No, I’m not talking about the holidays, although they’ll be here before we know it. I’m talking about recruiting season at Plante Moran, that magical time of year where we head out to college campuses and do our best to recruit talented young professionals to the firm. From career fairs and mixers to presentations and mock interviews, there are a variety of ways that we interact with students to ferret out future staff members. This is among the most important work we’ll do at the firm all year. After all, it’s the people that make Plante Moran a success, and who knows—a future firm managing partner might be among this year’s interviewees.
This time of year always makes me think back to when I was recruited to Plante Moran, more than 30 years ago. My dad had worked for a client of the firm, and prior to that he’d been in public accounting with one of the then Big 8 firms. He encouraged me to talk to Plante Moran, saying, “If there had been a firm like Plante Moran when I was in public accounting, I’d probably still be there.”
I interviewed with the firm and quickly fell in love with it and the culture. It was clear to me that Plante Moran was the kind of place I’d fit in and the kind of work I wanted to do. What really sealed the deal, however, was a call I received from Bill Bufe, the director of human resources, one evening in my apartment. He asked what I was up to, and I told him my roommates and I were getting ready to watch the U of M basketball game. “I’m in Ann Arbor,” he said. “Any chance I could stop by and watch the game with you?”
My roommates and I rushed to clean up our apartment, and Bill came by. He was so gracious and outgoing; I couldn’t believe a partner would take such an interest in me. Neither could my roommates. I’ll never forget what they said to me after Bill left: “If you don’t choose Plante Moran, you’re an idiot!”
Thirty years later, I still couldn’t be happier with my decision. Here’s hoping that 30 years from now, this year’s crop of recruits can say the same.
What about you? What’s your favorite recruiting memory? What do you to do attract top talent to your organization?