August 14 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Audit market sees surge in aggressive headhunting

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Recruitment tactics used by the high end accounting firms in the UK are becoming increasingly aggressive, a senior partner in one of the Big 4 recently went on record as saying.

A limited pool of talent, when it comes to experienced senior auditors, means that poaching has become the norm amongst competing companies.

Partner level

An increase in activity in the large-listed audit market means partners and auditors just below partner level are in great demand.

Recent changes in audit regulation have meant that companies are tendering their audit contracts more frequently. This has led to a situation whereby a premium has been placed on human resources and senior level headhunting is becoming far more common.

With increased demand come more generous offers, which has led to many experienced auditors who are on the verge of making partner status finding themselves being wooed by several potential suitors.

Activity

There has been an increase in bid activity that has seen 82 FTSE 350 audit tenders completed since October 2012. Of these, almost 40% have taken place in the past twelve months. This has meant preparatory work ahead of formal tenders has seen a surge in demand.

The limited pool of auditors capable of working on the biggest and most difficult accounts means that a ‘war for talent' has been underway between the major accounting firms.

It is good news for the most experienced auditors within their sectors, including some who have already made partner, but for the industry as a whole the full impact has yet to be revealed.

Thiago is the LSBF Blog Editor who manages news and features content on the site, and writes about business, finance, technology, education and careers.

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