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E&Y, PwC, KPMG and Deloitte to hire 43,000 people in the next four years

The Big Four professional services firms — Ernst & Young, PwC, KPMG and Deloitte — are together likely to hire about 43,000 people in the next four years, top officials from the firms say. This is being propelled by a rise in business in tier-II and tier-III cities, growing work in telecom, infrastructure and state government projects, aggressive ramp-up of global shared services centres, and increased focus on emerging markets by global headquarte ..

Fresh graduates, engineers, chartered accountants and MBAs are likely to account for roughly 60-80% of the new hires. On an average, the Big Four firms typically pay salaries of Rs 3 lakh per annum for fresh graduates, Rs 4 lakh for engineers, Rs 7 lakh for chartered accountants and Rs 11 lakh for B-school pass-outs. Higher salaries are not uncommon. Much of the hiring is done at tier-I colleges.

Lateral hires will also play a big role in all this. Aggressive poaching of partners and even full teams between KPMG, PWC, and Ernst & Young — something that’s been hitting newspaper headlines lately — is also likely to intensify. The industry is already seeing attrition rates as high as 25% in some pockets, the highest in recent times.

KPMG, the smallest in terms of manpower strength, plans to more than double its headcount in four years; Ernst & Young and PwC intend to grow their talent base by 22-24% and 15%, respectively, every year for the next four years and Deloitte intends to hire 9,000.

KPMG, which now has over 8,000 employees on its rolls, will add another 9,000 executives by 2018, including 225 partners (including internal promotions). “We have put before ourselves a very ambitious target of becoming a $1-billion organisation in the next 4 years. For this we need 17,000 people and 460 partners,” says Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG India.

It has just hired the managing director of consulting firm, Protiviti Consulting and its entire seven member leadership team.Earlier, the firm had snagged the whole team of Eicher Consulting Services that was acquired by PwC. Industry sources say that Big Four firms, in their aggression to find the talent to grow, have also repeatedly tried to poach entire teams from other firms like Grant Thornton and BMR. 

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