Big Four firm EY announced this month that it plans on hiring 14,200 candidates in the U.S. for fiscal year 2018 (FY18).

This figure includes approximately 5,400 "experienced and executive level" candidates for full-time positions, as well as 8,800 students, split between 4,880 college graduates for full-time positions and 3,920 students for internships.

Larry Nash, recruiting leader for EY Americas, explains how this boost in hiring is aimed at preparing the firm for more future-focused areas.

"We continue to see demand grow for many of our services, and while we will always need dynamic leaders with traditional business backgrounds and skills in accounting, tax, economics and supply chain, for example, we are also looking for candidates who have experience with newer, future-focused skill sets, such as robotics, AI, cybersecurity, blockchain and data analytics," Nash told Accounting Today. "Additionally, we are looking for candidates with global mindsets that will allow them to analyze and innovate regardless of their domain expertise or background."

"The backgrounds we are looking at for entry level hires are varied and diverse," Nash added. "We’re hiring individuals who have studied a variety of disciplines and are seeing the need for more students who have STEM backgrounds. Regardless of the major, we seek individuals who have analytic, innovative and global mindsets. Lastly, we’re hiring qualified candidates in all areas of our business, including assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services etc. and seeing the highest growth in our Advisory services."

Nash also explained how EY is being proactive towards hiring more diverse candidates.

"The business case for diversity and inclusion is simple," Nash said. "Teams of mixed gender, ethnicity, generations, physical ability, age, sexual orientation, etc., offer a variety of viewpoints and a wider range of experiences, which improves decision-making and problem-solving for companies and their clients/customers."

"We apply a three-pronged approach to advancing women and ethnic minorities throughout our organization," he continued. "First, we illuminate the path to leadership. Second, we create a culture that enables flexibility for all. Finally, we build a supportive and inclusive environment, where all differences are valued and leveraged. We place great importance on providing equitable sponsorship options for all, so that both men and women can have equal access to leadership positions and programs."

Some other notable hiring figures from EY's FY17 include:

  • Women made up 30 percent of the firm’s U.S. executive hires and 49 percent of its entry-level hires, with ethnic minorities making up 41 percent of campus hires.
  • The firm invested over $500 million in training for the "Future of Work," preparing staff for factors such as automation and technology advancements. This equaled approximately 12 million hours in learning for 250,000 staff members around the world, with 3 million hours of courses for its U.S. staff.
  • Over 50 percent of the firm’s experienced hires were found via employee referrals in the U.S., with EY paying $4 million in referral bonuses.
  • In September 2017, the firm launched two professional development programs: LEAD and EY Badges. LEAD looks to provide real-time feedback for career development, while EY Badges sees staff members earn digital badges for gaining skills on future-forward skills.

For more on EY, head to the firm's site here.

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