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How to get a job at the biggest of the big four firms.

Fighting robots and working your contacts: how to get a job at Deloitte.

So you want to work at Deloitte? You’ll need to get in line, and check your contacts list.

As one of the Big Four professional services firms, Deloitte receives over 500,0000 applications every year for experienced roles, with only the very top echelon of applicants making it through to an actual hire.

With such a lot of hopefuls to sift through, the firm uses various methods to find the gold. But the first and foremost method is referrals from current employees. In fact 30% of Deloitte’s total annual hires (and 40% of specifically experienced hires) come via this route. After all, no-one knows better than its own employees, what it takes to survive and thrive in the Deloitte environment. The moral of the story: if you think you might one day like to work at Deloitte, keep sending those Christmas cards to the folk you know who already work there.

This who-you-know concept trickles right down to graduate hires, says Patty Pogemiller, the national director of talent acquisition and mobility at Deloitte in the U.S, with Deloitte taking a relationship-building approach with potential recruits from as early as high-school.

“Right from high-school we’re building relationships, and during college we invite students to come to events and interact with recruiters,” Pogemiller says. “We introduce them to our mentorship and internship programs. They have the opportunity to meet the people and determine whether this is where they can be their best selves."

But, Pogemiller says, Deloitte also uses this reach-out recruitment process to pull in personnel from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets, from Women in STEM, to Veterans, to professionals returning to work, in addition to campus recruiting. “We are proud of our diverse and multidimensional workforce.” she adds.

The application process at Deloitte

There is some variation between how applications are handled, depending on whether it’s an employee referral or a cold application, from campus or an experienced hire,  but generally speaking, with such a huge volume of applications, the first line of defence at Deloitte is the robots.

Most applicants will need to make it past the Application Tracking System and, once they do, recruiters do initial interviews with candidates and screen them further to see if their skills and experience are a good fit. Deloitte has implemented video technology to enable some candidates to conduct interviews with hiring managers remotely.

Once candidates have made it through the initial recruiter screen, they pass through to business recruiters, then a technical screen looking at the depth of their experience and knowledge, followed by a behavioral interview.

For candidates who are still standing, there is typically a business case study, where Deloitte personnel present them with a series of problems and they have to come up with a solution. The best of the best who make it that far are then offered a position at the firm.

The pay at Deloitte

When offering a compensation package, Deloitte says that it aims to be competitive with other large accounting and consulting firms and supplements its  base salary with a comprehensive benefits approach.

"The total package that we offer allows us to attract the best people and retain them," says Pogemiller. "Compensation is an important component of that, and we are competitive in that area."

(Salaries change all the time so check Glassdoor or similar for up-to-date average packages.)

The promotion process at Deloitte

Deloitte has shaken up the process it uses to promote its employees, moving away from a traditional performance management approach and to one that is geared towards each individual's strength, according to Pogemiller.

Managers provide employees with regular feedback via a check-in process. Team leaders provide performance snapshots on a real-time basis and focus on coaching and career development.

“On an annual basis, we decide who is ready to be promoted, who is ready to be successful at the next level,” Pogemiller said. “We focus on strengths, which is very motivating to people. There may be things they do well. We focus on what strengthens them, and we try to recognize what they’re passionate about and help them figure out how to develop their career based on what they most want to focus on."

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

Photo by Dan Visan on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Thompson Insider Comment
  • Ch
    Chris Tucker
    8 December 2016

    What Country or Region did you work in?

  • 5t
    5thelement
    17 March 2016

    The whole in and out process is quite simple. You get in, you please the clients with work and you collect fees, or you are out. There is not much room for anything else....as far as technical depth it comes with each employee and their background. My experience with Deloitte was quite good, except for the local country exec that apply a lower level intelligence quota and that makes for gaps in consistant delivery. All in all i would work for them again they honored my contract as written and agreed, with the exceptions coming from local rules and cultural isses that created abnomalies.

  • ge
    gealoved
    15 March 2016

    is it 500K application or 5 million?

  • Le
    Leroy
    15 March 2016

    Having worked at deloitte I can assure you the average person at Deloitte is far from the "best of the best." I refer to the big 4 as the mediocre 4, since their "talent" typically comes from non-competitive colleges, and people who have held low level positions at 2nd tier companies.

  • co
    consult1
    15 March 2016

    How saddening to read that Deloitte is essentially relying on the "buddy system" to vet and hire new candidates regardless of their qualifications. Clearly the firm has abandoned the traditional and diverse method of recruitment and hiring where only the most qualified people were interviewed. Under the system described above, only candidates who are in the Millennial and MBA "inner" crony circle (clique) are deemed "Best of the best". I would like to see Deloitte's diversity numbers published, which would clearly illustrate this biased "referral" system and who is truly being hired rather than what the firm purports.

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