How To Attract The Ideal People For Your R&D Project

Businesses often spend out a lot of money on certain investigative and research activities to help develop new products, processes or services as well as improving pre-existing ones. These activities usually fall under the umbrella of Research and Development (R&D).

R&D is vital in achieving future growth and keeping a product relevant in the market. There’s a misconception that R&D is only for large pharmaceutical companies and high-tech technology firms but this isn’t true at all. In fact, most companies offering products or services undergo innovative activities at some stage regardless of the industry or sector they’re in.

Hiring for top research and development positions is an important step in a company’s process for embarking on R&D work. Businesses that may have held back from recruiting to save money during the economic downturn are now realising the need to restore their R&D strategies, develop new products and take on the people-power required. However, recruiting the best research and development talent isn’t as easy as it may seem, despite the fact that many jobs are not short of applicants. Executives tend to be wary too, given the roller-coaster ride of the last five years and Brexit looming large. Additionally, companies on the hunt for the most capable research and development managers must work out a smart recruitment plan for attracting the ideal candidates.

Recruiting R&D project managers

The big question - what makes an outstanding R&D manager? In our experience, the best R&D managers are competent in executing a number of key activities, including:

  • The selection and planning of new R&D projects
  • Generating innovative new ideas
  • The co-ordination of R&D activities with marketing plans
  • Maintaining teamwork within senior management concerning technology issues
  • Motivating staff working on the R&D and getting them on board with commercialising technology

Excellent R&D managers must possess a skillset that extends further than merely technical expertise – they also need to have experience in communications, facilities management, collaboration and teamwork. They should have a firm understanding around the schemes available for assisting with the costs of the R&D work too, so that accurate record-taking becomes inherent. Such financial assistance could involve various grants, reliefs and (likely) R&D Tax Credits.

What are R&D Tax Credits?

Provided by the Irish Revenue, R&D Tax Credits are available to all Irish companies that are undertaking eligible research and development activities in Ireland or inside the European Economic Area. The scheme is a generous one, and acts as a lucrative incentive for businesses in Ireland to innovate. Applicable R&D expenditure will generate a 25% tax credit for use against a company’s Corporation Tax bill, on top of a tax deduction at 12.5%. This effectively means that €37.50 in every €100 of R&D money spent can be claimed back, with the credit reducing the real cost of R&D activities by as much as 37.5%.

If this sounds like something your Irish company might benefit from, you can find out more about R&D Tax Credits and how to apply on the Myriad Associates website.

So how can companies attract the best talent?

High quality talent tends to be attracted to innovative companies carrying out lots of exciting projects. With a successful R&D function, qualified potential new employees often feel a level of excitement in joining the company.

We’ve put together five steps to consider for improving your chances of landing the perfect new candidate for your next R&D venture:

1. Be clear on your company’s culture

This really is important, especially for roles in top-level management. Many companies have made the mistake of taking on an executive who seems perfect on paper, only to find they’re a terrible fit when it comes to the company’s expectations, culture and ethos. Make sure you know exactly what kind of company you are and how this translates into your strategies for recruitment.

2. Understand your company’s requirements

Being unclear on what your company needs from its new employee, both in their personal attributes and the contents of their CV, is a fast road to failure. Only too often this has been the cause of many poor hiring decisions for too many businesses. Even if the company’s needs and requirements change slightly during the course of an executive search, colleagues should still have a clear definition of what the perfect candidate looks like and what the company is looking for.

3. Give the role some wow-factor

Consider what exciting incentives the company could offer (not just financial) to the new R&D manager so that the highest quality candidates are must likely to make the jump to your firm. What are your innovative ideas for the near future? What exciting products are there in the pipeline? How might the new executive make their mark on your organisation?

4. Streamline the recruitment process

We’ve all been there: you go for a job interview and then wait ages to hear back from the company, if at all. The message here is you’ll improve your chances of landing that amazing new R&D exec if you consider their needs as well as those of the company. After all, if the candidate really is as perfect as they seem, they could well be in demand elsewhere - so strike while the iron’s hot and make the process slick. It’ll likely improve your company’s recruitment reputation too.

5. Partner with a recruitment professional

Seek out a professional, responsive HR partner with a thorough knowledge of the industry your company works in. In doing so, you could well improve your chances of bagging the ideal R&D candidate with the all the qualities required to carry your R&D programme going forward. Myriad Associates (the name behind Tax Cloud) has many years of experience in all aspects of R&D and can offer general advice around how to recruit for your innovative project if needed.

What are your current R&D recruitment challenges?

Whether you’re brand new to the world of R&D Tax Credit claims or you’ve been working alongside us for years, we’re here to offer help and advice when you need it.

The team at Myriad Associates is made up of a comprehensive mix of highly skilled R&D professionals, including tax specialists, accountants and advisors. There’s very little we don’t know, having worked with a large number of clients across Ireland as well as the UK.

Why not try the Tax Cloud portal for businesses and accountants today, or give us a call on +353 1 566 2001. Alternatively, you can use our contact page and we’ll call you back.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Myriad Associates helps businesses maximise tax credits and secure R&D grant funds. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Enterprise Ireland grants.

  • Submitting R&D tax claims since 2001
  • 100% success rate
  • Over €100m claimed and counting
  • Industry leading specialists
  • In-house technical, costing and tax experts
  • Member of the Research and Development Consultative (RDCC) committee

Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
David Farbey David Farbey MA, FISTC, FRSA Technical Consultancy Director
Lisa Waller Lisa Waller CTA, ACCA R&D Tax Manager
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson MA, MISTC Senior Technical Consultant