Categories
Profession

The best place to launch a career

I’m knee-deep into my third year working as an auditor, and that means I’ve nearly met my experience requirements to call myself a CA. By my calculations I’ll qualify somewhere around January.

Over those 2+ years I’ve gained valuable experience working with clients in many different industries. The opportunity to learn is literally limitless, and it’s probably the best thing about the profession.

Each year BusinessWeek ranks the best companies for new college graduates, and this year the top three spots were occupied by three quarters of the Big Four. Deloitte is tops, followed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. KPMG finished a surprising 11th. Grant Thornton also made the list (73rd).

They are among the first to rethink how to recruit college grads, keep them happy on the job, or just keep them at all. Ernst & Young uses Facebook to let prospective employees talk freely with real ones. Deloitte will show a rap video about office life—made by interns—to give students a realistic view of the company. And PwC requires some bosses to get a second opinion on their evaluations of new hires to make sure the feedback is clear enough, the goals ambitious enough for kids who are uncomfortable with ambiguity.

Using Facebook to recruit better doesn’t necessarily make a place a solid career launch pad, nor would a rap video. (I think Facebook works a bit better. The video will probably alienate more people than it attracts.) Clear feedback and ambitious goals will make PwC a great place to launch a career because it will help new graduates get used to the work environment compared to university.

But it is the experience of working with a wide range of clients that is most valuable in terms of launching a career.

Categories
Marketing

Firm using Facebook to recruit in Toronto

I’ve grown a bit tired of Facebook lately. I think it’s because what originally was a torrent of friend additions has gradually slowed to a trickle. (I meet lots of new people through my job but I doubt they want the auditor on their Facebook!)

It seems I’m not the only one who is questioning the system, but for other reasons. The lack of openness is leading some to compare it to AOL.

But despite our misgivings, the beast continues to grow. My city, Toronto, is apparently the “capital of Facebook”:

As a city, we have more members than New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. Thirteen per cent of Torontonians have signed up. We not only have more members than any other city – 670,038 as of this week – we have more groups within the site talking about the goings on of our town.

What does this mean? The value of Facebook to its members increases exponentially as more people join, and for Torontonians, the value of a Facebook account is much higher than it would be for someone from, say, Saskatoon (29,475 members).

I wrote about Facebook before and compared it to LinkedIn. In the post I linked to some accounting-specific Facebook groups, including one I’ll mention again today: Ernst & Young Toronto.

I searched Facebook for groups for Toronto accountants, and the search turned up nothing very good other than the above group. Why are no more accounting firms in Toronto taking advantage of the massive percentage of the population using the site?

Recruiters are taking advantage of the clustering of Toronto accountants, as this screen grab from the Chartered Accountants of Canada group shows.

How long before firms in Toronto realize the recruiting potential of Facebook, as Ernst & Young has?

Categories
Marketing

Are recruiters really using the internet?

A long time ago, before I bought this domain and set up this blog, I Googled myself to see what came up. What came up, was Neil McIntyre Photography, at neilmcintyre.com. It’s taken about a year, but I’m now the #1 result when you Google me. Great success!

On a related note, I keep reading that recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using the internet to search about their candidates. Most articles focus on these inquisitive people finding embarrassing pictures which result in the candidate not getting the job (which I guess makes for a juicier story from a readership standpoint), but this post on Web Worker Daily focuses on improving your online “brand” and using it positively to get jobs.

So why is it that of the many recruiters I’ve talked to since passing the UFE, precisely none of them have mentioned that they’ve seen my blog? As noted in the first paragraph, it’s easily found. The whole thing is very puzzling.

Update: Here’s another interesting take on the recruiting industry: “I’ve been increasingly annoyed by the spammy, mail-merged, sugar-laced drivel that passes for “personalized” contact these days.” Read the rest, it’s gold!

Categories
Accounting

Quit today, get hired back tomorrow

A recent story by the AP highlighted an interesting byproduct of the CA shortage – employees who leave their job at accounting firms are being actively recruited back to rejoin their former firm. Seems employers have realized that more often than not in the accounting business employees leave to explore different career options but leave the door open to returning to public practice.

Audit senior manager Danica Dilligard left Ernst & Young LLP in 2003 after six years with the company. E&Y’s courtship began almost immediately. The E&Y partners she’d worked with called, saying, “Just wanted to make sure you’re happy. There’s always a home for you here.” She was invited to E&Y golf outings, where she played in a foursome with the partners. She was included in professional certification courses and welcomed at networking events.

Granted this is a senior manager we’re talking about, but I have seen it trickling down to just about every level, down to the lowliest junior. It’s smart though.