Preferred choice for fresh graduates

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 February, 2012, 12:00am


Part of BDO International - which is the fifth-largest network of public accounting firms in the world, according to the International Accounting Bulletin's 2012 ranking - BDO Hong Kong focuses on the substantial recruitment of fresh graduates each year.

Although at times the firm also relies on experienced hires with special expertise who can strengthen the workforce in terms of talent diversity, its recruitment strategy is, first and foremost, 'recruitment from within'.

'Whenever there is a vacancy, priority is given to internal promotion or other internal sources, such as internal transfer,' says Dr Angela Wong, BDO Hong Kong's human resources director. 'With this mechanism, we have built up a reliable internal pool of talent which is strong in professional skills, and who readily share BDO values.'

Fresh graduates are hired for all service lines - such as assurance, tax, risk and special advisory and business services - and are provided with systematic training and development programmes, as well as excellent career development opportunities.

They are welcomed into the company with a lunch, an office tour and an induction that help them to understand BDO's values and adapt to their new environment. They also have a two-week training programme and are assigned a mentor.

Wong says that one of the company's attractions to fresh graduates is the opportunity it offers to expose them to a diverse client base within a short time, rather than confine them to one or two industry types for several years.

'Understandably, youngsters like to try something new from time to time, and they look for variety in their jobs,' she says. 'Even within their first year alone at the firm, our young colleagues have plenty of opportunities to work for clients from a variety of industries and of various scales, and to travel outside Hong Kong as well.'

The firm, which has over 1,000 employees, also stands out due to its caring and supportive culture. One of its core values is to identify high performers, who are then put on fast-track development. Work-life balance is at the top of the agenda, and the firm offers the opportunity for staff to take breaks for self-enhancement and to sit professional exams.

In-house staff training covers general professional knowledge, management and communication skills, while topical workshops are offered on the latest professional knowledge and skills, such as updates on changes in the legal and regulatory environment. Newly promoted managers also receive help in the form of workshops on management and leadership skills.

BDO achieves its company mission of being 'the preferred choice for staff, clients and the financial community' through a commitment to integrity, service quality and support.

'Integrity goes much further than adherence to professional standards - it is about openness and prudent judgment, being trustworthy and straightforward in all of our working relationships,' explains Wong.

The firm is looking for fresh graduates who can uphold these values, and who are keen to develop their soft attributes such as communication skills, business acumen and international perspective.

Communication skills should work both ways, says Wong, including conveying messages concisely and effectively as well as listening and receiving messages accurately.

Applicants should also possess insight and sensitivity to the current and future development of the client's business, and have an analytical capability that stems from an international perspective.

These skills are crucial to their professional development, Wong adds.