KPMG's virtual World Jobs Fair generates thousands of applications

With more than 20,000 registrants and 40-plus countries participating, the KPMG World Jobs Fair, a 48-hour global virtual recruiting event, more than lived up to its name.

"It was huge," Lisa Rolston, KPMG associate director for eSourcing strategy and branding for experienced hire recruiting, told AccountingWEB. "It surpassed my expectations."

Approximately 9,300 applications were generated during the virtual gathering in September and the company is still reviewing them. The World Jobs Fair, which took approximately three months to plan, eliminated geographic and financial limitations for job seekers. All you needed was a Web browser.

The World Jobs Fair featured an exhibition hall with booths covering 45 participating KPMG member firms representing countries from Bahrain to Bosnia and Herzegovina and China to the Czech Republic. With a simple click, job seekers learned about available opportunities in the countries in which they were interested. They found out information about KPMG's culture, values, corporate citizenship goals, training, and other programs. They watched live Webcasts, chatted with KPMG audit, tax, and advisory professionals about a career, and applied for positions directly from the event.

"The KPMG World Jobs Fair reflects a remarkable transformation in how KPMG member firms are attracting talent in a global economy – and a transformation in the way that professionals are seeking employment," said KPMG Chairman Timothy P. Flynn.

This innovative medium allows people access to the world, a plus for a global firm.

"If I want to move to Russia, I have the opportunity to speak to someone and say, 'What do I need here? How are my skills? How do I fit in?' As far as a tool to use for recruiting, it's a great way to do that, to really speak to someone and let them see the culture," Rolston said.

The World Jobs Fair follows the success of a similar internal online event that 12 KPMG member firms held in May for employees and partners interested in exploring international rotation opportunities. That event attracted nearly 5,000 KPMG employees and partners representing 104 countries.

The job fair has generated considerable interest in the media and Rolston said the media coverage has helped from a branding perspective. Articles have appeared everywhere from AccountingWEB to The Economist and The Financial Times.

"We were the first of the Big Four to do it and I actually got an e-mail asking when we are going to do it again," Rolston said. "We attracted a ton of graduate students and also a large number of experienced people. It worked for both age groups. They thought it was great. They could attend from the comfort of their own home."

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