28TH JULY, 2021

How to Get the Right Team for Your R&D Project

Research and development (R&D) can be found in every industry; it’s an essential ingredient for progress. However, it does not often come cheaply, with heavy costs associated with equipment, software, consumables, hiring and developing an all-star team and then keeping them there.

R&D is vital for future growth and maintaining relevance in the market. A large misconception about R&D is that it’s only for cutting edge hardware, in fields like pharmaceuticals, and not an option for smaller companies. In fact, if a company is developing a product or service, then it is likely to engage in R&D activities at some point.

Hiring for R&D is one of the foundational bricks of progress. Saving on recruitment costs is often an attractive step, especially in a financial downturn, however, it pays to pick the best when R&D becomes a priority. Executives may be wary, considering the financial rollercoaster of the last few years, however, the right team can save money in the long run, making processes quicker, more efficient and creating the right team structure. Finding your perfect team is not an easy feat, despite no shortage of applicants. Companies looking for a capable and experienced R&D manager need to be prepared to make a recruitment plan for attracting the best candidates.

What makes a good R&D manager?

You know you need to invest in an R&D manager, but what are you looking for? In our experience, the best R&D managers have a wide variety of skills:

  • 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

It’s not just about finding someone who is technically competent, but who can use their skills to improve the performance of their team. Experience in communications, project and facilities management, collaboration and work in teams should not be overlooked in favour of technical expertise. The perfect candidate will have an understanding of the tax relief and funding schemes available for R&D, to allow them to facilitate and maximise claims through the application process. Financial assistance like innovation grants, tax relief and R&D Tax Credits should all be on your R&D manager’s radar.

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. Eligible costs 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%.

However, applying for R&D tax credits can be a difficult process that can be hindered by a lack of record-keeping by R&D managers and bad communication within a team. R&D tax specialists, like us, can help ease this process by taking the lead on the application or guiding you through your claim. Use our handy R&D Tax Calculator to get a sense of how much you could be entitled to.

How can you attract the best?

High-quality talent often seek out innovative companies with exciting projects, looking to push themselves. An R&D culture attracts R&D personnel, as they know they will be in an engaging role and supported in their work. 

Clarify your company culture

Companies who are clear on their mission and values and hire within those aspirations will create a stronger sense of teamwork and commitment. Knowing what your company wants in very simple terms will make it easier to find people who align with those values, and those people will be more inclined to join you and stay with you.

Make every employee a recruiter

Your employees are brand representatives whose impact is rarely matched by any online tool or trick. Building a great workplace where employees are happy and enthusiastic will create word-of-mouth. Employees who are aware of and encouraged to participate in business growth can help spread opportunities.

Consider everything you want from a candidate

When recruiting, too many make the error of including vague skills and attributes. Your candidates need to know exactly what you’re looking for, and colleagues should be aware of this too. Be clear on everything you want from a potential candidate, from their values to their experience, so colleagues will know what the perfect option looks like.

Provide exciting incentives

If you want top-level R&D executives, so does everyone else. What makes you different? Incentives don’t have to be financial only; innovative ideas for the future, clear routes to progress and opportunities for your new executive to flex their muscles and make their mark may set you apart.

Be sensitive to your candidates

We all know it’s awful to not hear back after an interview. Streamlining your process and maintaining the utmost enthusiasm for your candidates, as you would for a prospective client, will prove that you care for your employees and their time, as well as improve your recruitment reputation. Striking while the iron is hot, especially on candidates in high demand, may well win you their commitment.

Making the most of your R&D strategy

Getting an all-star team is half the battle. Funding your endeavours in innovation can be a struggle, especially when cashflow is decreasing. R&D tax credits are a great option to take some of the pressure off and to allow your newly appointed R&D manager to run the show like they were hired to. 

If you’d like to know more about R&D tax credits, we are experts in the field. Tax Cloud is powered by Myriad Associates, an R&D tax firm with over 16 years of experience. We can advise on how to proceed with your claim, or on whether your company is eligible to begin the process. Get in touch with us with our contact form, or call us on +353 1 566 2001.

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
Lisa Waller Lisa Waller CTA, ACCA R&D Tax Manager
JEan Rollinson Jean Rollinson Senior Technical Analyst/Writer
Rabia Mohammad Rabia Mohammad Corporate Tax Associate