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Plante & Moran Puts Social Networking on its Training Agenda


SOUTHFIELD, MI.— Plante & Moran PLLC, long recognized for its thriving corporate culture and top notch training programs, has added a trendy new topic to its orientation agenda for entry level practice staff, Leveraging LinkedIn: Tips to Better Utilize Social Networking Tools.

With 35% Millennials (individuals born between 1977 and 1998), Plante & Moran’s staff demographic is highly unusual outside of the public accounting profession. It’s highly desirable too, according to Human Resource Executive (HRE), which included Plante & Moran on its list of “18 Great Companies for Millennials”. But while this age group tends to be far more Internet proficient than other demographics, their background involves the use of social networking sites such as Facebook to share personal stories, photos, and invitations, and not for establishing business connections.

Jeff Antaya, Plante & Moran’s Chief Marketing Officer and the LinkedIn course instructor, says the impetus for the course was to teach basic business development skills in a medium that Millennials understand.

“Our entry level audit and tax hires are web savvy but tend to be new to the business world; most have not considered how social networking sites like LinkedIn can be used for building business relationships, referral sources and new business opportunities,” explains Antaya.

Mr. Antaya notes the LinkedIn course content includes getting started, connecting with others, microblogging with LinkedIn, LinkedIn etiquette, and maximizing LinkedIn capabilities like creating groups and performing advanced searches. He adds that the firm does have guidelines for staff using LinkedIn.

“We consider any comments connected with a staff member’s professional status to be publishing by the firm and are subject to the same review procedures as traditional print publishing, although no concerns have arisen yet,” confirms Antaya.

Jon Strycharz, who joined Plante & Moran in January following two internships and just completed his LinkedIn session in June, was pleased to discover the advantages of using LinkedIn.

“I think that using LinkedIn will make actual face to face meetings with new business sources much easier for me because I will have already learned some of the ins and outs of business networking in a pretty risk-free online environment,” comments Strycharz.

In general, Antaya says the mix of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers creates a positive energy and learning environment at Plante & Moran that benefits the firm and its clients.

“Each generation is learning from the other. The boomers have not only experience-based wisdom and skills to share, but tried and true business development skills. The younger generation brings a new approach to business using its facility for technology-based systems and solutions. Collectively, we are building the firm for tomorrow and ensuring that clients are the ultimate benefactors,” concludes Antaya.

Plante & Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting, and wealth management services. Plante & Moran has a staff of more than 1,500 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Monterrey, Mexico, Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China. Plante & Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including Fortune magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work.

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