Consulting firms named best employers for graduates in Ireland

04 June 2018 3 min. read

Five consultancies were among the biggest winners at the 2018 Graduate Recruitment Awards in Ireland. Big Four firm Deloitte was declared the outright Best Graduate Employer, while competitors KPMG, PwC, EY and Accenture each scooped awards on the night.

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.

This year’s ceremony saw Deloitte recognised by a panel of experts as the Graduate Employer of the Year across all sectors for its “outstanding” recruitment programme, which the judges said had a “sharp focus” on innovation in areas such as marketing, application process, and digital engagement. The Big Four firm, which has over 2,300 people working across its Irish offices, and a total of 244,400 people across 150 locations, also claimed the prize for Best Innovation on Campus.

Deloitte, KPMG, EY, PwC, Accenture

Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner at Deloitte Ireland, said the firm was “delighted to be named Ireland’s top graduate employer” as it sought to provide a challenging and inclusive “workplace and career path where graduates can develop and grow as successful individuals”.

Big Four dominance

Elsewhere in the non-elected categories, the Big Four took home a further four trophies. Rivals KPMG took home a prize for Best Internship Programme with an intake larger than 50. KPMG recently voted one of the top consulting firms to employ undergraduate students in the UK. Fellow Big Four members EY clinched Best Student Marketing Campaign as well as Best Graduate Training and Development Programme – having been working consistently in recent years not only to bring in large numbers of workers to bolster its Irish headcount, but to put make the most of their abilities too.

Meanwhile, a number of awards decided by students were also handed out. In an increasingly tightening talent market, these awards have taken on an increasing importance for firms in recent years, as they each battle to draw the next generation of highly skilled workers while an ageing population sees their demand for intake spike. In the student voice section of proceedings, the accountancy/professional services category for Best Graduate Employer was handed to PwC. The Big Four firm underwent positive growth in the Republic throughout 2017. PwC beat off competition from BDO, Crowe Horwath, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Russell Brennan Keane and Mazars to claim the title.

Beyond the Big Four, the gong for the consulting firm considered the best at graduate recruitment was retained by last year’s winners Accenture. The firm, which spent 2017 engaged in an aggressive acquisition campaign for digital agencies, fended off competition from BCG, CHL, FDM, First Derivatives, GLG, McKinsey & Company, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson to keep hold of its crown.