Abigail’s Top 5 Predictions On The 2018 Global Job Market

By Abigail Stevens, International Recruitment Expert, Managing Director, Think Global Recruitment

This year is already shaping up to be an exciting one with the business world continuing to change and grow globally. Let’s look at the five major predictions that we believe will influence the global accountancy, financial and legal job market and why.


1. Changing standards, data protection, security and analytics are increasing the demand for specialist knowledge and skills

Digital transformation and change is happening in businesses across the world.

Robots are coming!  Automation means that a huge % (potentially 60%) of the jobs currently being carried out by people will be obsolete by 2025. Although the good news is there will be a large number of new jobs available that do not even exist now.

It’s all about having a specialism in a new area. Data analysts and Cyber Security professionals are in high demand as the finance landscape changes. Other examples including where the updated IFRS 17 is looming, we are seeing that professionals with expertise in IFRS 9 or 17.

Transformation has been a growing trend in recent years with firms updating, implementing and adapting to new ways of doing business in a digital world. There is an emphasis on those in the service sector needing to add more value and find ways to do things that can’t be done by automation.

Abigail’s Prediction: Jobs will start to change as soon as 2018. New roles will be created, and old ones will change. Accountancy and legal professionals working in the consulting profession, including firms of all sizes, will need to increase their skill set to secure their future in accountancy and finance. There will be more of a requirement to add value through providing, expertise, knowledge and solutions by providing external coach and advice, rather than just ticking boxes.


2. Tax is the new trend in the Middle East

Yes, the Middle East is bringing in VAT (value-added tax) to it’s never before taxed environment. The first to take lead on this new trend is Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where leaders are implementing VAT. The other GCC countries are set to implement this within the next 12 months.

Abigail’s Prediction: This is the start of more taxes within this region and that VAT at just 5% will increase. Maybe not in 2018, although in Saudi there is already discussions regarding introducing PAYE tax for expat workers, a cost likely to be borne by their employers. This is said to counter the drop in the price of oil and bring in replacement revenue to generate more growth to the already ambitious region. It will mean demand for new skill-sets to the area that it has not needed before.


3. Diversity on the work place will favour minority candidates

As the conversation around diversity and women in the workplace continues to gain traction, we are seeing more organisations investing in talent development and attracting under-represented groups to build their teams. Many governments have implemented rules or guidelines and goals for increasing diversity in the work place. I am very excited to see this opening door for many that may have seen barriers in the past, although we do also need to be careful this does not then put in barriers for those not in a minority group from securing a deserved role or promotion.


Abigail’s Prediction: Cultural diversity will be high on the agenda of many employers. We will even see it in countries that were not formerly known for this, such as the Middle East now encouraging females to excel in the workplace. This means if you are in a minority group, do not be shy to come forward and aim high. The path is being made for you to accelerate to the top.


4. Higher demand for professionals in rapidly emerging markets

Yes, emerging markets are all exciting places to be right now. These include Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Vietnam. There’s a lot happening in these regions including: market development, business expansions, tax reforms and a push for diverse workplaces. The future economy of these regions is promising and with many experts commenting on their growth, it looks like these are the places many professionals will be headed to benefit from quick career progression and adventure!

My prediction is to watch Saudi Arabia, which I believe will be classified as an emerging marketing in 2018. HSBC Holdings Plc , which has the biggest investment bank in Saudi Arabia, says foreign investors are getting ready for their first significant stock purchases in the kingdom as an upgrade to emerging-market status looks likely. It’s “inevitable” that MSCI Inc., whose classifications can influence billions of dollars of asset allocations, will add Saudi Arabia to its emerging-market benchmarks, Majed Najm, chief executive officer of the British lender’s Saudi unit, said in an interview. The relatively young Crown Prince of Saudi, Mohammed bin Salman has high ambitions for Saudi, including modernising its approach and widening the industries the country is known for. There will be many more jobs created in 2018 for men and yes, opportunities will be opening for women also.


5. Global mobility challenged with higher barriers to immigration

We’ve all seen the huge shifts around global mobility in the past year as Brexit negotiations continue in the UK and Europe and Trump is building virtual walls by tightening up immigration in the US. Canada has introduced stringent market testing roles which almost prohibit an employer being able to sponsor someone into a position, Australia is axing its highly used 457 employer sponsored visa in March 2018.

It seems ironic that as the Western Countries work hard to bring forward our technology, with so many high-tech inventions that bring our world together and make it so easy to communicate and travel across the globe, or even not too far into the future, to other planets, we take a step back and want to put other barriers in place to global mobility.  However, all is not lost, certain professions are still in high demand in these countries and there are new opportunities opening in other countries that are catching up with the western ways.


Abigail’s Prediction: Professionals should consider a move to emerging countries with their doors opening and offering new exciting opportunities. I predict that as doors close in countries such as the US to new opportunity seekers, doors will open elsewhere. Countries that continue to, or start to, allow highly skilled migrants to enter and ensure their businesses have the leading edge, will start to accelerate over those that close their doors to much needed talent.


On the fence about moving internationally?

Thinking about and international move can seem a huge decision, we understand that. And that’s why we go the extra mile for you.

Since the year 2000, we’ve had the pleasure of assisting over 2000 professionals make their big move abroad and improve their lives. There a lot of things to consider when moving abroad, here’s the top three questions we get asked –


  1. Why is moving abroad better for my career?

For starters, you get exposure to a whole new market and different ways of doing business. You get the opportunity to learn and progress quickly, as well as make new friends and experiencing a new culture along the way. Working in another country will only add value to your commercial acumen as you learn to adapt and thrive in challenging new environments.  This also increases your chances of more rapid career progression.  Statistics show those with overseas experience move up the career ladder more successfully.


  1. Should I stay in the same field or do something different?

Moving into a similar field of work makes transitioning much easier as it is something that is familiar. Especially since everything else will be new and different.   Even though you are in the same role, the way business is done in another country will be totally different to what you’re normally used to. You will gain a deeper understanding of how to produce results in unique situations and work with diverse people who can teach you a thing or two you may not have known before.


  1. Why is it better to go through Think Global Recruitment rather than direct?

Working with us means you have a specialist team on your side. We work closely with all our partners and have insider knowledge to know where to send it and tailor your application and guide you through the interview process. There is a lot of behind the scenes work to find your dream job and we are committed to finding the role that’s right for you.


With everything going on in the world, we are excited to work alongside our amazing partners for their talent needs, and the amazing professionals who we’ve helped start a new life abroad.

We’re excited for 2018 and look forward to what it’ll bring!

If you’re interested in taking your career global, we’re here to help. Please get in touch with us here to talk about your move abroad with our trusted consultants. 

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