The promise of employer brand KPMG

Published on 16-05-2019

In our interview series with professionals who are active in Employer Branding and/or Recruitment, we already spoke with innogy, Vodafone, ManpowerGroup, and NN Group. This round we are interviewing the KPMG team.

KPMG Netherlands is part of a large international network of professional accountancy and consulting firms. The company has over 3,000 professionals working in the Netherlands. There are 12 branches, of which the head office is located in Amstelveen.

Martine Klein Robbenhaar (MKR) is a Marketing & Communications manager and has been working at KPMG since 2007. Marlon Klein (MK) is a Marketing & Communications consultant and has been working at KPMG since 2017. Frank van Moort (FM) is team lead Recruitment and started at KPMG at the end of 2018. The entire recruitment team consists of 30 recruiters, distributed across campus & experienced hires recruitment, talent sourcers and recruitment support.

Together they are responsible for the KPMG employer brand and the recruitment and inflow of around 1200 new employees per year. Sixty percent of them are starters (including trainees and graduate students). The remaining forty percent consist of experienced professionals. The three focus target groups of KPMG are Finance & Strategy, Technology & IT, and Assurance.

From left to right: Martine Klein Robbenhaar, Marlon Klein, Frank van Moort

What makes working at KPMG so special?

MK: We are open, accessible, informal and there is room for entrepreneurship. You could be suddenly presenting a good and well-founded idea to your colleagues a week after having it.

FM: You notice that KPMG invests a lot in its employees and stimulates personal development, in that sense the HR policy is also well aligned with the People-driven progress theme.

MKR: Yes, that is very recognizable. Here, for example, everyone participates in their personal learning program, where you follow (training) courses on an individual basis. Or you will be given the opportunity to take on specific assignments that you want to further develop. There is a lot of attention for your personal development, but also for your work-life balance.

You can’t help wondering “Does KPMG suit me?” After the 3-day onboarding program, I knew for sure.

FM: Every month all new joiners go to an external location for an onboarding program that lasts 3 days. This was not that long ago for me. I had nice conversations during the application process, and I was really looking forward to my new role. But at that time I was not sure whether KPMG as an organization would really suit me. The onboarding program has completely dispelled my doubts, really a fantastic experience and in line with KPMG’s culture! I remember thinking: If this is what KPMG stands for, then this is what I want to belong to!

Fortunately my feelings were further confirmed after the onboarding, in practice. You immediately get a lot of responsibility, but you receive proper guidance. You can continue to develop at KPMG, both professionally and personally.

New brand campaign for KPMG Netherlands: People-driven progress

MKR: Last summer we launched a new brand campaign in collaboration with creative agency ARA. The “People-driven progress” campaign theme emphasizes that progress is only real progress if it is good for people and society. In our vision, technologies only make progress if they are deployed from human insight and creativity. That is our view on progress and the way in which we add value for our customers with our services.

The “People-driven progress” campaign theme emphasizes that progress is only real progress if it is good for people and society.

Translation of People-driven progress into the labor market

Upon arrival at the KPMG head office in Amstelveen, visitors and employees can’t miss it. The head office exudes the atmosphere of the internal and external campaign, People-driven progress. “Campaign” may not be the best description, because the promise of the employer brand is much more than just a temporary campaign. It is a theme that is lived internally and is also central to the positioning and activation of KPMG as an employer brand.

KPMG’s labor market campaign is off to a flying start

MK: Last summer we launched an online campaign on the most used social channels. This among different target groups: candidates with an interest in finance & strategy, technology or assurance. We are also looking for many new colleagues with more work experience; therefore both starters and experienced talents were targeted. The campaign was very well received: the number of applications has more than doubled during the campaign period.

From January 2019 up to and including the summer we also run always-on campaigns on social media, among other things, through the “touch, tell, sell phases”. We use all kinds of content for this, such as blogs, videos and vacancies. We publish this sponsored through social media for the relevant target groups. An example of such an expression to attract new talent is the Deals video developed this year.

What are the most important challenges for recruitment?

FM: Those are mainly about finding the right experienced hires: managers and senior managers within Technology. Like many other companies, we are looking for more and more candidates in Technology & IT, such as cyber & security profiles, because in the end many of our solutions are tech-driven. We try to seduce this target group by bringing them into contact with real life cases, such as a hack on a drilling platform. We also offer an interesting referral program for our employees, and we use our own sourcing team to find the very best candidates.

MKR: In addition, I see a few general developments. Labor becomes more flexible, we enter into fewer long-term commitments with each other. Not only from the perspective of the employer, but also from the perspective of the candidate. This leads to a shift in the type of assumptions (fixed / flex). Permanent contracts are less interesting, certainly for younger candidates who want to learn a lot quickly. Internal mobility and retention are therefore interesting issues, because KPMG offers many possibilities that you as an employee do not always see immediately. And why compete with the outside world if there is a wealth of career opportunities available internally? That is why we are launching the KPMG Career Desk. With the help of an adviser you discover, as an existing employee, within which disciplines of KPMG you can further develop your personal knowledge and experience.

KPMG has been using CompanyMatch for several years, what is the importance of a good P-O fit?

MKR: A good P-O fit (person-organization) is very important to us. The better the introduction, the better the final fit. A good match affects all kinds of aspects of the relationship that you enter into with each other. From faster onboarding, performance to internal mobility and retention. We use various instruments such as CompanyMatch but also tooling, such as the KPMG TalentPitch, this is an extensive capacity test that lasts around 1.5 hours. Candidate experience is extremely important for our recruitment process. The KPMG TalentPitch takes candidates through the various facets of our organization in a fun and interactive way. This way we not only learn a lot from our candidates, but the candidates also learn a lot from KPMG.

Take a look at the Company Profile of KPMG (in Dutch) on

Recommended articles