To Clement Chan, the CPA Australia Career Expo is an important annual event that offers a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the career paths the firm can offer and attract recruits.
"The expo is like music to our firm's ears," says Chan, FCPA (Aust.) and managing partner at BDO. "We place a lot of importance on taking part and, historically, we have been successful in recruiting good candidates through the event." He says the opportunity to observe job candidates in a group environment is particularly useful for determining how they are likely to perform in real work situations. "The people we recruit as fresh graduates can easily go on to be the face of the firm," Chan says. "The way they communicate with colleagues, and as frontline professionals to our clients, is a key factor for the business."
From his own experience, those who succeed in a professional services firm tend to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Chan says those attending the expo should ask realistic questions about career opportunities and professional training programmes rather than asking how long it would take to become a partner or earn a big salary.
"We make a huge effort to look after our people and help them achieve their goals," Chan says. "Career expectations can be measured against how determined [and passionate] you are. How much you get out of your career depends on how much you put in."