Death of the corporate clone

In order to respond to this boom and maximise its impact, the Big Four need
to recruit high-calibre graduates and staff to meet the requirements of an
increasingly complex set of clients effectively.

At the same time, other professions – for example, industry and commerce,
banking and law – are all benefiting from the economic boom and recruiting
high-calibre graduates.

This means that the Big Four are facing a talent crunch at graduate level.

Whereas previously they could pick their employees from the cream of the
crop, they now face stiff competition from a variety of sources, including other
major banks and FTSE 100 companies. This is also happening at a time when there
is demographic scarcity.

But the Big Four have been better than some comparable professions at
widening their talent pool. They have recognised the benefits of a varied work
force and have done well in the past at assembling a diverse labour force.

In order to maintain their momentum and growth, however, they need to
continue to develop their recruitment process – namely how they hire people and
develop them, and how they attract, select and assess them.

In a similar vein, all those around the Big Four must follow this lead and
ensure that they develop their selection and appraisal procedures.

Companies that recruit accountants from the Big Four must measure and review
their recruitment processes, and recruitment companies must recognise the
changes within the industry and ensure that their business incorporates the wide
variety and high calibre of candidates.

In order to effectively hire from the evolving candidate pool, the Big Four
must ensure they continue to improve their recruitment methods and ensure their
recruitment agencies fully understand the talent evolution, because the ability
to select good candidates is more important than ever before.

Companies can no longer rely on corporate cloning in order to succeed. We
must look to the future and recognise the changes within the industry.

Chris Cole is managing director of Finance Professionals

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