Best professional services | consulting firms in Ireland for students

22 May 2017 5 min. read
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Irish students have identified what they believe are the top professional services and consulting firms in Ireland. The list was littered with consulting firms, with Accenture claiming a victory along with Big Four companies Deloitte and EY both winning big. EY were ranked by an expert panel top destination to launch a career as Graduate Employer of the Year.

Established as partnership between the Association of Higher Education Career Services (AHECS) and careers publishing company Group GTI, once a year GradIreland hosts the prestigious ‘Graduate Recruitment Awards’, to celebrate and highlight the leaders of the field in post-studies employment. Awards consist of two kinds, with those selected by a panel of experts across 10 key categories, and those voted for by students themselves. In the latter, students could vote across 13 categories – which include awards specifically geared toward the professional services industry and management consulting.

The  2017 event was dominated by professional service groups – even outside categories specifically aimed at the industry. The gong for the consulting firm considered the best at graduate recruitment was presented to Accenture, with the company fighting off fierce competition from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), CHL Consulting Group, GLG, McKinsey & Company, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson to be voted best in their category.

Best Consulting Firms for students

Meanwhile, with over 7,000 votes counted, the student voice elected Deloitte the most popular graduate recruiter in Ireland. Ciaran Cullen, Talent Acquisition Lead at Deloitte Ireland said, “Our leaders see graduates as adding a lot in terms of innovation and new perspectives, and this is why we continue to focus on providing a premium career experience for graduates each year.”

The Big Four firm also went home with the honours for best accountancy and professional services employer, topping a short-list also including BDO, Crowe Horwath, Grant Thornton, IFAC Accountants, KPMG, Mazars, PwC, RSM, Russell Brennan Keane and EY.

EY dominates top prizes

The Irish wing of EY meanwhile took home a number of awards this year. The professional services firm, which provides tax, assurance, advisory and transaction advisory services, scooped the top prize at the Graduate Recruitment Awards, receiving the honour of Graduate Employer of the Year 2017 following its significant investment in revamping its graduate induction programme in 2017 – placing the candidate at the centre of the process, EY Ireland offering 270 graduate and 200 summer intern/work placement positions per annum. As a result EY Ireland took top prizes for Best Internship Programme, Grad Ireland’s Diversity Recruitment Award and Best Student Marketing Campaign, along with the overall title of Graduate Employee of the Year, fending off rival consulting groups KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and Accenture. EY also notably placed third for Innovation on Campus.

Best Professional services employers for students

Commenting on the firm’s success at the ceremony, Dermot Daly, Assurance Partner and Sponsor for Student Recruitment at EY Ireland said: “These award wins are a testament to the efforts our recruitment team and the wider business in developing EY’s ‘Graduate 2 Graduate’ strategy last year. This new approach was graduate-centric – so that we could ensure that we were speaking to the next generation of professional services experts in their language, and thinking of what they wanted in their careers. Through this new approach, we embraced new technologies and overhauled the candidate experience by communicating online and through social media channels. In doing so, we were able to outperform the competition and exceed our recruitment targets in 2016, and we look forward to building on this success in 2017 so that we can continue to recruit the very best talent.”