We asked associates who joined us within the last year what it was they really wanted to know, but perhaps were afraid to ask, about Clayton & McKervey when they were going through their recruiting process. Following are some of their comments:
"I was mainly focused on figuring out what characteristics the company valued the most and whether my views and theirs were similar" - Marc
At Clayton & McKervey, we live by our core values: FUN, PASSION TO HELP OTHERS SUCEED, DO WHAT IT TAKES, AND THEN SOME, and PERFORMANCE. We really enjoy what we do and each other. This provides a dynamic, energized culture of people who really enjoy working together.
"I wanted to know the amount of time it would take to move up in position there. For example, could you make partner (shareholder) in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, or more than likely never? I wanted to pick somewhere there was room for growth" - Katie
Clayton & McKervey is a firm of about 60 people. We currently have eight shareholders. Our intention is to grow the firm to 90 people over the next five years. We feel great about this not only because it provides a lot of opportunity for our current staff of excellent professionals, but it also offers a ton of growth opportunity for professionals joining us as they begin their public accounting careers.
The path to Shareholder typically takes between 10 and 12 years, which is pretty much industry standard.
"I wanted to know what it was really like to work for the firm. Every person you meet tells you that their firm is a great place to work. That can't always be true! " - Katre
"The most important things I was looking for during the recruiting process was a firm where I would be able to work with people I, A) enjoyed working with/connected with on a personal level, B) that were "above average" in terms of talent and knowledge, and, C) were willing to go the extra mile in developing new talent. Although I was just going off a gut feeling when I accepted my offer, I found all of the above to be true once I started working. Off the top of my head I'm not exactly sure how you could translate that into a brochure or hardcopy and make it seem genuine, but I think something like the "a day in the life" video on the website does a good job depicting what's important to me - the firm culture" - Crosby
When it comes to firm culture, we are very proud and protective of what we have at Clayton & McKervey. We are a firm of people who love what we do, so working hard and being the best comes naturally. We excel at relationships. And, we know that talent likes to work with talent, and clients want to work with happy employees.
"I was a little timid to ask about salary and pay wages until the end of the process" - Marc
"What I wanted to know but was afraid to ask was what each firm's starting salary would be" - Katie
Clayton & McKervey offers compensation and benefit packages that are very competitive with the market in which we operate. We know this is important to candidates and we want them to be comfortable with the economics of their decision so they can focus on their career and professional growth.
"I was curious about the economic performance of each firm, especially after I heard some horror stories from classmates about getting an internship, then being told the firm wasn't looking to add any fulltime employees at the end of a busy season. Also, at the time, there were situations where classmates had start dates that were delayed, etc. I wanted to be sure that if I accepted an offer, it was with a firm that was well-managed, was doing well, was actually growing and would keep its promises to me. Clayton & McKervey was the only firm to ever discuss itself as a business - that made a huge impression on me during my interviews" - Brian
Although nobody has completely escaped the economic downturn in Southeast Michigan these last three years, Clayton & McKervey has remained strong. The shareholders made the decision to continue to invest in entry-level professionals, as well as add additional manager level professionals to our staff. The willingness of our shareholders to continue to invest in people and their development during a down economy speaks to their ability to manage for the future, and not just the current economic conditions.
"I wanted to know what opportunities are available at the firm, i.e. what departments the firm had and the client base. It was important to me to find somewhere I would have to opportunity to work on a variety of clients in different fields in order to obtain as much knowledge I could about the field. - Christina
Clayton & McKervey's very distinct focus on middle market entrepreneurs with a global aspect to their businesses provides our staff a very diverse client base to work with, both technically and culturally. We find that when we interview experienced staff from other firms, our staff at the same level have more technical depth and are better-rounded professionals. We attribute this to the type of work our clients provide and the amount of exposure our staff has to the clients. We provide a very different experience than what they would get working on large publically traded clients, government, and not for profit clients. We are a very relationship based firm. We communicate with our clients often - not just once a year at audit or tax time.
We recently moved to a department structure, providing our staff with the opportunity to specialize in either Tax or Assurance. We also have a third department - the Emerging and Middle Market Entrepreneur Department (EME). Professionals in this department do both the accounting and tax work for their clients. So while we have "improved" our model by developing departments and the opportunity to specialize, we are still a firm where you can choose, and one of the choices is to do both.