Accounting and consulting firm BDO has revamped its selection process to be better able to pick out those with a calling for the professional services from a wider range of backgrounds. The firm has announced plans for the year's first recruitment drive for 350 combined graduate, school leaver, intern, and summer school programmes.
BDO has announced 350 places as part of its wider 2017 intake of 1,100 students. The recruitment will involve 165 at graduate level, at 100 school leaver level and the remaining positions are split between its intern (6-week placement) and summer school (2 weeks) programmes.
The firm, like many of its professional services firm peers, has refined its entry requirements: criteria now include at least a 2:2 degree (previously 2:1), A-Levels and GCSEs from A* - C. The move reflects the firm’s commitment on admitting those whom are, or feel themselves, called to accounting and consulting, but, due to their background, would have fallen outside entry level criteria. The firm is also scrapping its competency-based test in favour of a strength-based assessments.
Paul Eagland, who became BDO’s Managing Partner in October, and is himself a non-graduate, says, “Trainees are the life blood of our organisation – they are ambitious, smart and flourish in an environment that supports individuality. We want to focus on an inclusive culture where background has no relevance to success. Widening our entry criteria is part of that; it is crucial that our student recruitment model is in sync with that vision.”
Candidates will also be able to be interviewed online, something new to the firm’s wider selection process. Short listed candidates will be invited to an Assessment Centre run by the firm, where they can meet colleagues and partners, prior to a formal offer.
“No matter how long you have worked in the industry or how well you think you understand a client’s needs, young people have the ability to make you see things differently. Our new and existing trainees really will future proof our firm’s success,” says Eagland.
The positions, and the profession itself, remains sought after; the firm expects around 6,000 applicants for the 350 available places.