After 19,000 layoffs, Accenture pushes back new-hire start dates
Accenture, one of the world's largest consulting firms, is making changes to its workforce as it adapts to a more cost-conscious business environment. The company is postponing the start dates for some of its newly hired employees.
Accenture's spokesperson, Rachel Frey, stated on Thursday that the company is adjusting start dates for some recent graduates based on their clients' and business needs. However, she declined to give additional information, according to a report by Mint.
A recent graduate, who wished to remain anonymous, shared that she had accepted a consulting job with Accenture in the UK scheduled to commence in June. However, her start date was postponed twice, first to October and then to early 2024, prompting her to decline the job offer rather than continue waiting.
According to an email reviewed by Bloomberg, an Accenture recruiter expressed regret for the postponement and explained that the decision was made to ensure a positive onboarding experience for new hires.
Additionally, the company is reportedly providing extra signing bonuses to certain individuals whose start dates have been delayed, according to an anonymous source familiar with Accenture's hiring procedures but not authorised to speak publicly.
On Reddit forums dedicated to discussing the company, Accenture's hiring delays have also been a topic of discussion among anonymous users. One college senior, who has not yet received a start date, said they have been "strung along for months" and expressed uncertainty about what to do next. Another user, who previously interned at Accenture, is now contemplating applying to other companies.
Referring to the time when employers come to college campuses to interview applicants, the person said, "It's frustrating because I missed out on many companies and positions during the fall recruiting cycle."
The professional services industry, consisting of top consulting firms like McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group as well as Big Four accounting firms like KPMG and Deloitte, has been hit with yet another setback. The industry saw a surge in business during the pandemic, which prompted massive hiring sprees, but now these firms are struggling with an oversupply of consultants and a shortage of work.
This year, Accenture announced plans to cut 19,000 jobs, which amounts to approximately 2.5% of its workforce, within the next 18 months. In a similar vein, Ernst & Young recently abandoned its strategy of splitting its consulting and audit divisions into separate companies, which has caused some uncertainty and buzz in an otherwise uneventful industry.
In March, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet stated that the company, which had a workforce of approximately 738,000 people as of February, is implementing measures to reduce costs in the fiscal year 2024 and beyond, while still maintaining investments in the business and employees.