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Accountancy firms look to technology to recruit Millennials

When it comes to recruiting millennials, they’re looking to technology as an important part of the recruitment process

As the major accountancy firms re-brand into professional services operations, their need for a wider range of employees has grown. This includes a particular emphasis on those with the skills to work in cyber security.

As accounting and consultancy companies diversify from auditing into a wider range of service operations, their need for a broader range of staff covering consultancy, tax and roles in gaining new business has grown. And for multinationals there is an increasing demand for candidates with global experience and language skills.

In parallel, the growth in technology and, in particular, cyber security is also a factor, with many firms looking to recruit millennials in this sector. With fierce competition for these candidates, companies are turning to social media and communications to access the best of the talent pool.

A recent example is KPMG which has used communications by text, video interviews and virtual scenario assessments to attract employees. It has also run a social media campaign on Facebook with a quiz aimed at students.

This informed potential graduates as to the benefits the firm thought would be of interest, including training opportunities and information on the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, an area known to be important to the millennial generation.

Companies such as EY have tried to speed up the recruitment process to meet with the younger workforce’s expectations. And firms are keenly aware that delay, or getting it wrong, carries the risk of being exposed on social media, with the millennial generation more fluent in that sphere.

Another example is Deloitte which has introduced gaming technology into its recruitment process, with the aim of finding the most innovative candidates and those with strong problem solving skills. Its Firefly Freedom app tests candidates over a 20 – 30 minute period on a series of challenges in order to elucidate personality traits.

In particular, the areas of cyber security, data analytics and coding are major new lines of business for accountancy firms. Their need for experts in these fields has increased rapidly. As an example, at PwC, the number of employees hired for technology roles has risen from just ten five years ago to one hundred and fifty this year.

But once hired, the other issue companies face with millennials is longevity in that they tend to jump from one firm to another fairly quickly. KPMG, having noted this issue, has programmes in place which gives employees the opportunity to move to different roles within the business during the first three years.

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