, Michigan — Plante Moran, PLLC, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, has been named to FORTUNE Magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the 14th consecutive year, winning each year it has applied. The winners were announced today and the full list, which ranks Plante Moran #37, will appear in the February 6 issue of FORTUNE magazine
With offices throughout Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio and in Mexico, China and India, Plante Moran is a leader in attracting and retaining staff in the competitive professional services arena through progressive workplace programs and time-tested approaches. 135 new team members joined Plante Moran firm-wide earlier this month. For individuals with experience, openings at Plante Moran are at a three year high, with several opportunities available in the specialized management consulting fields, as well as traditional audit and tax roles. Recruiting does not stop when staff join the firm, however. Plante Moran puts equal effort into re-recruiting current staff. Managing Partner Gordon Krater, CPA, says it’s one of the firm’s not-so-secret ingredients of success.
“We work very hard to attract top notch graduates and experienced staff to Plante Moran. It’s a cultural imperative here that our re-recruiting efforts to retain top talent are just as focused as the initial efforts we spent in bringing them into the firm,” explains Krater, who served on the firm’s campus recruiting team for more than 10 years and still meets with prospective candidates in the office.
Plante Moran’s recruiting and re-recruiting efforts are numerous and include:
- A decades-old internship program where more than 100 students annually are hired to experience a three-to-four-month paid internship in their field of study. Interns are treated like first-year staff and perform actual client work. Plante Moran has a saying about interns and entry-level staff: “The only cup of coffee you’ll fetch is your own.” On average, 94 percent of interns get offers for full-time employment and nearly 100 percent accept.
- A hiring bonus of up to $2,500 offered to current PMers that refer new staff to the firm; in 2010, Plante Moran hired 18% of its staff from internal referrals.
- Educating partners about Plante Moran’s re-recruiting initiatives, which are based on the firm’s longstanding “high touch system.” It’s a philosophy whereby investing in re-recruiting, mentoring and performance management programs yields higher staff morale, lower turnover and better teamwork, which translates into happier clients and a better bottom line for Plante Moran. The high touch system works: Plante Moran’s turnover rate has averaged less than 13 percent in the last 10 years (from July 1, 2010 to June 1, 2011, it was 12.94 percent), among the lowest in the profession.
- Throughout the year, the management team helms “The Breakfast Club”, pairing an executive with three staff members in different roles and practice areas. The four meet at a local restaurant and staff are encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas about the firm. It’s another opportunity for staff to receive encouragement and know they’re valued by everyone, from their immediate supervisor to firm management.
- Plante Moran earmarks money for partners to spend on re-recruiting efforts, which include a variety of team-building events, such as lunches and dinners out, sporting events, baby showers and team meetings.
- Unique career counseling. Unlike other workplaces, PMers contemplating leaving the firm often approach their supervisors for advice. This allows the supervisor the opportunity to thwart the departure of top talent or, if it’s in the best interest of the PMer and his or her career, to support the departure. PMers who leave the firm tend to be Plante Moran champions for life; not only do they stay in touch with the friends they’ve made at the firm, they often act as ambassadors, creating relationship opportunities for Plante Moran and the staff member’s new company. Additionally, the firm’s recruiting team offers assistance to departing staff with résumé review, networking and job searching tips and mock interviews.
Krater says the FORTUNE award keeps the firm on its toes.
“Many of our human resource initiatives go back 40 years or more, but winning the FORTUNE award for 14 years reminds us that we need to keep innovating and refresh our staff outreach practices on a continual basis,” affirms Krater. “It gives us a deadline reason to research our initiatives and ask, “What have we done to attract and retain great staff lately?”
About the FORTUNE Methodology
To pick the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America; 280 firms participated in this year’s survey. More than 246,000 employees at those companies responded to a survey created by the institute, a global research and consulting firm operating in 45 countries around the world. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts. After evaluations are completed, if news about a company comes to light that may significantly damage employees’ faith in management, we may exclude it from the list. Any company that is at least five years old and has more than 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible. Information on how to apply
About Plante Moran, PLLC
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 1,600 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico and Mumbai, India.