Financial services firm EY has announced a significant recruitment drive this morning as the company hopes to increase its Irish headcount by 520 to above 3,000. 215 of the new roles will be for experienced candidates, with more than 300 graduate positions also available across EY's six locations on the island of Ireland. The company is not just looking for people with tax or accounting backgrounds, but EY is also looking for people with STEM qualifications - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - to fill the new roles. 

EY's Managing Partner Frank O'Keeffe said the company is looking for a broad range of skills "across our four businesses - audit, tax, corporate finance and also consulting". He said that from the 215 experienced hires and 305 graduates, half of the new people will come into EY's "traditional businesses", and half of them will come into its consulting business, building out on new services around IT advisory, data analytics, cyber, digital strategy, etc.

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Mr O'Keeffe said "business generally is looking at their digital agendas and they are going online and they are reaching out to new markets and new customers online. Making sure they can get that reach, protect their brand and protect their reputation is really important, so making sure they have the right strategies and are aware of the cyber issues that are there are really important for business in Ireland and it's really important for us in EY to be able to support our clients."

The company is seeking to recruit 305 new graduates, which Mr O'Keeffe said was a huge number of new graduates coming in to EY for its graduate programme. He said he hopes they will all transition into full-time permanent jobs but added that the company is "acutely aware what young people want in their overall careers." 

"We expect the 305 graduates who will come into our business to stay with us for a minimum of four years. We hope they'll stay to fulfil their career or they will move around our business within Ireland or move around our global network within EY. Our opportunity for graduates is to train them to help them become the best they can be - to become the best business leaders within or outside our business in Ireland."

Ireland is a tightening labour market, moving towards full employment. Mr O'Keeffe says EY hopes "these roles will be filled by people who are currently in employment on the island of Ireland." He added the company is also looking to attract "really good talent back to Ireland - either from our international network around EY or from different businesses that they are currently employed in".

On the salary figure quoted by EY for the senior roles, Mr O'Keeffe said that "€65,000 is an average number. We are looking for people to come in from manager right through to partner level and based on their experience, that salary will vary significantly," he added.

The EY reputation is clearly recovering since the financial crisis and its growing staff numbers attest to that.
On the financial services firm's reputation, Frank O'Keeffe said: "If we go back ten years to the global financial crisis, there has been a significant change around governance, around law, around regulation, so there have been significant improvements and we in EY are huge supporters of that change to make sure there is greater protection for investors and also the public at large.

"When it comes to ourselves in EY, we are very proud of the clients we support, the traditional businesses that we have and also the new areas that we are moving into to be able to announce 520 jobs," he added.

Mr O'Keeffe said the graduate roles are expected to be filled by September, with the recruitment timeframe for the experienced roles six to nine months.

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