The auditing profession's greatest asset is its people. High quality human capital is critical to producing the high quality audits on which our capital markets depend. In the summer of 2015, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), under the direction of its Governing Board, kicked off a multiyear talent initiative to enhance the attractiveness of the auditing profession to younger generations of all backgrounds and to foster greater retention rates of top performing employees. The CAQ's Governing Board is comprised of leaders from the public company auditing firms, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and the investor and issuer communities.
The broad objective of the CAQ's talent initiative is to engage Generation X and Millennials, or influencers in their lives (guidance counselors, parents, teachers, mentors, etc.), and provide them with an image of what a career in auditing can offer, as well as lead them to resources where they can access additional information.
As a part of our multifaceted initiative to fuel the talent pipeline for the profession, the CAQ strategized how best to reach high school and college aged students in a cost-effective and engaging way that would not tax our three person communications team and achieve our Governing Board's goal of reaching students during the collegiate early decision process (late November – early December).
Our team decided that we should go where the students are – online – and conduct a one-day social media blitz. In order to reach students, we knew it would be critical to involve the talent and career representatives from our Governing Board firms, academics, the business school departments at colleges and universities, and other organizations that work with high school students.
Given that the talent initiative is a new one for our organization, we also recognized the need to create content that would interest and engage younger people. It would also need to dispel misperceptions that characterize auditing as a boring, rote, or solitary job. Rather, the blitz would showcase careers in auditing as dynamic, fun, interesting, and rewarding. It had to convey the prestige and honor of working in a field that is highly regulated and a major player in the stability and health of capital markets.
The goal of the blitz was to highlight the benefits of a career in auditing and the important role auditors play in our capital markets. The effort provided the opportunity for participants to share stories of why they chose a career in auditing, what they love about the profession, and what makes them proud to be an auditor. It also celebrated the important work auditors do, helped to dispel myths and misperceptions about the profession, and invited students and others to learn more about what a career in auditing can offer.
We developed sample tweets that could be used by participants to communicate these ideas. It was important to produce creative elements that would catch the attention of younger generations. The CAQ developed a series of infographics and short 12-15 second videos to be shared for the blitz. We developed content that would best connect with our target audience of 14-20 year olds using bright colors, social media icons, and messages that would resonant with a younger generation. Additionally we produced a 3-minute video that highlighted members of our staff who have, or currently work, as auditors.
The social media blitz achieved many of our goals. It demonstrated the profession is committed to attracting and retaining the best and brightest through coordinated efforts. It showed that the profession and its people are vibrant, fun, social media savvy, and proud of the work they do. It helped to boost morale within firms, increase the CAQ's twitter followers, and raise the CAQ's profile with important partners as we continue our efforts to improve and reenergize the auditing profession's talent pipeline.
We had over 6,400 tweets using #AuditorProud.
The hashtag reached a potential audience of nearly 26 million social media users.
#AuditorProud tweets came from 98 countries.
CAQ's multimedia press release was featured on over 200 syndicated news sites.CAQ videos produced for the blitz have tallied over 10,000 views on YouTube.
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