Even though the increasing number of accounting graduates — up 19 percent from 2000 to 2004, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants — should go a long way toward helping accounting firms meet their goal of hiring 10 to 18 percent more grads in the next two years, some companies aren't taking any chances. Some of the Big Four firms are retailoring their recruitment efforts in novel — er, cinematic — ways.
Deloitte & Touche, for example, recently completed its first Deloitte Film Festival, in which employees across the country formed teams to create nearly 400 short films that tackled the theme, "What is Your Deloitte?" Cathy Benko, Deloitte's chief talent officer, says the project was developed as an exercise in team-building and employee-orientation efforts with the express purpose of integrating the top films into the organization's college-recruiting and employee-retention efforts. The idea, says Benko, is to show potential recruits "firsthand just what our talent thinks about their Deloitte experience." The winning film was chosen by employees.
The focus was not, apparently, on auditing. Jim Mooring, a Los Angeles–based Deloitte marketing communications senior manager who helped produce the winning video, Food for Thought, revealed that the best thing about working at Deloitte is the free food. "It shows that we can poke fun at ourselves, and demonstrates the broader culture of the company," he says. (Some of the films can be seen on YouTube; search on "Deloitte Film Festival.")
Ernst & Young has also embraced video. Students at more than 75 universities can submit videos about why they decided to go into professional services; the winning video in the "Reel Influence" contest will be used in the firm's recruiting efforts. This follows an earlier E&Y effort to reach out to Generation Y via the popular social-networking Website FaceBook, says Dan Black, director of campus recruiting for the Americas. "Accounting can seem dry and boring," says Black. "This is another way to introduce it as an exciting profession."