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Staffing and Recruiting: What Auditing Firms Want

Publié le May 23, 2014, Mis à jour le June 30, 2014

What does the ideal auditor look like? This is the question that we put to the representatives from various auditing firms who attended the Auditing Forum held at EM Strasbourg Business School in September.

On 26th September, various auditing firms - from local practices to the world's largest Big Four firms - gathered on EM Strasbourg Business School's premises on the occasion of the Auditing Forum. Their purpose was to recruit students. The following is what we found out about their recruiting methods.
Unsurprisingly, the perfect auditor is dedicated, rigorous, detail-oriented and methodical. « As our core business involves verifying corporate annual accounts, we tend to like people with logical minds », KPMG Luxembourg Luxembourg auditor Florent Wurth explained. According to Cécile Hauser, Academic Relations Coordinator with PWC Luxembourg, « an auditor is an inspector: she is the police official that assesses the truthfulness of accounts. Applicants must therefore be equipped with basic technical skills in accounting and finance ». As Accounting tests are an integral part of the recruiting process at Deloitte Luxembourg and PWC Luxembourg, audit firm recruiters are interested in attracting gradutates holding a Master's degree inAudit -Accounting-Internal Controls .

Business Schools the Royal Road to Auditing Jobs
Most auditing firms are keen to hire business school graduates because « they don't have a purely technical ability », as Cécile Hauser made plain. « A strong sales capability is critical when one becomes a manager since it helps to put things into a broader perspective. Customer Relationship Management also matters greatly in auditing.» Students with unusual profiles can equally try their luck, as did Florent Wurth who, on top of being an EM Strasbourg Business School graduate holding a Master's degree in Consulting-Auditing-Finance, was also awarded a Master's degree from the Sorbonne in General and Compared Literature together with a BA in German. « A profile that falls into the category of exceptions », as he specified.

Speaking English an Incontrovertible Asset
For international auditor careers, English proficiency is a must. According to Florent Wurth, « it is essential to be bilingual: a year abroad is therefore always an asset ». « English is very important: we look for people who are eager to operate in an international environment », Deloitte Luxembourg auditor Adrien Chiariello explained. Charline Eustache from Mazars expressed the same view while qualifying it : in the Strasbourg practice « non-bilingual applicants are not turned down ».

Gender Parity
At Deloitte Luxembourg, the Auditing Department is run by a woman. However, at the time of hiring, the auditor's job seems to appeal more to men, possibly as a result of the fact that « auditing suffers from being widely associated with frequent travelling, which may put women off. », Cécile Hauser observed. Notwithstanding such limitation, gender parity is a reality, according to all those interviewed. Parity, however, is mainly achieved through gender balance across departments, with greater numbers of women attached to the Legal and Human Resources departments.

How do auditing firms recruit applicants ?
Auditing firms regularly attend job fairs and forums. « We go more for forums as they allow us to establish a first direct contact with applicants », Adrien Chiariello pointed out.
Although e-recruiting is still a new process for them, auditing firms are making endeavours to enhance their presence on social media. The following is a sneak overview of the Facebook pages of the interviewed firms:

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Comment recrutent-ils ?
Les cabinets d'audit sont toujours très présents sur les forums et les salons. « Nous privilégions les forums afin d'avoir un premier contact avec les candidats », explique Adrien Chiariello. Si le e-recrutement, lui, est tout nouveau pour eux, les cabinets d'audit travaillent dur pour améliorer leur présence sur les réseaux sociaux. Petit tour d'horizon des pages Facebook des cabinets interrogés :