Building a newly created Africa tax function

This involved recruiting four tax professionals at various levels of seniority from Tax Accountant to Senior Manager.

Key challenges

  • Needed to be completed within a short timeframe for commercial reasons.
  • Limited Africa tax skills in the local tax population.

Overcoming challenges

  • An international search across African, Europe and other parts of the Middle East was required. Needed to be mindful of cross-border cultural differences, communication styles & time zones.
  • Acting with urgency and purpose, BPA utilised a variety of proactive search methods:
    1. Leveraging from our network of contacts and a tax database developed since 1993, able, within one week, to speak to tax professionals in many countries, including Cameroon, Tunisia, France, Belgium, Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.
    2. We engaged researchers to identify tax professionals working within ‘Africa Tax’ teams of ‘big 4’ firms particularly in London and Paris. BPA does not recruit for any accountancy firms & our ability to directly contact the best talent within these firms is a very powerful tool for our multinational corporate clients.
    3. We advertised on tax specific job boards and our own LinkedIn group (1000+ members) attracting tax professionals from outside of our immediate network.
  • Building an international pool of potential candidates large enough for multiple shortlists required good old fashioned hard work, combined with modern recruitment methods. Two characteristics that underpin our business model.
  • All potential candidates with relevant experience were spoken to and/ or met to assess their cultural and technical skills and to ensure they matched the competencies outlined in the brief. No CV was forwarded without the candidates’ permission. Acting with integrity and confidentiality is paramount to BPA.


A shortlist for the Departmental Head of Africa Tax role was produced within three weeks of the briefing. Following two interviews in fast succession, a person was identified and received an offer. Due to complete transparency around client’s budget and alignment on salary expectations from the outset (this is always our approach), there were no problems. Offer accepted. This momentum continued for the three subsequent vacancies and all positions were successfully filled.

For further information, please get in touch with us here to discuss.