The graduate round 2008 – NZ professional services firms

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This time last year we covered the professional services firms as they geared up for their competitive grad recruitment campaigns.  It was interesting to see then how these firms were pitching themselves to the YouTube, iPod, and social networking generation.  Fast forward one year and the firms have just launched their 2008 grad careers sites. 

I was eager to see if there were any advancements in how the firms attempted to reach out to grads.  Some of last year’s sites seemed quite static, and despite clear attempts to give their programmes a separate brand, I did feel at times that I had just read a brochure online.

Has anything changed from last year?  Here’s my Gen-X thoughts below (presented in the same order as last year):

KPMG

A new look and feel, heading towards the Web 2.0 end of the continuum - even the fonts are Web 2.0-like (quite a different look to the rest of KPMG’s corporate site).  It uses fresh bright colours and lots of white space.  However, the major advancement this year is the addition of blogging features.  Grads can leave comments and questions at many points throughout the site.  Mmm, creating an online dialogue with grads and providing the option for direct feedback - one to watch!  KPMG has stayed with the video gradcast theme, which includes some of last year’s content.  I think this new video (syndicated on YouTube) is well worth a look, even though it fits into the “KPMG International” category.  Podcasts, around some of the employee value propositions (EVPs), are added to the mix this year.

Deloitte

Deloitte has stayed loyal to their downloadable Career Insights podcasts, which are informative and have a nice relaxed style.  I feel like I’m looking at a replica of last year’s site and my comments then are just as applicable now.  I just checked out the Deloitte UK and US grad sites, for the sake of comparison - WOW - blogs, interactive videos, and decision-making tools galore.

PWC

PWC have again branded their programme as Aspire.  They are using headlines to better highlight the EVPs this year.  As I mentioned last year, the site contains photography and some valuable information and selling points, but lacks the impact of videos and podcasts.  PWC’s US and UK grad and intern sites also use features that could be used on the NZ site - blogs from current grads, competitions, video, live chat facilities, SMS/TXT updates, and insights into the life and thoughts of a PWC employee (subtly selling the EVPs).

Ernst and Young

Where’s the introductory flash page gone?  The site still has a Web 1.0 look and feel to me.  Again there is some great content on the site and I see an opportunity to bring the “EY Stories” to life with the aid of technology - the EY Stories are still crying out for this.  EY US are doing some cool things within Facebook.  The EY US grad careers site also has some great “day in the life” videos, presented by existing grads in a relaxed style.  The EY UK site has video, podcasts, and a cool little peek into the electronic diaries of existing grad recruits.

I do recognise that the grads have a lot of opportunities to form an opinion of a firm as a potential employer beyond a careers site alone; such as from campus visits, careers fairs, and interactions with interviewers/partners.   However, grads do typically flick through the careers sites prior to applying online and, as I heard in my discussions with grads, some find particular sites more interesting, useful and insightful than others. 

As you can probably guess, I believe that most of the firms outlined above should take a closer look at some of the engaging and insightful stuff their overseas offices are doing.  I have visited the NZ offices of these firms over the years and often sensed more energy than I’m picking up from visiting some of their careers sites.

What are your thoughts - do some sites resonate more with you than others?  

Paul Jacobs
Engage

18 Responses to “The graduate round 2008 – NZ professional services firms”

  1. Denesia King Says:

    Thanks for the list. I have visited quite a few (well more than a few) of these graduate recruitment firms to help with my graduate careers search. So far I am not really impressed by any of them. Topemployers is one that I’ve worked with but who knows…I’m still looking, if thats any indication.

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