On to a winner

On to a winner

This article was originally published in the Irish Independent.

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Head of Resourcing

KPMG in Ireland


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On to a winner

Professional services firm KPMG has a lot to offer graduates and welcomes applications from all disciplines.

The winner of the GradIreland Graduate Employer of the Year award for 2015, KPMG, is seeking to hire around 280 new graduates into its Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast offices this year.

A global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services, KPMG operates in 156 countries and has more than 152,000 professionals working together in member firms around the world.

In Ireland, KPMG employs 80 partners and 2,200 staff and works with a wide range of companies, both Irish and international.

KPMG won the GradIreland title because of its commitment to graduate development on a number of fronts, including training and development, mentoring and coaching, career progression, student work experience programmes and its commitment to diversity and corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to Paul Vance, head of resourcing at KPMG.

“KPMG is growing so we are investing in more people to work in audit, tax, consulting and advisory. That means more positions for bright and ambitious graduates who want to become the business leaders of tomorrow. We’re looking for graduates with good communication, teamwork, leadership, problem solving and attention to detail skills,” he says.

“As well as business graduates, we welcome applications from engineering, science, arts, law and so on as our clients operate in every industry sector. We provide additional training for non-business graduates to support them with the switch to business. So if the career motivation is right, then they will succeed.”

Starting a graduate career can be daunting and Vance says that KPMG recognises this - most graduates join KPMG in the autumn and spend their first six weeks in a comprehensive induction programme.

“This programme really helps the graduates to settle in and get to know KPMG and one another. They are all assigned an individual mentor – we call this person a ‘buddy’ – who is there to help them with all those early work questions that soon become everyday norms,” says Vance.

“From a work perspective graduates are supported from day one and we ensure people are trained to be successful with their work. From a social perspective, graduates soon realise there is a great social element to the firm, be it sports, socialising or CSR – there is something for everyone that helps with integrating people into the firm.

“All of our graduates train to be chartered accountants and we take pride in helping them to achieve their professional goals.”

Regarding KPMG’s approach to training and development generally, before graduates start on the firm’s programme their needs are assessed and training is scheduled as required.

“We invest enormously in learning and development through the KPMG Business School. On average, it delivers 1,600 courses a year and there are over 200 technology-based learning modules allowing employees to access training from their desks if they wish. On average every employee completes 25 training days a year,” Vance explains.

“Our Business School combines delivering quality classroom training with integrated work opportunities. This blended approach is key to graduate development.”

Training doesn’t stop at graduate level – all employees in Ireland are involved in training as their careers progress. This includes access to courses on client relationship management, people management, industry sector training as well as professional training to ensure success in chartered accounting exams. “We also leverage the best of KPMG International’s training programmes to complement our own,” Vance notes.

He believes that the motivation to join KPMG’s graduate programme is probably different for every person that is hired, but says there are numerous reasons as to why its programme in particular is appealing to graduates generally.

“We know that bright and ambitious graduates want a career that’s varied, challenging and rewarding and we offer this in abundance. Additionally, we offer an unrivalled training programme for graduates seeking to become chartered accountants, our client portfolio is second to none and there is access to travel within our international network.

“KPMG has consistently produced the strongest exam results in the country over the past five years; it represents the biggest learning and development investment in our sector and offers market leading experts who are willing to disseminate their knowledge and experience.

“There is a great sports and social programme and an award-winning CSR programme involving our employees giving back to the community.”

This month, KPMG won the ‘Best Creative Staff Engagement’ award at the Allianz Business to Arts Awards for its work with St Michael’s House in creating a series of multi-sensory stories for children with intellectual disabilities. KPMG has built a strong relationship with St Michael’s House over the past few years with hundreds of staff having volunteered for a range of activities including organising sports days and painting murals.

“In short, we have a high performing, people-oriented and work-life balanced culture,” says Vance.

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