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The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #39 (2021)

KPMG Rocks signs held by a woman in a KPMG shirt

Following one spot behind PwC at No. 39 in the 2021 F100BCTWF is KPMG. One of the biggest things that happened at the Radio Station during the pandemic was (no, not Phil turning 50) a change in leadership. Lynne Doughtie led the troops for the first few months of the Rona outbreak, trying to convince Klnveldians that no pandemic-related layoffs were in the cards.

But once the calendar turned to July 1, Lynne was taillights (her five-year term as CEO had expired), and the reigns were handed over to Paul Knopp and his first lieutenant, deputy chair and COO Laura Newinski, who would now have to deal with keeping KPMG above water during the COVID crisis.

Rumors were that KPMG was anticipating a lot more voluntary turnover or “employee attrition” (which is no longer a problem at the Big 4) than had been planned. So KPMG went into cost-cutting mode: partners took pay cuts, variable compensation was shelved for the year, and raises to only promotion-eligible employees.

And then people starting leaving KPMG involuntarily: first in the Digital Nexus group, then in the marketing department, and then in all of KPMG’s core service lines at the end of September.

Unlike Deloitte’s mass layoffs, at least Fortune recognized KPMG’s human capital cost-cutting in its summary of what went on at the firm during the pandemic:

Late last year, this professional-services firm had to lay off 1,400 staffers—about 4% of its U.S. workforce—as a result of pandemic-related business struggles. But leadership earned high marks for taking dramatic steps (including reducing partners’ pay) to minimize layoffs, and for expanding severance and outplacement benefits. Employees also credit management for a strong response after George Floyd’s killing and the resurgence of the social-justice movement. “Leadership that identified as allies of the movement reached out to share their feelings and discuss how we can better support one another,” writes one employee who identifies as Black. “It was my proudest moment to be a member at the firm.” In July, KPMG launched Accelerate 2025, an initiative to recruit and build a stronger leadership pipeline for people from underrepresented groups.

Stats of note:

  • Employees: 33,000
  • Number of job openings: 2,676 (as of March 2021)
  • Number of job applicants (last 12 months): 215,496
  • Average number of applicants per opening: 53
  • Number of new graduates hired: 3,547
  • Percentage of women: N/A (46% per KPMG’s 2020 DEI Transparency Report)
  • Percentage of minorities: N/A (34% per KPMG’s 2020 DEI Transparency Report)
  • PTO limit (days): 37
  • Number of sick days: N/A

KPMG wound up 32nd in last year’s F100BCTWF.

Related articles:

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #34 (2021)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #38 (2021)