Informality provides insights
In addition to being an ideal opportunity to take part in an employer-of-choice branding exercise, the expo provides an important platform for Ernst & Young representatives to meet prospective job candidates in an informal atmosphere.
"Candidates in a formal interview situation will have received coaching from their career advisers, which is fully expected. However, the expo allows us to talk freely to graduates in an informal manner," says Agnes Chan, FCPA (Aust.), and Ernst & Young regional managing partner, Hong Kong and Macau.
She says being able to see how candidates communicate and use their interpersonal skills provide insights as to whether they will be good team players. In addition, expo attendees tend to ask specific questions, such as a description of a typical day at the company or why some people stay with the firm for such long periods. They are also more inclined to inquire about the firm's approach to work-life balance issues.
Chan says the latter is a topic the firm takes seriously. Outside the work environment, she adds, the firm organises informal film nights and sports competitions.
Chan says the event is not simply about painting a rosy picture about working as an accountant. "We emphasise that in those first few years, people have to work hard, be committed and show passion," she says.