Deloitte ‘Journey Centre’ investment in talent provides springboard into the accounting profession
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 - Being a professional services firm that offers all its financial and consulting expertise under one roof, Deloitte is in the unique position of being able to offer young articled clerks a unique insight and springboard into the world of professional services.
“The realisation that many young newly qualified accountants are approaching their articles period totally unaware of the future opportunities their journey into accounting offers, originally led Deloitte to conduct an extensive survey of qualified accountants, those still studying and those about to take their first formal steps into the profession,” said Lilienne Kotze, Manager, MyJourneyCentre at Deloitte.
“Our research found that most prospective accountants regard their articles as the first stepping stone into a bright future. The problem, however, lies in the fact that many simply do not know just what options exist after articles are a thing of the past.
“We quickly realised that the structure of Deloitte needed something that differentiated it from other professional services firms in South Africa, offering us a competitive edge when it comes to attracting, recruiting and retaining the best young talent to the firm,” said Kotze.
The edge Deloitte offered was that it was the only firm that continues to offer all its services and expertise ‘under one roof’ after other firms, following industry events several years ago, decided to split their offerings, leaving auditing- the destiny for all articled clerks –standing alone.
“We therefore had something that could help attract the 400 people we recruit on a yearly basis, the ability to experience many different financial and consulting options, whilst also completing their qualifications and preparing for the Board exam,” said Kotze.
“We were able to tell potential recruits that we could expose them to a broad range of professionals working in a broad variety of industries so they could see what CA’s do, and that the profession offered a lot more than purely management of accounts.”
Following the research, the dedicated Deloitte MyJourneyCentre was born. Now in its third year, the initiative has proved its worth and its first ‘graduates’ are about to enter the wide world of accounting with a greater understanding of where they see their destinies lying.
“MyJourneyCentre offers three things that are different,” said Kotze. “The first is a career coach who has nothing whatever to do with the formal HR review process. The role of this experienced person is to act as a sounding board, someone who can listen to your dreams and aspirations and what you want to achieve within the profession.”
The second, says Kotze, is the opportunity to work within different Deloitte business units of the articled clerk’s choosing.
“Everyone taking part in the MyJourneyCentre programme is encouraged to do research and identify the type of environments they would like to experience. We then match their interests with what is available and place them in the area to obtain first-hand experience,” said Kotze.
The third differentiator is the HR tools that the aspirant accountants are offered to assist them in identifying just what they want to do. “We find that before undertaking this process, at least 80% are unsure in which direction their futures lie,” said Kotze.
“Our mission is simple. We want to help people make informed decisions about their futures at a time when assessing career options is vital.
“Our motto is; ‘We are the launch pad of your journey of a lifetime. We want to enhance the greatness that lies within you’.”
Essentially, says Kotze, Deloitte is telling its articled clerks that it is investing time and money in their futures, whilst acknowledging that like most clerks, they will leave the firm and seek opportunities elsewhere after completing their articles.
The final question is about the impact MyJourneyCentre approach is having. “At the end of this initial three-year period, we have found that 38% of the people involved have applied to stay in Deloitte and join business units in which they undertook part of their career journey, concludes Kotze