most of your competition will be doing the same thing? Why be a candidate fighting to stand out in a saturated ‘New Year, New Role’ environment? 

Get ahead of the competition, start your search now, give yourself a head start and move into the New Year knowing that you will be starting the dream role and allow yourself the time to focus on the other ‘New Year resolutions.’
21/10/16
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Part qualified recruitment market unaffected by IR35
Part qualified recruitment market unaffected by IR35

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Finance & Accounting

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17/05/21

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If you have been living under a rock over the last few years, you might have managed to avoid the term IR35. IR35 is the name given to tax legislation in the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003. It’s legislation created by the government to reduce tax evasion amongst non-permanent workers on self-employed contracts. They are often referred to as disguised employees who are doing the same work as permanent employees, however under their own company to enable them to claim the same tax efficiencies of a business. Considering the many areas that IR35 has had a direct impact on the market - from limited contractors to companies changing their recruitment policies - it has not had a significant effect on the part qualified and transactional level so far.Why hasn't IR35 had a wide-reaching impact? Traditionally part qualified accountants haven’t used personal limited company payment structures as there were only marginal benefits on offer to them for doing so. Instead, the majority of these candidates have been paid through daily/hourly rates via PAYE basis or umbrella companies, so IR35 has had little effect on their take-home income.Generally, part qualified accountants tend to get paid a premium for performing contract roles, so they’re still in a strong position and normally provided with enough of an incentive to elect for contract roles over permanent opportunities through the added benefits.Organisations still have a strong need for flexible resources to cover many different situations that occur, such as maternity covers, illness, projects and many other uncertain situations that present themselves from time to time.Many companies have a preference to outsource payroll for contractors rather than dealing with it themselves and therefore elect to hire candidates on daily/hourly rates, as the agencies will take responsibility for the admin and all other areas that come with that coverage. However, some organisations do not fully understand the rules around contracting, and the after-effect of IR35 has led to some companies taking a blanket approach to recruitment and deciding to recruit roles on a fixed-term contract basis instead.As an experienced part qualified recruitment consultant here at Marks Sattin, I predict that in the long term, competition for talent will dictate the market and lead any companies taking this blanket approach down the route of using temporary workers again. Otherwise, they will risk not accessing the best temp professionals with the right skills and experience for their business at the time when they need it most.Find out more about the impact IR35You can read our previously published article here on how IR35 will impact contractors and employers. If you would like to discuss any of the above from a candidate or client perspective, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

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Considering the many areas that IR35 has had a direct impact on the market, from limited contractors to companies changing their recruitment polices,

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Jamie Smith

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How part qualified accountants will add value to your business
How part qualified accountants will add value to your business

Teaser

Financial Services

Content Type

General

07/01/21

Summary

Having spent two years at a Big Four firm and three years working in the part qualified market for Marks Sattin, I have a vast amount of market knowledge and have worked with a variety of clients within financial services. The part qualified market forms a big part of our business, however some of our clients have never recruited a PQ candidate before or are unsure of what this candidate pool looks like. So, we thought we would answer some typical questions/opinions regarding PQ recruitment below. ‘We are a small team and cannot afford to lose a member of our team to study for weeks at college’This is a common misconception from clients who have no experience in study support for junior accountants. If you are a practice-trained ACA your personal experience will be very different to accountants who have qualified in industry. It’s important to note that typically candidates don’t get sent to college for vast amounts of time, and there is always the opportunity to offer candidates online courses or evening/weekend courses taken outside of core working hours. A typical study support package towards ACCA/CIMA would look like this:-           Exam and membership fees -           Study materials-           An additional one or two day’s leave for revision plus the exam day, per exam ‘We don’t want to invest in someone and then they leave our company’ Investment in candidates is always rewarded with harder work and longevity which are key attributes clients look for when hiring!  The ultimate goal for aspiring accountants is to become qualified and have steady career progression, and without investment by their current business, they may be more likely to seek investment from a competitor who will provide study support. " When offering a study support package most clients can protect themselves with a clawback clause, meaning if an employee leaves during their studies or a short period after qualifying, they will have to pay back a percentage of  the fees incurred by the employer. ‘Why would good candidates be on the market for a new role before they’ve qualified?’ This ties in well with the above point, whilst study support is very important to candidates, equally to that is career progression and continued professional development. I am sure if you are reading this then you will be able to relate, especially when thinking about your own decisions and choices that you have made to get to where you are today!  Coming from a big 4 background myself, I know how uncommon it is to leave an ACA training programme before you are qualified - you could even say it is frowned upon. There is a completely different culture to accountants who train and ones who qualify in industry. Just because they are on the market as a part qualified accountant does not mean they are underperformers. In fact it just means they actually are committed to bettering themselves! ‘We are looking for a smart and ambitious graduate but we don’t provide study support’ In short you’re saying you want the best of the best without giving them anything in return. Smart and high achieving graduates will be sought after by many businesses. From my experience, these types of candidates can usually end up with more than one job offer on the table. For example one of my candidates recently graduated from a top university (University College London), and within a week had three offers on the table! In this scenario, more often than not, money is not a key motivator. By contrast these candidates will favour career progression opportunities, study support as well as the culture of the business. You need to make yourself competitive to win over ambitious candidates, unfortunately a good salary isn't enough. ‘We would prefer a newly qualified accountant’ Depending on the type of role a good question to ask is: Why do they need to be qualified to do this role? Part qualified candidates ultimately show value for money. A part qualified accountant with 2-3 years experience, will know how to do the job itself. For example, processing invoices, journal entries, bank recs, preparing management/financial accounts. Their salary expectations range from £33k to £44k. You can then compare this to a newly qualified accountant coming from an audit background that may never have performed a hands-on accounting role, only external audit. Their salary expectations are usually around £55k if they’re big 4 or around £50k outside the Big 4. Alongside the savings you could make, PQ accountants tend to be more willing to take on some of the transactional tasks which qualified accountants want to move away from, recently qualified ACA candidates typically do not like financial reporting roles, instead they’re looking for more ‘commercial’ roles. This is proving to be  a massive challenge in recruitment. You can achieve greater longevity from a part qualified accountant as they work towards becoming qualified, especially with the help of clawback clause. ‘We prefer to hire directly for junior roles’ With everyone looking to cut costs now more than ever, it also means there are an abundance of candidates and more people applying for jobs. One of my adverts received over 2,000 applications! This may seem like the ideal situation with plenty of options to choose from but the reality is that the majority of applications are candidates who are not suitable for the role. A lot of job seekers have the ‘throw everything against the wall and see what sticks’ kind of approach. And the reality of finding the right CV becomes ever more daunting. By using a recruiter who specialises in this industry, and who spends their days building relationships with these candidates, you can cut this down to receiving a few top quality profiles tailored to your business. Not only will this save you time, but you will also receive an extra level to the interview process. Speeding up the entire hiring process (especially if you are looking to replace a team member who is leaving, this notice period window can be crucial). As everyone in business likes to say; time equals money! Long hiring processes can mean losing candidates to other offers, or losing their interest if you make them wait too long - it doesn't reflect well on the business. At that point you may find yourself starting the whole search process again, not ideal or cost effective. If you would like to discuss a part qualified role, or if you're looking to expand your team please get in touch with me here.

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The part qualified market is huge and forms a big part of our business, however some of our clients have never recruited a PQ candidate before or are unsure of what this candidate pool looks like.

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Rebekah Froom

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Rebekah Froom

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Market Insights 2019 | Commerce and Industry, London
Market Insights 2019 | Commerce and Industry, London

Teaser

Commerce & Industry

Content Type

Market Insight Reports

28/08/19

Summary

Part Qualified & Transactional The beginning of this year was busier than usual, with consistent job flow and healthy activity - junior professionals are less worried about moving roles with Brexit on the horizon. New budgets are set at the beginning of the year, and companies were certainly hiring. Newly Qualified 2019 got off to a subdued start, it’s often a challenging period where clients are busy with month/quarter/year end, and recruitment isn’t the priority. In addition to this, the political landscape made employers much more considered about their hiring strategy and we saw 17% less permanent roles being registered. In saying this, as the year has progressed, the volume of roles has increased and the market is buoyant. Our main challenge is that the market is in short supply of candidates. Reasons for this are that Q1 is a busy season for ACAs in practice so they do not have the time to interview, and also many permanent candidates are reluctant to move due to economic uncertainty. Qualified Interim The qualified and interim market enjoyed a successful 2018, with a record Q2 for the business. Albeit a slow start to 2019, the market gained some momentum after January. These peaks and troughs perhaps mirror the political uncertainty around how we are to leave the EU. Despite the turbulent environment, our data points towards a busy recruitment market where we are seeing increases in the number of permanent and interim roles being registered. Considering the UK’s high employment rate and the demand for high calibre individuals, there is an emphasis on engaging with passive candidates in new and innovative ways. INSIGHT: Will IR35 affect your business? Employees in the United Kingdom can be categorised as full-time, part-time, casual, freelance and contract workers, with the self-employed bracket now making up 15% of the entire working population. The number of self-employed workers jumped from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, with a corresponding fall in the unemployment rate showing the overall boost in jobs growth from the rise in self-employment. Download the full Commerce & Industry 2019 Market Insight Report »  View salaries and commentaries in other UK regions and Ireland »

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