Big 4 Bright Ideas?

Last week we covered a couple of Big 4 firms that were experimenting with some new ideas. As usual, the reception was mixed.

For starters, PwC announced that starting next year nearly half of its staff would be eligible for $1,200 student loan assistance for up to 6 years. It got a lot of media attention, although no one (including me) seemed to buy the story that the firm wanted do its part to fight the student loan crisis:

It's adorable any time a mega-company says they're doing something in the interest of a "societal issue"  because, in reality, they're doing something to benefit themselves handsomely and then they're trying to do something to benefit society. PwC isn't in the business of helping society. If they were, they wouldn't take a dime from their audit clients.

No, PwC wants the Millennials. All of them. It's a war for talent out there and PwC figures it has to play hardball with the likes of Google, Facebook, Netflix, et al., and if it's actually going to compete for the coveted STEM talent as they claim, they need to stand out from the all-you-can-eat buffets, dog runs in the lobby, unicorn riding lessons, day trips to the Moon and whatever else the tech companies give their people.

It's an interesting perk and there's no consensus about its value. Go read about it.

The other story came from Greg Kyte who learned that Deloitte has been dabbling in tracking devices up North:

[A]t the end of every day, you’ll know exactly how many times — and with what conviction — you screamed, “Why the hell did I agree to wear this fucking thing!” Fortunately for the participants at Deloitte, Canadians never raise their voice.

The creators and the consumers of the badges are emphatic that the goal of these devices is not to find and punish slackers and rebels. However, the accuracy of the device is unclear. Will the Humanyze badge mistakenly report that you were having sex in the breakroom when you were merely trying to get a coworkers keys out of his or her pocket using your penis?

This idea, on the other hand, drew a unanimous reaction.

Have a great week.

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