Crisis VS New hires


Will Big 4 hire less people because the world crisis? Has anyboby ideas about it? My friend, from Russia was today at Career day and was known that Big four company isn’t going to hire new people near future. What kind of troubles they may have?


In UK - things at Big 4 shouldn’t be too badly affected for too long. This year and next graduate hires might be slightly reduced compared to last year, but they’ll still be hiring.

Essentially, they are still jobs, but things are going to be more competitive. So get competitive!


I can confirm that both PwC and Deloitte are hiring the exact same number of applications this year as they did last year. The main difference, due to the financial crisis, is positions are being filled a lot quicker as people aren’t applying to investment banks in the same quantities.


Actually, I’ve been interviewed in KPMG and I’VE ASKED HR about it. He said the same thing like Redsuperted.


Tilt, please note I was talking about Deloitte and PwC. Not KPMG.


Ezekiel, I think that is not important because Big4 is Big4. Companies at the moment try to reduce their expenses for consulting services therefore consultancy firms obviously may have problems in this sector. Do you agree?


this crisis talk is starting to drive me nuts, esp when everyone is putting such a negative spin on it. All i can hear these days in the news is about further job cuts, UK entering the recession, no more jobs in London, more gloom and doom, etc. How about today’s article that 100,000 IB jobs are under threat, and that UBS would have to fire all of its +18,000 employees to maintain its compensation ration intact. Totally ridiculous. Yes, it is bad and it is definitely going to reduce the graduate numbers hired in the market, which of course implies tighter competition, especially in London. However, going back to the topic, the Big4 should be quite immune to this downturn, because they are so well diversified. Imo, Tax and Corp Fin departments will take a temporary hit, but the audit and consulting departments will have their hands full of work.

Tilt, you might be right that many firms will try to refrain from using consulting services in order to cut costs. But not necessarily so. Many might need advice how to navigate through this crisis, which is unchartered territory for most, and hence increase their demand for consulting services. Who knows :slight_smile:


cool zero, anyway, We should be there =)



Has anyone actually had any of their start dates confirmed yet…or even the month?

I was told Jan 2009 at 1st iview…Aug 2009 by partner in offer phone call…Aug 2009 OR Jan 2009 in ofer letter and HR confimred yes there will be a “choice” of start dates but as I’ve accepted early I “should not worry about it”!!!

V worrying…

On a related note…is it totally taboo to accept multiple offers?

My natural instincts are of course it is but bearing in mind the above…I’m tempted…



AFAIK the Big4 are currently planning to hire slighty fewer graduates this year (esp. in corporate finance). That said, there are contingency plans in place to cut the graduate intake quite severely if conditions get much worse - be warned.


I asked more or less the same thing in the Consultancy forum, so sorry if this seems repetitive. However, I have never read a contract for a graduate position and I am wondering if the big companies can withdraw their offer once the papers are signed.
As L_L pointed out, should we look for back-up alternatives? What happens if the graduate breaks the contract (and, on the other side, what happens if the company does)?


Until you’ve actually worked for a month (generally) the company (or you) can withdraw from the contract given one week’s notice. Hence until you actually start, your offer is pretty insecure. Firms effectively thus hold the right to remove the offer at any time.

The saving grace for applicants is that by withdrawing their offer the firm are likely to incur negative publicity - something they’ll try to avoid. The most likely scenario if you have an offer and economic conditions continue to worsen is that they’ll offer you three alternatives:

  1. Offer a switch of service line - especially if you’ve gone for corporate finance.
  2. Offer to defer the offer for a year.
  3. Agree to cancel the offer and allow you to go elsewhere.

Sounds bad and terribly insecure…

Jexxo, you say that usually both the company and the candidate can withdraw at short notice. If this is the case, what actually prevents candidates from accepting multiple offers?


It’s true offers are relatively insecure - but realistically it’s statistically unlikely for a job offer to be rescinded (withdrawn). We haven’t really seen too many companies rescinding on job offers yet - perhaps surprisingly - which is probably a good sign (as long as things don’t suddenely get dramatically worse!)

As Jexxo mentioned, if your offer is withdrawn, you will usually be offered another line of service, or even paid off with a couple of months salary - which isn’t that bad really, for a graduate anyway. £7k and a year off = another gap year.

However, although companies rescinding on job offers is unlike, it has happened before. In August 2001 PwC rescinded on 100 offers they made to graduates (read [ this article] for a laugh!) …so it is worth keeping your options open.

‘’‘Flying_pig’’’ - there is actually nothing to stop candidates from accepting multiple offers. It’s pretty bad form, and I wouldn’t condone it, but if you accepted three offers all due to start on Dec 1 and then turned two down on November 31, nothing would happen to you, although recruiters at the firms you rejected last minute may blacklist your applications to them in the future - so it is a risk.


Thank you Redsuperted, it was a highly valuable insight.

I agree that turning down an offer just before the start date should not become common practice among graduates (it could have bad repercussions on both recruiters and candidates). Let’s just hope nothing unexpected happens!!


Hello all! I’m excited that i’ve gotten 2 offers (KPMG and Deloitte) but as a work permit applicant, I’m wondering if it’s possible for me to accept both? I was thinking, until I read this forum, that I had to choose between them now, but it’s sounding like I can afford to play around with them a little bit? I still am due to interview with EY and PwC (and JP Morgan) but was thinking about cancelling once I had accepted one of my offers. Should I accept both KPMG and Deloitte, then withdraw from one later on? I’m confused about how all this works. Deloitte seems to want all my ORIGINAL paperwork (diplomas and all) while KPMG is happy with a few copies of the key documents, which makes me like them more. Plus, KPMG gave me a month while Deloitte has only given me a week to decide. Please advise. Thanks!


I really don’t think it’s good practice at all to accept several offers. I would have a good think about which job you actually want, and then accept that one.

Also, if you want my advice… choosing a company because they asked for less paperwork and gave you more time to decide isn’t a great factor for picking them. :wink:
Which staff did you like more? Which office did you prefer? Which company gets the clients you’re interested in? Which has the best scheme more suited to yourself? I’m presuming you need a work permit as you’re not a British national, so which company offers the most support for someone like yourself?


Thanks for your help, Ezekiel. I didn’t think the multiple office thing sounded too good! I am an American so I’ll definitely be looking for one that gives me good support. Thanks again for your advice!


Somebody made the point about TS taking a hit - this is definitely the case; but like somebody else said the diverse markets the accountancy and professional services firms are in, it is unlikely any of them will stumble into major financial difficulties.

Expect perhaps slightly reduced intakes in certain areas this year (such as TS and corp finance)… I imagine intakes in key areas like audit will remain about the same, but don’t be suprised if firms aren’t exactly keen to make massive efforts to keep you on should you breach your training contract (for example, by failing a particular exam x number of times)