Recruiting Accountants from outside Europe?

With Ireland now at almost full employment, employers are increasingly facing challenges in recruiting suitably qualified staff to meet their needs.  One area where this challenge is becoming increasingly acute  is in relation to accountancy and finance roles with a growing need for audit expertise. However, it doesn’t have to be that hard! One solution to tackle this is to broaden the recruitment pool by availing of a work permit in order to bring in a non-EEA worker to meet the requirement.

In recent times, we at Whitney Moore have seen a significant increase in work permit applications from accountancy firms and, in particular, in relation to suitably qualified audit staff.  In figures published by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, so far this year there have been almost 700 work permits issued in the “Finance” sector.

Through the Critical Skills Work Permit Irish Government policy has strategically targeted the sectors most in need and uses this Permit to attract highly skilled people into the labour market where there is an identifiable skills shortage and with the aim of the people taking up permanent residence in the State.  The list of those roles designated for a Critical Skills Work Permit is updated on a bi annual basis following consultation with stakeholders, ensuring that it is meeting the demands of the market at the time.

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is “the golden ticket” of work permits.  This permit is available to individuals where there is a minimum salary of €64,000 or where the role is listed on the Critical Skills Employment List, and there is a minimum salary of €32,000.  The advantage of this permit is that it offers a spousal permit to any spouse of the holder of the work permit, and from day one on arrival in Ireland, the holder will begin gaining residency recognition for a future citizenship application. These elements make this type of permit a very valuable and attractive permit for non-EEA nationals looking to relocate to Ireland on a permanent basis.

The most common work permit applications we see being processed for Accountancy firms are for the following roles;

  • Qualified accountants with at least three years of auditing experience;
  • Chartered and certified accountants and specialising regulation, solvency, or financial management;
  • Taxation experts specialising in tax compliance.

These roles are all listed on the Critical Skills Employment list, and as such, these permits are being granted with relative ease once all the necessary proofs and details have been provided in the application. The current processing time has also improved considerably, and they are currently being turned around in 2-3 weeks from the date of application. Providing a very efficient way to fill that gap in recruitment. It is worth noting that depending on nationality, prospective employees may still need to apply for a Visa if they are coming from a Visa required country, and this should be factored into the lead time when recruiting through this means.

The Critical Skills Work Permit provides a fast and effective way of bridging the gap between the demand for suitably qualified accountancy staff and the supply.

If you would like more information in relation to work permits and the application process, please do not hesitate to contact Emma Richmond or Kate Dillon.