Attract the brightest - recruitment at KPMG

This case is available at ECCH with reference no. 412-008-1.

This is part of a case series. As part of his new job as the HR director at KPMG Belgium, Martin Blanc is asked to attract a large, stable number of people during the next couple of years. In the second part of this case, we revisit KPMG after a decade. Currently absenteeism is too high. Furthermore, KPMG loses their employees in the first two years, so just after they’ve been fully trained and start being profitable. The goal is clear: decrease employee turnover and increase the average tenure with three years.

Different factors need to be taken into account in this case. First, the demography of KPMG has changed drastically over the last couple of years. Not less than 67% of the current workforce is part of the Y generation, while the job content and structure is still adjusted to the previously dominant X generation. Misunderstandings between the two generations lead to quite some conflicts. Second, young graduates find it difficult to get a realistic job preview of their career at KPMG. Especially on the job level, as there are quite some differences between different functions (in job content and employee turnover). Further initiatives should be taken to clarify this.

The goals of this case is to come up with actions that reach retention goals. In order to successfully do this, students should analyse exit interview and starter questionnaires, reflect on generations management and realistic job previews. However, the attraction to the sector has diminished slightly over the last couple of years. Furthermore, competition for talents has become fiercer as other players in the market (eg banks) also focus on the same young graduates. In order to successfully attract more people, Martin decides to look into the current recruitment strategy. It seems that the sector has been very unstable, with a large number of mergers and acquisitions. The four resulting firms, also known as the ‘Big Four’, have a fairly identical clientele, focus and brand. For KPMG it is clear what they want to communicate to applicants, however, their message does not appear to be very distinct from that of their competitors. The goals of this case is to construct a clear and distinct employer brand for KPMG Belgium which allows them to attract the right people in the market. Furthermore, students should reflect on how to communicate this employer brand: using which channels, what timing, etc.

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