Kelly Rath, Director, National Campus Recruiting at Andersen, calls herself “a chaos tamer”—relatable?—as well as “a visionary leader with an empathetic style to empower teams”—also relatable? 😊
Andersen provides tax, valuation, financial advisory, and consulting services worldwide. And right next to the “About” description on their homepage is an overview of their Core Values. Learn from Kelly how those Core Values are at the heart of how her team attracts early talent from across the US—and how Handshake has been instrumental for Andersen’s ability to share their story with students.
Q&A with Kelly Rath
What advice would you offer executives or leaders who are looking to improve their brand with in-demand talent, early talent, or Gen Z?
As an early careers leader, I’ve learned the true value of remaining open-minded, nimble, and authentic. Attracting new generations of talent requires us to keep our ears to the ground, share stories of the changes we’ve seen in our industries, and communicate how our companies have evolved in lockstep. That said, companies must be true to their core values and embrace their approach to the market. Today’s [early career] professionals are astute; they will see through a company that talks the talk but doesn’t incorporate it into their DNA. At Andersen, we are proud of what makes us unique and lean into those attributes in how we share our story.
How are you setting your team up for success? How has Handshake, or your early talent programs, played a role in that?
We continue to contemplate “what’s next?” for our rapidly growing company. We seek to convey our narrative and distinctive value proposition to connect with the ideal candidates who share our vision and can help shape our future. Handshake has been instrumental in enabling us to share our story to a vast network of students: amplifying our brand presence, disseminating our narrative, and extending our reach to talented students, regardless of their geographical location, informing them about the vast opportunities we offer!
What’s one of your favorite early talent hire success stories?
A messaging Campaign we ran on Handshake granted us access to a distinguished HBCU, enabling us to engage Gen Z women at that school who were interested in a career in taxation. This focused outreach led one student to attend an Andersen freshman information session, where we taught career navigation techniques. Leveraging what she learned, this student later participated in our Accelerate program, a leadership event designed for high potential sophomore students. This led to an internship and culminated in a full-time career opportunity for her at Andersen! We could not have been more impressed by this young woman’s caliber. Without the ability to personally connect [on Handshake], we would not have been able to provide this best-in-class experience—truly a win-win!
Andersen hosted a virtual event before heading to campus this fall—a great opportunity to build brand recognition! In this hybrid world, what new trends are you seeing for how to recruit top early talent?
The past three years have presented unprecedented challenges for business leaders, and perhaps early career leaders felt the impact more severely than other business units. The sudden shift to remote and virtual recruiting was a significant adjustment. Striking the right balance between models and accommodating the many preferences in between is challenging. We know a hybrid approach offers in-person collaboration, while remote and hybrid work offer flexibility. And we are navigating this new norm so we can showcase our culture and highlight what sets us apart as Andersen. We see a stronger desire from our recruits to "connect on their own terms," whether that means coffee chats, interviews, or options to visit our office throughout the candidate journey. We must evolve while remaining committed to our core values. We continually refine our approach to engage with early career talent to ensure they have the information and experiences to determine if Andersen is right for them.
Handshake research has found Gen Z wants a career with organizations that will invest in their development. What developmental programs does Andersen offer that help you stand out with early talent?
Andersen is deeply committed to supporting our people’s career growth. We provide a comprehensive array of career development and learning programs, available both virtually and in-person, to support our employees at every stage of their careers. For example, Andersen has partnered with the University of San Francisco to provide our employees an opportunity to obtain an advanced degree in the areas of taxation or business. What’s remarkable is that these opportunities come at no cost to our employees. We also offer technical training and a robust tuition reimbursement program.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities on the horizon for organizations that aren't investing in digital transformation? How does Andersen's early career program play a role in solving these challenges and seizing these opportunities?
Gen Z is the most digitally native, forward-thinking generation we’ve encountered. Andersen recognizes this, and in terms of early career development, we have invested heavily in our practice software (like Handshake) and people, to ensure our next generation of talent has the skills and capabilities to lead in this dynamic landscape and exceed the evolving needs of our clients at every turn.
Do you have a favorite quote, book, or other inspiration that gives insight into your work ethic?
A quote by Steve Jobs has always resonated with me: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” My core philosophy centers on listening first, then developing a visionary approach for implementation. I strive to put individuals first, understand their needs and wants, and harmonize their talents with the strategic needs of the business. I have been blessed to be surrounded by talented and great people who I can laugh with (and I laugh a lot) and yet be respected and seen as someone who can reliably and consistently "get it done."
Congrats to Kelly and her team!
Please join us in congratulating Kelly and her whole team at Andersen for their transformative early careers programming—from their stand-out professional development and tuition reimbursement benefits, to their strategic use of messaging Campaigns, to connecting with students on their “own terms.” 👏
About Handshake Honor Roll
Handshake Honor Roll recognizes outstanding recruiting and career services leaders in the Handshake community who are making an outsize impact with their approach to supporting students on their college-to-career journeys.