Plante Moran has hired 135 accounting, tax and consulting interns and professionals and entry-level staff who are slated to start January 1.

The Southfield, Mich.-based firm, which ranked 12th on Accounting Today’s 2011 list of the Top 100 Firms, noted that job openings there are at a three-year high.

“We are seeing increased hiring needs at Plante Moran and hearing about growing employment demands from peer firms as well,” said director of recruiting Paula Frerichs.  “This corresponds with recent national statistics pegging unemployment among accounting professionals at only 3.5 percent.”

The 135 interns and entry-level staff who are starting on January 1 are not a record number, according to Frerichs, but the figure is closer to peak recruitment levels than in recent years.  From an experienced hire perspective, the firm openings are at a three-year high, and Frerichs sees a positive employment trend overall.  There are several openings in the specialized management consulting fields, in addition to the more traditional audit and tax roles.

“The majority of our open positions are for experienced personnel with highly specialized knowledge in niche accounting, finance and consulting areas,” said Frerichs. “These openings are the result of continued firm growth and new or expanded areas of business expertise that are seeing demand increase nationally; they include technology, strategy, enterprise risk and investments.”

Frerichs also debunked the myth that companies don’t hire over the holidays. “For companies in active hiring mode, recruiting doesn’t take a holiday,” she said. “The only difference may be a longer lapse between acceptance of the offer and the actual start date. Most December hires do not come on board until the new year.”

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