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September 25, 2023

New Recruits Are Allegedly Telling EY They’re Really Excited About the Split

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Amanda Iacone has written a piece for Bloomberg Tax about the EY split and how it stands to shake up an already shaken industry, the whole thing is worth a read. We already know there is a talent war, and we also know that PwC in particular is eager to snap up unhappy EY talent (see: PwC Plans to Poach Unhappy Senior Managers From EY and PwC Declares a Poaching War on EY), but now we know that despite countless potential new hires saying the split kinda freaks them out, the new recruits are so excited about Everest! Woo!

As the firm’s global partners prepare for a vote to advance the split, EY staffers are contemplating their next career moves. Their options include jumping to other firms or perhaps starting their own practices, said Geremy Cepin, a principal in the professional services practice at Korn Ferry.

“For EY people, it’s been a very trying year,” Cepin said. “There’s been a lot of back and forth and a lot of strains and stresses and sleep lost, I’m sure, wondering, ‘What’s going to happen to me? I’m not a partner, I’m not getting a big payout at the end. Maybe it’s time to do my own thing.”

So far, fewer than 10% of the EY staffers who’ve left the firm in recent months cited the planned split as a reason for quitting, said Trent Henry, vice chair for talent with EY’s global arm. The decoupling has helped the firm to recruit new hires and keep current workers, he said, with retention rates rising in the second half of 2022.

“The brand potential that that has for people to work through a transaction like this is really exciting,” Henry said. “Our new recruits tell us when they join, they’re really motivated by Everest,” he said, a reference to the firm’s moniker for its restructuring strategy.

Poor kids probably think they’re going to get the cool NewCo clients and work at a fun startup.

In November, Trent told Bloomberg Law the firm was on track to hire 220,000 people by their year end in July. That number was recently revised down by about 60,000 warm bodies due to a hiring freeze no one is talking about because, the firm says, fewer people are jumping ship so they don’t need to replace as many bodies. This makes EY’s 2023 hiring target about the same as 2022. It’s worth noting that when Mr. Henry talked to Bloomberg Law about the adjusted hiring target earlier this month, he made similar comments about the split’s affect on retention.

Retention has also been helped by EY’s planned split of its consulting and assurance businesses. “People like our Everest transaction, they understand the value in it,” Henry said, referencing the project’s codename.

We buying this? Because it’s not what we’re hearing on the streets.

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  1. People interviewing for a job will say whatever they think you want them to say. I doubt this is very exciting to anyone but also don’t see it putting anyone off applying either. These corporate restructurings are never ending. In 10 years the audit company will have started a new consulting firm and the consulting firm will have been bought by various private equity firms and gone public again or some such nonsense.

    1. Agree, when I interviewed with the Big 4 in 2008 I was “really interested” in IFRS convergence. Yea right…

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