We recently welcomed 417 new colleagues to the firm. One of our largest ever cohorts logged on from their homes, and some of our offices, to find out more about the next stage of their Grant Thornton careers in a two-day induction: Talent21.
In a packed programme, including a Q&A with our CEO, Dave Dunckley, they learned more about us and the opportunities we offer them. We filled them up with guidance on everything from the importance of ethics and personal responsibility to our journey towards becoming a more diverse and inclusive firm. And, we answered their questions. Lots and lots of questions!
They’ve got work to do now, but we know they also have plenty of brilliant ideas — we hope that one thing they did learn is that we want to listen to them.
Okay.That’s great!...What did they actually think of it?
To wrap up Talent21, five young associates were brave enough to join us for a live conversation with our host Jo Ritchie. Three of them came into the studio, and just as they thought we might actually let them go home, we grabbed them for a final interview.
So, to start — big question. Why did you choose Grant Thornton?
“As a tax associate, I wanted to join a big, international firm. The culture at some firms wasn’t what I was looking for”.
“I did an internship at the firm in 2019. I had a really good experience and that encouraged me to apply to become an associate. You can always judge a firm by how well-made its careers website is. It’s very polished and the visual vibrancy is encouraging. It made me more confident”.
“I joined because of the people and culture. I want to become a versatile professional at a large, international firm. I was also impressed by all of the awards Grant Thornton have won, and the social initiatives they support”.
You’ve had a lot to take in over the last few days! How did it feel to receive it all?
“You get what you give. I came in with my brain like a sponge to absorb all this information. Going forward, I want to take the next few days to absorb and hone all this knowledge”.
“It’s been very immersive. We weren’t thrown in alone. The agenda showed that we’re a priority. The qualifications were the last part. The first part was about us, and who the firm are”.
What was the most unexpected feature of Talent21?
“The opportunity to ask the senior leadership questions in break out rooms, and the amount of time they spent with us”.
The conversation around our diversity really drilled down into specific issues: from paternity leave, to coming out to colleagues, or support for registered carers. Which answers resonated the most with you?
“For me, it’s about acceptance. I was impressed that you can take time off to pray. I don’t personally pray, but, I like that, although there aren’t prayer rooms in every office, there’s a willingness to work towards it. Also, in one of my sessions, someone was deaf. At the start, they asked people to talk one at a time, and everyone was like, ‘of course, is there anything else we can do?’”
“Making us aware that they know there are issues. They don’t believe they’re above the rest. They were incredibly transparent. Having an associate [Mariam Bibi] speaking alongside a senior member of staff [Jenn Barnett, Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing] was impressive. From my experience as someone from an ethnically diverse background, it shows me that they’re inclusive”.
“It shows the firm’s courage. It’s really opened my eyes. I was pleased that the firm are looking to facilitate family support. Having a family is important to me, so that’s really refreshing”.
What aspect of Talent21 has had the biggest impact on you?
“Hearing from the senior leadership team. Knowing that there’s a structured pathway so that you know what you’re working towards”.
“Transparency. I keep coming back to that word. The senior leaders being open about their career journeys and the challenges they experienced. Now I can start thinking about what my career will look like”.
What have we already done to help you feel a part of the firm?
“Goody bags! That’s the icing on the cake that shows the firm cares. The attention to detail, including the little water bottle. I respect that”.
“Communication throughout the early recruitment stage and the wide range of unique welcome events, with backstage VIP passes. I feel like I’ve been working here for a while”.
Finally, it’s an exciting time for you. What are you most looking forward to?
“Learning. And the number of opportunities like working abroad, or doing secondments. I’d quite like to do a secondment in corporate tax”.
“Becoming a well-rounded expert with the opportunity to positively impact my colleagues and clients while being authentic to me”.
“Working towards my qualification, and continuing to learn”.