How many staff does it take to hire someone?

In the case of KPMG, the answer appears to be 20. A friend popped over last night and mentioned that there were being interviewed for a position and that they were scheduled to do 16 interviews at KPMG, with the early few involving more than one person. Due to diaries this may take several months.

This seems bizarre to me. Everyday, the partners are relying on one another not to screw up an audit which might ruin the firm, but when it comes to hiring everyone wants in. Bearing in mind that some candidates won't be hired (even KPMG must turn some people away), think of how much manpower is involved in this process.

A positive view on this might be that they take hiring very seriously, which is why they invest so much effort in it. My perception is that they are hopelessly bureaucratic and incapable of making a decision. Hardly a dynamic process.

The other point is that good candidates hardly need to hang around for several months to find out if they've made it - most likely they will be snapped up. So, you are actually going to be left with the folks who couldn't get a job elsewhere and hence could wait but who also didn't offend anyone in the 16 interviews by venturing opinions! Hmmmm, sounds like a great intake.


posted by John Wilson @ 9:53 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although the cost to KPMG must be high, what you miss is culture.

I suspect that they do this so that their big ego people can feel that they have been involved in the decision. If the boss just employed your friend, which he could easily do, then he'd probably be rejected by the KPMG "team" once he started working there. How else can you get a team to accept a new member in a big ego environment?

It must work because I'm sure the KPMG partners are earning well!

At 8:51 AM, Blogger John Wilson said...

I take the point about culture and certainly both sides should understand whether the candidate will fit in. Yet does one really get a feel for "culture" in an artificial environment of an interview room one-on-one? Do people really behave in the same way as when they as in a settled environment?

Bear in mind that graduates will probably go through 3 interviews at most, based on the large intake to be identified/absorbed.

In relative terms, audit firms are less ego-centric environments (postively timid compared to investment banking & trading).


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