In a first-of-its-kind joint venture, Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has teamed up with LinkedIn to be the featured employer on Career Explorer, a new section of the social networking site that matches up users at 60 colleges with potentially appealing job openings.
PwC (which ranked No. 1 in the selectivity category in Vault's annual quality of life rankings released earlier today) paid millions to LinkedIn for the honors and, as The Wall Street Journal explains in an article about the venture, hopes the move will result in PwC being viewed as an "edgy" employer. Good luck with that, PwC. "Edgy" and "LinkedIn" are two words unlikely to end up in the same sentence ("edgy" and "accounting" is another unlikely couple).
Still, the move will likely boost the social networking profle of PwC, a firm that has lagged behind its fellow Big Four firms in the area, as well as result in a few more quality resumes for the 5,500 jobs PwC plans to add by June 30, 2011. (Meanwhile, Ernst & Young, the social networking leader of the Big Four whose Facebook page dates back to 2006, plans to hire 6,450 students over the same period; Deloitte LLP wants 5,000 by May 31, 2011; and KPMG is looking to hire more than 7,000 by the end of 2011; indeed, the accounting industry, unlike several others falling under the financial services sector, is alive and thriving and looking to add, rather than subtract, thousands of jobs.)
According to the Journal, the genesis of the PwC/LinkedIn venture occured in June 2009 when PwC contacted LinkedIn and "said that it wanted to do something innovative in social media and recruiting." LinkedIn then informed PwC about "an early version of Career Explorer" and, as a result, "PwC worked with LinkedIn to help develop the look of the feature. PwC organized several focus groups where college students looked at early versions of Career Explorer. Students said, for instance, that they wanted to know what their potential career options paid—information that neither LinkedIn nor PwC had."
Although Career Explorer is now only available to students at 60 colleges, it will soon ("at a not-yet-decided date") be available to all LinkedIn users.