Knowledge, fun & job enrichment

Young BDO links client visits to recruitment

The young professionals at BDO are making a virtue of necessity – linking their client visits to the search for new colleagues. Every Young BDO employee can invite a friend, family member or acquaintance to come along on the visit. In this way, Young BDO kills 3 birds with 1 stone: the young generation really gets to know the client, the client gets to know the person behind the consultant, and the invitee gets a taste of the BDO culture.

“A company visit becomes the lever for internal networking, client retention, and employer branding.”

Katleen Coppens, Manager BDO Strategy & Transformation

Young BDO wants to encourage a sense of connection among colleagues. But practical experience has taught them that their initiatives become even more valuable when they also involve clients. Through this cross-fertilisation, the young professionals gain a better feel for the client’s business, and in turn the client gets to know the person behind the consultant.

Now, they’re going a step further: the young generation is linking their company visit to employer branding. “Every Young BDO employee may bring a friend, acquaintance, family member, etc. to the company visit,” says Katleen Coppens (BDO Strategy & Transformation). “The only condition: the invitee must have a minimum of interest in our field and our way of working. In this way, the invitees get to know BDO better, from both BDO’s and the client’s point of view. This gives the introduction an extra, valuable dimension … and, naturally, we hope that there will be a spark!”

A first at Kinepolis Brussels

A company visit by Young BDO to Kinepolis Brussels was the first try-out of the new concept. On the agenda? An ‘afterwork’ with a snack and a drink and a keynote from Kinepolis about the many years of cooperation with BDO. Our experts support Kinepolis’ finance department, and other domains, in digitisation in the various countries in which Kinepolis is active. To conclude, we also enjoyed – what did you expect? – a film together! Elodie Michaux (BDO Audit): “The advantage of the Kinepolis branch in Brussels is that the film is subtitled in both languages and we can raise awareness among colleagues from all over the country.”

“Of course, we’re not going to actively recruit during the company visit,” says Wannes Rousseau (BDO Digital). “But in this way, the invitees get a feel for our corporate culture and how we put it into practice and communicate it in a pleasant and informal atmosphere. Which might be an additional incentive to apply for one of our vacancies – if not today, then maybe tomorrow or the day after.” The aim is to invite all interested parties to an interview with Human Resources after the event, because we want to be top-of-mind as an organisation.

“People who get to know each other beyond the boundaries of work will make contact or ask for help more quickly.”

Léa Sonnet, Consultant BDO Legal

Outside the office walls

In any case, the main objective of the ‘Know your Client’ events is to gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of the client’s business and to get a feel for the company culture. And at the same time, to network with fellow professionals from the various disciplines at BDO and stimulate their interconnectedness. Nick Huysmans (BDO Risk Advisory): “Still too often, colleagues do not look beyond the limits of their own business practice or venture outside their own office walls. We want to break through this ‘conservative reflex’ one step at a time. After all, people who get to know each other beyond the boundaries of work will make contact or ask for help more quickly. That’s only human.”

Call to all colleagues

Given the success of the ‘Know your Client’ concept, Young BDO is calling on colleagues of other generations to apply the concept as well. “Whenever there’s a BDO event, why not consider hosting it on a client’s premises?” Léa Sonnet (BDO Legal) wonders out loud. “That requires little or no extra effort, and the return on investment is certain. Provided, of course, that it’s meaningful and cost-effective.”

“It should be everyone’s first instinct to think about how to involve clients in every activity, where feasible,” Léa concludes. “You would be amazed at how many activities are suitable for this. And how willingly clients will respond. So, do it!”