Redeploying talent

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 January, 2009, 12:00am

Ernst & Young completed an exercise which led to the in-house transfer of about 200 staff over the past few months. Many had previously specialised in initial public offering-related work but, because of the slowdown in listings due to the stalled economy and a corresponding increase of work in other areas, the firm did the obvious thing.

'We had an internal job fair to tell people about the opportunities and vacancies available as the market is changing,' said Nick Deal, Far East area resourcing leader at the firm. 'Their skills as qualified accountants mean they are capable of being redeployed to the advisory side of our business. This helps us with capacity management and shows that accounting is truly an attractive career option.'

He added that the firm planned to highlight such examples during the CPA Australia career day to illustrate how the profession allowed people to build a long-term career and make transitions between disciplines. Staff with varying levels of experience would be on hand to tell their personal stories and explain that a professional qualification could lead to areas such as corporate restructuring, investigations and valuation advisory services, and to positions in mainland offices.

'We participated last year and got very good feedback,' Mr Deal said. 'It is a good forum for meeting and interacting in a more casual environment. Most students prefer having the chance to talk. They can ask questions at their own pace and come back again later if they want to.'

The company is looking for about 250 recruits in Hong Kong this year and 1,250 for Greater China. About a third of graduate recruits have non-accountancy degrees and perhaps 20 per cent of those hired in Hong Kong are graduates of overseas universities. 'While we do adjust the total hiring numbers based on our projected business needs, we are absolutely committed to investing in the long-term success of the firm,' Mr Deal said.