Firms tell it like it is
Ernst & Young says it strongly supports the CPA Australia Career Expo for one major reason: It offers a chance to explain how its corporate culture and career opportunities can appeal to motivated individuals whose professional future is limited only by their aspirations.
'The expo is a worthwhile channel that puts employers in touch with a rich pool of candidates,' says Michael Wong, Greater China people leader, Ernst & Young.
'Having been an exhibitor at the expo for several years, Ernst & Young has certainly seen the benefits of taking part.'
Wong adds that while job seekers can read basic information about career opportunities on the firm's website, nothing replaces a face-to-face discussion.
'The one thing people will not find on our website is how approachable and supportive we are,' says Wong.
'When expo visitors talk to us, they are able to get a feel for the future they might have with the firm, and, crucially, we can then explain how there are opportunities to progress a career in the direction that most interests them,' Wong says.
For graduates, this means real opportunities to build diverse careers, working on a wide range of dynamic client accounts, speciality practices, industry sectors and geographies.
However, Wong cautions that before applying to join a Big Four firm such as Ernst & Young - or any other accounting firm - candidates must be very clear about their motives.
'People should not join an accounting firm only for the salary or status,' he says.
Wong adds that the work is challenging, but the firm's high-performance environment is designed to bring out the best in bright recruits.
'We want our staff to be able to be themselves, so they can express their intelligence, individuality and insights, which makes Ernst & Young a forward-thinking firm,' he says, adding that keeping a diversified and inclusive people culture is one of their top goals.
Wong says new hires join a people development framework programme that is centred around holisticism, learning, experience and coaching.
'The development framework known as EYU [Ernst & Young and You] is designed to provide staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to power their careers,' says Wong.