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Inside View: Grant Thornton UK

Richard Waite – Grant Thornton UK’s national resourcing lead – tells us why the firm’s looking to hire more MBAs

Thu Apr 13 2017

Grant Thornton – the world’s fifth largest professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms – is looking to hire more MBAs.

Grant Thornton’s UK member organization is led by 185 partners and over 4,500 employees. It hires over 1,200 people each year, from apprenticeship-level trainees to partners and directors.

It’s just partnered with the Cranfield School of Management on a new Executive MBA. While Grant Thornton doesn’t recruit from specific business schools in the UK, it is looking to up its number of experienced MBA hires at partner and director-level this year.

To land a job at Grant Thornton, MBA grads will have to go through several stages of interviews – either online or face-to-face – focusing on the behavioural side, core values, technical and business acumen.

Incoming MBA hires will join a network of over 40,000 people in over 130 countries worldwide, and a company recognized as one of the best places to work in 2017 by Glassdoor.

Richard Waite was himself an experienced hire at Grant Thornton UK seven years ago. He’s now the firm’s national resourcing lead, responsible for its experienced hiring strategy. He tells us why Grant Thornton is looking to hire more MBAs.

Why does Grant Thornton value MBA hires?


MBAs bring real commercial acumen, a depth of business insight, experience and expertise that complements the technical skill-sets that a lot of people in our business already have.

A candidate with an MBA is extremely valuable and sought-after by Grant Thornton, by our hiring managers and business units. We’re looking at MBA talent as a growth area for us. As we grow our advisory functions, MBAs will play an even more significant role in our hiring strategy than they do now.

What skills and characteristics do you look for in your MBA job applicants?

We have a purpose as an organization to shape a wider economy. We need Individuals who are excited about making a wider economic impact beyond Grant Thornton’s four walls, and beyond the four walls of our clients.

We’ve got six core values that are at the heart of everything we do: collaboration, excellence, agility to operate in such a volatile economic environment, respect, responsibility, and leadership. Everybody with the organization - whether you’re a trainee, a director or partner – has a role to play in embodying leadership behaviors.

Do you value soft skills more than hard technical skills in your MBA hires?

For us, it’s about a complete balance of the two. The technical foundation gives people the skills to be able to do their jobs well. In terms of people being able to do their jobs really well, it is the behavioral skills that make the difference.

Can you tell us something about working at Grant Thornton that most people wouldn’t know?

We occupy a really unique position in the market. You get all the benefits of working a large organization with all the perks of working for a much smaller organization.

It’s an innovative, down-to-earth, personable, friendly culture. People know who you are, they know your name, and what you’re up to.