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Young, Soon-To-Be CPA (Or HR Spy) Wants To Know What Your Recruiting Events Are Like

Call me crazy but this feels more like an email from a curious recruiter researching the competition than a junior trying to find out what other firms are up to. But hey, that’s just paranoid ole me.

If you have a question for our crack team of snark distributors, feel free to get in touch.

Hi GC,

I’m a young, aspiring CPA entering my junior year of undergrad. As a new target age group of recruiting, I recently attended a leadership conference with one of the Big 4. Sadly, I only applied for one such event, only to meet other students my age attending multiple events held by different firms. In an effort to always compare firms, I was wondering if you could open this up for discussion. Who had the lamest activities? Who had the most people? Which company threw it together at the last minute and had no clue what they were doing?

Thanks so much,

Bi(g 4) curious

Just wondering, did you try to talk to any of these “students your age” about the multiple events they were heading to? What did they have to say?

Why do you care? If you are interested in a particular firm, have you tried searching their tag on this website to see who gets the most “hoo-rah!” staff on here telling other firms’ employees how much they suck? I’m not 100% sure what it is you’re trying to glean from hearing about the recruiting events that you didn’t sign up for but let me save you a whole bunch of research: all recruiting events are pretty much the same. A bunch of awkward people stand around telling bad stories, sometimes crappy snacks are served, every now and then there are cocktails and at the end of it, some people come out of it with a job. End. These events have been going on for thousands of years (well, OK, maybe only the last several decades) and they’ve all pretty much ended the same.

But hey, let’s just say you are for real and just curious how other events went down… have you considered senior year? You have plenty of time to figure out what everyone else is doing.

That said, if anyone has some great stories to share (I’m talking drunk recruiters, moron accounting students making fools of themselves, hot chicks getting hit on by sleazy managers… whatever you kids got), by all means, please let us know.

KPMG Manager Irritated with ‘Other 3’ Calling the Kettle Black RE: Recruiting Methods

This week we’ve shared a couple of examples with you that demonstrate how KPMG is attempting to land some talent from its rival Big 4 firms. The strategy ranges from the Google-ish to the good old fashioned cold call email. After yesterday’s post mentioning the latter method, a Radio Station manager felt compelled to point something out:

I am a KPMG manager and I don’t want everyone thinking that it is only KPMG that is on an easter egg hunt to try land experiived the following linked in messages over the holidays:

PwC M&A Advisory Manager opportunity in Mclean, VA

Zahara Kanji Sourcing Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Hi [KPMG manager],

I hope this note finds you well. By way of introduction, I am the recruiting manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Transaction Services Advisory practice. We are strategically growing at various levels across the country. I am interested in your professional background, which seems to align well with our Transaction Services Financial Due Diligence practice. Please reply to this email if you would like to learn more about our business. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Position with Ernst & Young LLP Audit Practice

Renee Scott (Creese) National Diversity Recruiting Manager

[KPMG manager],

My name Renee Scott, Assistant Director of Recruitment with Ernst and Young’s Assurance practice. We are expanding our searches for experienced Seniors and Managers with assurance background and CPA designation.

Sasha Le with HR Consulting Partners, my sourcing assistant, through networking, has identified you as someone we would definitely consider speaking further about these great career opportunities. I’ve opted to make my initial contact with you via LinkedIn, a professional networking venue, so if you are or know of someone who is interested, please contact me at 410-263-3702 or via email at [email protected] OR you can contact Sasha Le via email at [email protected] or via (626) 839-7174. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Renee Scott
Ernst & Young LLP

A couple takeaways now that we’ve sufficiently beaten the competitive recruiting drum: 1) This time of year, there’s a big push to bring on new people because, well, there’s a perpetual shortage of people in some practice areas; 2) if you’re unsatisfied with your current firm, qwitcherbitchin and call one of these recruiters. They’d love to talk to you.

As for our tipster’s motivation:

I just begin to get irritated when staff from the other 3 point fingers at KPMG for being the bad guy. They seem to forget that an audit is an audit and unless PWC has discovered a new shmebit [sic?] to account for that the rest of the Big 4 don’t know about then I am pretty sure they audit the balance sheet and income statement the same way the rest of us do.

Now, then. Some clever commenter on the last post wondered “Whis [SIC] is this big news? Recruiters have been doing this in public accounting for many years.” We admit, this isn’t Andrew Cuomo slapping E&Y and E&Y slapping back but we seriously doubt it’s known just how competitive it is. Plus, the firm’s downplay the whole thing. Look no further than the interview KPMG’s Vice Chair of HR gave to FINS last spring:

[Kyle Stock]: I often read about poaching amongst the Big Four. Has that activity increased or decreased recently?
[Bruce Pfau]: Like any business, there are going to be fluctuations and vicissitudes in the industry in general and there’s a certain amount of movement between the firms. There’s no warfare going on between the firms or any vendettas or anything like that. In general, we find at least when people leave us, by and large, they’re not leaving to go to a competitor. And I think the same is true of our competitors. It’s usually because they see opportunities in either a corporate situation or another consulting environment of some kind.

So, Mr Pfau says it’s NBD but the reality is that the talent at the firms is very similar and when the shortage of people in a particular practice area becomes severe, the leaders in those groups put pressure on the recruiters to find good people to fill the holes. It’s reflective of the culture inside the firms and is part of the underbelly of what is going on behind the scenes. And in case you’re new to the site, that’s what we do here.

KPMG Recruiter Tries to Convince Some of PwC Advisory to Jump Ship

~ Post has been updated after initial publication, see below.

On Tuesday, we told that you KPMG was using the power of the Google search to try and woo anyone casually interested in “ey careers.” While this use of technological slight of hand by the firm is impressive, today comes word that at least one experienced recruiter within the House of Klynveld is taking a more direct approach:

Well it’s apparent that KPMG – or one of the initials – is desperate for advisory help. I know a ton of PWC peeps who received an email from this nuanced internal recruiter. This guy is spamming all of my colleagues.

From the sounds of it, our source is a little put off by this blatant attempt but for anyone looking for a new gig in the Chicago area, you may want to look this guy up:

FW: It is a great time to consider KPMG Advisory!!!

Hi [annoyed PwC advisory professional],
Your profile came up during our research efforts.

We are actively searching for top talent with Big 4 experience to join KPMG Advisory. In October 2009 we implemented a new structure for US Advisory to help us to better serve our client base and to drive more growth. We have been extremely successful with both of these goals and have a wide variety of opportunities across all of our Advisory Service Groups. I would love to speak with you about these opportunities and how they would be beneficial to you and align with your career goals.

Please let me know when you would have time for an initial conversation.

Finally, make your New Year a great one with a career at KPMG!

Best Regards,
Mike Madura
National Manager – KPMG Advisory Recruiting Research
Office: 312.665.3628
eFax: 312.896.9325
email: [email protected]

Our source also isn’t sure why a restructuring from October 2009 is being used as a selling point but then again, maybe it’s part of the reason KPMG had the highest growth in revenue last year? Feel free to discuss.

UPDATE: This just in, “I work in PwC’s Boston office in tax and many of my colleagues received this email today. Looks like KPMG is after tax too, not just advisory. Thought I would pass it along as a follow up to your earlier post.”

[annoyed PwC tax professional],
Your profile came up during our research efforts.

We are actively searching for top talent with Big 4 experience to join the KPMG Tax Practice.

We are currently experiencing rapid areas of growth across the United States in our Federal, International and State and Local tax divisions.

We are also looking for qualified individuals in our specialty and industry specific practices in M&A Tax, Valuations Services, Financial Services /Alternative Investment Management and Tax Controversy. With so much anticipated growth we can offer faster upward career mobility than what you are currently getting.

I would love to speak with you about these opportunities and how they would be beneficial to you.

KPMG is poised to significantly increase our revenue over the next few years, and we’d like to discuss how you, or someone you know, might align with our strategy!

Please let me know when you would have time for an initial 20 – 30 minute conversation.

Make your New Year a better tomorrow with a career at KPMG.

Grant Thornton Employees in Chicago Feeling the Heat to Join Big 4

After reporting rumors that PwC was chasing Deloitte seniors in Chicago, now comes another report out of the House of Chipman:

Is it just me or is pwc trying really hard to bring in seniors in Chicago? The other day at GT, the same pwc recruiter called every S1 in audit asking if we’d be interested in moving over.

A few of us actually answered just to see what he had to say and he was pushing real hard in getting people to accept that if we made a move, we’d have to take a step down (S1 to move over to A3), and that they’d be making a large investment in keeping us long-term (at least through a promotion to manager). This is after we lost a S2 and an A2 who both moved to pwc. Plus, we’ve received several emails from other outside recruiters gauging our interest in the Big 4, not to mention my friends at the Big 4 trying to get me to send them my resume so they can refer me (for a much larger referral bonus, I’m assume). Not sure if this is juicy enough information, but that’s pretty much what’s happening right now over at G to the T.

Here’s the deal people – all the firms need people at the Senior Associate level. All the firms have made it known that they are hiring aggressively, both experienced and entry-level employees and the recruiters within the firms have jobs too. Besides, where are they supposed to look for the appropriate talent to fill their empty positions? Dunkin’ Donuts?

Grant Thornton, believe or not, has plenty of talented people and the Big 4 will take those people if they can get them. Management probably gets tired of all the bellyaching by employees about how short-staffed they are so the pressure is on the recruiters to get asses in the seats.

If you don’t want to be hassled by Big 4 recruiters, simply say, “I’m not interested, thanks,” and go on your merry way. But judging by all the complaining at GT, lots of employees are probably happy to entertain some options.

KPMG Asks Alumni to Consider Taking the Firm Back

KPMG knows that many of you left the firm under less-than ideal circumstances. You found a younger, vibrant, more attractive employer who made you swoon. Or maybe you were cast out with the other lepers in the layoffs of ’08 or ’09. Either way, the firm would like you to think about it:

More Than 2000 Experienced Hire Positions to be Filled

KPMG Connect invites you to take advantage of the firm’s emerging growth as the alumni program expands its resources. To show our appreciation for your service to the firm as well as the experience you have gained since your departure, we have assembled a dedicated team to help bring alumni like you back to KPMG.

Join the alumni who make up 15% of our experienced hires each year. Contact [redacted] at [email protected] to make a direct query or click here to view KPMG job opportunities across the U.S.

Openings in certain strategic and high-demand practice areas include:

• Audit: Financial Services, Commercial.
• Tax: AMCS, EVS, Federal Tax, Fed Tax – Alternative Investments, ICS, IES, M&A, SALT Sales/Use & Income
• Advisory: Operational & Financial Risk Management, Regulatory & Compliance, IT Audit, IT Strategy & Transformation, Business Intelligence, ERP, Business Process Optimization, Financial & Transactional Due Diligence
• CSS: SAP Implementation, Operations, Administration, Marketing, ITS, Tax Processing, and other Practice Operations

In case you don’t have tour in you, the House of Klynveld would still like you to refer anyone that’s remotely qualified for any of the positions listed. And if you just so happen to know someone worthy of the blue squares, you’ll be rewarded with five Benjis.

Sure, that doesn’t hold a candle to the $3,000 and $1,500 the current mini-Flynns are get for referring experienced SAs and Associates but all you have to do is rejoin the firm and that referral bonus could jump six-fold!