Ernst & Young plans to significantly increase US hiring in the coming year, with a particular focus on advisory and assurance.
The Big Four firm told us that it expects to bring on roughly 6,500 experienced professionals in the US in its 2015 fiscal year, which began in July. That would amount to a 50% increase over the number of hires in made two years ago. In addition, Ernst & Young hopes to make another 9,000 student hires.
With the influx of new regulations, technologies and additional security threats, advisory remains one of EY’s main focuses, said Larry Nash, Americas director of experienced and executive recruiting at EY. The firm’s advisory unit has experienced double-digit growth for five consecutive years running.
Within advisory, EY has big needs in financial services, particularly in risk management, as well as in oil and gas, life sciences and IT security, among others. People with strong backgrounds with enabling technologies like SAP and Oracle will be firmly on EY’s radar, as will those with specialized knowledge of regulatory reforms like Dodd-Frank, Nash said.
As always, advisory firms want people with a strong global mindset, (spending a year abroad and speaking a second language always helps) along with good communications skills.
Headcount growth is increasing nationwide, but the bulk of the hiring is still occurring the major cities: New York, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco. Charlotte, Atlanta and Houston are also adding employees at a fast clip.
Getting the job
The best way to earn an interview at EY is through networking, Nash said. Last year, nearly half of their experienced hires came through employee referrals, up from about 28% in 2010, and they paid out more than $5 million in employee referral bonuses.
“I couldn’t stress anymore the importance of networking,” Nash said when asked to give his best career advice to candidates. That and coming into the interview with all the information you can find on EY and the business unit in particular.
With the ease in which people can get information on companies, we expect candidates to come in pretty well informed, Nash said. “It’s glaring if they are not well informed.” Know your company, know where their focus is, and know where they are investing, he said.