PwC loves millennials. There are countless examples to prove this.
Bob Moritz sticks up for them in public. Tim Ryan has them over for Thanksgiving so they can avoid their families. They help them pay off student loans. They respect (but do not condone) stylish holes. They (allegedly!) discriminate against the olds. They do all this and save money at the same time. Yeah, PwC is about as good a friend to the 35-ish and under crowd as you'll find.
This also makes them a force to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail. They have all the flashy things that catch a young accountant's eye and one of the most popular lures in PwC's millennial tackle box is the fancy workspace. You know, the one with sweeping city views, local art, PwC-branded giant Jenga and an environment that distracts people from the misery going on all around them.
The latest example of an accounting firm office transforming itself into a gaudy millennial playground is in Minneapolis and managing partner Tom Montminy admits that that was all part of the plan:
“With millennials you want flexibility, you want technology and you want them to collaborate,” Montminy said. “If you create the right environment where they can sit where they want, they’ve got flexibility to come and go, have different views and give them the technology, they’re never slowed down. We don’t want to slow anyone down.”
Employees can work, eat lunch or relax on two separate decks that afford a 360-degree view of the skyline, including a bird’s-eye view of Target Field, and well beyond. The casual deck features a putting green, foosball and a ping-pong table, while the formal deck has a fire pit, couches and tall tables suitable for food service or happy hours at office social gatherings. “This was definitely a big selling point,” Montminy said of the patio spaces. “There’s no question that this is different than any other space that we’re aware of in town, especially at this elevation.”
A game console with a stack of titles offers a change of pace while rooms for nursing mothers on each floor have a fridge, sink and comfortable chair, and “serenity” rooms offer a place to play or rest one’s eyes. Artwork, much of it locally commissioned, is almost as ubiquitous as the technology. It includes an interactive light board with glowing disks that change color when turned.
“I heard somebody say that they walked in here and thought it was more of a creative agency than an accounting firm and we said, ‘Perfect,’” Montminy said. We’re not advertisers but it’s about creativity, solving (companies’) problems and helping society.”
Actually, Tom, some of you are advertisers.
In any case, if you are an accounting firm that is not so good with the millennials, then this is all pretty concerning. PwC has enormous resources and can throw money at just about any employee-friendly fad that corporate America has to offer. Meanwhile, lots of accounting firms couldn't find a millennial if you dropped them off near a selfie station at a craft-beer festival. And on top of everything else, you'll have to forgo sleep to keep up:
“The only things stopping us from growing faster is obtaining and retaining qualified talent,” Montminy said. “We’re out to hire 24/7/365 days a year.
Best of luck recruiting this fall, accounting firms. Maybe have a Plan B ready.
Image: iStock/Evgeny Gromov