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Investing in talent

We help our people flourish on a personal and professional level, says Pierre Portelli, human resources partner, KPMG in Malta.

Pierre PortelliPierre Portelli

How central are human resources to KPMG’s success?

Human resources are at the centre of everything we do at KPMG in Malta – they are our greatest asset. The success of our firm is dependent upon the quality of our people. Quality is not only measured in terms of the technical skills that our employees bring to the table, but also in terms of their ability to communicate effectively, build a network of contacts that translates into lasting relationships, and provide value-added services to our clients.

Our vision is to build and sustain our reputation as the best firm to work with by ensuring that our people, clients and communities achieve their full potential. In this respect, the skills, knowledge and capabilities of our people are absolutely central to the success of KPMG.

Is a clear training path set for all KPMG personnel?

A training path is set for all new recruits from the moment they join KPMG. Our comprehensive induction programme provides a solid foundation in internal office procedures and our auditing, taxation and advisory practices.

Training paths are aligned with career paths and vary according to the function, be it audit, tax or advisory. While on-the-job training is important and continuous in all functions, the various career paths in these functions require different types of training programmes.

In addition, KPMG makes available a number of study routes for aspiring professionals. Our programmes include the University Graduate Programme, the ACCA Programme and the ACA Programme.

In what ways do you invest in the personal and professional development of KPMG personnel?

We embrace a culture of continuous improvement on a personal and professional level. Our core belief rests within our knowledge that by continuously developing our people to their full potential, they will acquire new skills and diverse competencies. These result in the success and growth of the business while ensuring that the firm’s core values are respected. We believe this is a winning formula.

Such a mindset underpins our people agenda, which places a commitment on the individual who, in addition to our mandatory training, identifies his or her own training and development needs, clearly articulates those needs in a formal development plan and concretely acts upon that plan. We empower our people to be in the driving seat of their self-development journey.

What continuous learning opportunities do you provide?

Continuous learning opportunities are underpinned by the employees’ personal development programme, internally known as MyPD and 360 Degrees – a loop system which allows for regular feedback from the performance manager and work colleagues to the employee – encompassing performance management which is intertwined with KPMG’s commitment towards career planning on the basis of personalised goal setting and development training.

We provide all the support to the employees in the form of innovative learning processes like self-study, instructor-led and technology-based training sessions that incorporate both soft and technical skills.

Furthermore, in line with our goals to be at the forefront in both our professional skills and soft skills, training is mandatory for all client facing staff members on a regular basis in a variety of topics including risk management, ethics and independence, AML and IT security.

Do you also provide opportunities for international engagement?

International exposure is twofold within KPMG. Being part of the global KPMG network in itself gives our people the opportunity to be actively involved in international engagements. Our employees can also go on secondment to other KPMG practices across the globe – this is considered by our people to be the single most career-enhancing experience that a KPMG professional can have.

KPMG are winners of the FHRD Learning and Development and FHRD Employee Engagement awards. How do you intend to continue building on this success?

We believe that we have developed one of the strongest learning and development packages combining technical training, coaching and mentoring, skills building programme industry secondments and recognition to celebrate key milestones in our people’s career path.

We strongly believe that continuous improvement and development of this package is vital to the long-term success of our business and our learning as the development programme is aligned with business growth opportunities.

This affords KPMG in Malta a competitive edge leading to increased levels of engagement, morale and motivation in our people.

For any business, how important is it to not only attract, but also to retain talent?

Retention of our employees, especially in key positions, is vital for the survival and growth of KPMG in Malta. Good corporate cultures are strongly linked to employee retention. At KPMG we are very much aware of the fact that our future depends on how we nurture talent so we constantly strive to create a healthy working environment where people can flourish on a personal and professional level.

Employee engagement is one of the drivers for employee retention that research suggests is conducive to productivity and high levels of performance. We provide our people with challenging opportunities in an environment that recognises and rewards exceptional performance.

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