Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Video as a Recruitment Tool at "Big Four" Public Accounting Firms: Why Video Should Be Part of Accounting Curricula

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Video as a Recruitment Tool at "Big Four" Public Accounting Firms: Why Video Should Be Part of Accounting Curricula

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems Inc. recently stated, "Video is the new voice... If a picture is worth a thousand words, a multimedia video is worth a million words" (Jander, 2010). This assertion is consistent with the increasing use of video in the business world. Today businesses are using video for everything from video conferencing to public relations. This paper describes the ways the "Big Four" public accounting firms are currently using video as a recruitment tool. This evidence suggests that global public accounting firms are relying on video as an important medium for communicating with college students. Further, employees at all levels of public accounting firms are being called upon to communicate through videos. Thus, the ability to communicate using the video medium is a relevant skill for accounting majors. Expanding the communication experiences of students by incorporating the video medium requires minimal resources, but nevertheless there is scant evidence that video assignments are being used to any great extent in accounting courses. Our descriptive analysis of both the extent and nature of the video content used on Big Four firms' recruiting websites makes a compelling argument for incorporating student-produced videos into accounting curricula. Doing so requires little investment but has the potential to better prepare students for both initial interviews and performance at various levels in public accounting firms.

INTRODUCTION

The "Big Four" public accounting firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young (E&Y), KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)) are consistently ranked amongst the best employers for young professionals. Bloomberg Businessweek's 2009 list of the "Best Places to Launch a Career", for example, ranked the "Big Four' public accounting firms as the top four employers on its list. Each of these accounting firms was also ranked in the top sixteen firms included on Bloomberg Businessweek's list of the "Hottest Jobs in 2010". This ranking says a lot about the vitality of these accounting firms and also suggests that they have successfully built images and developed significant online presences that are attractive to young professionals (Di Meglio, 2010; Rose 2007). This is remarkable given that accounting was long regarded as a solid, if unexciting, profession dominated by "bean counters" (Baldvinsdottir, Burns, Norreaklit & Scapens, 2009). Now, accounting firms are sharing space on the list of "hot" jobs with the firms like Apple, Google, Walt Disney, and the Peace Corp.

The Big Four public accounting firms clearly have incentives to invest in building images that are attractive to college students. These firms operate in a professional service industry where recruiting and retaining talent is critical to success. Each of these firms hires thousands of new college graduates every year (Gilmore, 2010), and thus each is constantly engaged in recruitment. Image or branding is very important in these recruiting efforts (Furness, 2008). PwC, for example, conducted a "Personal Brand Week 2.0" in 2011 and provided a variety of daily online content related to the idea of branding (PwC, www.pwc.com/ us/en/careers/pwctv/personal-brand-week.jhtml). While helping students to become more aware of their personal brand, the emphasis on branding makes it clear that PwC is quite aware of its own brand. Although the Big Four public accounting firms use a variety of methods of communicating with students and new college graduates, they are increasingly incorporating video as a recruitment tool. This is consistent with a focus on being innovative in trying to cultivate a youthful recruiting image and making use of a variety of online recruitment channels (Rose, 2007; Ruiz, 2007; Peacock 2008). Since the accounting profession has identified communication as a core competence (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 20062010), understanding the ways that accounting firms are using video as medium for communication is relevant to accounting faculty who are responsible for developing curricula designed to prepare students for careers in public accounting. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.