As we’ve discussed, Big 4 firms are doing their part to marginally improve the frightening national unemployment number by embarking on epic hiring bonanzas in the coming years. FINS reporter Kyle Stock ran down Paula Loop, PwC’s Global and U.S. Talent Leader to find out the details on the firm’s plans and here are a few highlights:
Starting off – if unemployment doesn’t improve by 2012, Obama won’t be able to blame PwC:
KS: It seems like the firm is always hiring, how does that 45,000 compare with 2008 and 2009?
PL: It’s certainly higher than it has been in recent years. For the US, we’re hoping to hire around 10,000 this year. Those numbers are about 60% higher than they were for 2009 or 2010. About 6,000 of those are campus hires and 4,000 are on the experienced side.
Rumors of our acclimating to social media at a snail’s pace have been greatly accurate but only because we were waiting for The One:
KS: When PwC announced the LinkedIn [partnership], some articles said PwC has been slow to embrace social networking — is that accurate?
PL: Well, we were waiting for the right place at the right time. LinkedIn was a really good match for us.
Poaching, on the other hand, we’re all over that:
KS: I always try to ask about poaching. Is PwC hiring from competitors much these days?
PL: Because I think we are hiring more people, there’s more activity there. That’s always been a place we like to stay competitive.
Once you land those people, how do you keep them? Well, it helps if you come to grips with the fact that the last week of the year is pointless and you tell everyone to stay home. Secondly, you replace the old swag:
KS: Is PwC doing anything new to increase retention?
PL: We’ve had some great stuff on the retention front. We had an annual shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s where we closed our firm. That’s a terrific thing for us. I can tell you, you really get a chance to disconnect. Not only are you on vacation, but no one else is working. It gets people rejuvenated.
And we’re always doing stuff. Our new brand was a really great and exciting thing. We all have new bags for our computers that have our new colors for the new brand.
Right, the new brand! That was exciting. Sure, there might have been some kvetching at first but now that everyone has calmed down it’s really what makes us different from other firms:
KS: So how does the culture differ from a company like Deloitte?
PL: It’s hard for me to say on that, because I haven’t been a part of their culture, but I would say our new brand launch this fall really defines our culture. The colors are really vibrant and warm. We took that really long name and shortened it up. Our new logo can be really animated. I think that’s really what we’re trying to bring out in our culture.