- Corporate tax departments will expand their staffs this year, but hiring and retention will be major challenges, according to a report by TaxTalent, a career and leadership development community for tax experts. The 2019 Tax Hiring Outlook surveyed 400 tax staffing experts and found that 60% believe hiring will be difficult or very difficult in 2019.
- The tax industry has seen 8% decrease in using contingency firms for hiring and a 7% relative increase in using retainer agencies, according to the survey. Sixty-eight percent of respondents plan to hire in 2019, and of those, 71% will be adding between one and three positions.
- The survey found 32% of tax departments that don't plan on hiring this year. If they stick to their plans, they'll have to increase their consulting budgets, hire more gig workers, assign more work to current staff or try last-minute hiring in a shifting market with no preparation, TaxTalent said.
According to TaxTalent's findings, corporate tax departments are facing the same challenges other recruiters and hiring managers have faced: sourcing qualified talent in a skills shortage and retaining them in an employee-driven labor market. Along with tech workers and engineers, the tax industry faces a talent drought despite a majority of leaders planning to hire. For talent pros, this means pressure from the C-Suite and a push for creative sourcing.
Not only do employers rely on the expertise of tax specialists to maintain business operations, but these highly skilled workers are vital to employee-related functions, like compensation and benefits, payroll and worker classifications under IRS rules. HR will need to work closely with finance departments to hire more tax specialists while tackling this particular skills shortage. Tax departments might have to train and upskill workers to give them the needed knowledge. The task may require shopping around for the right learning platform or course to build the workforces these organizations need.
Collaboration between talent pros and other leaders might be essential, as talent gaps of this kind are projected to cost trillions in revenue by 2030, according to Korn Ferry.