Companies Hiring, Executive Feature

Inspire Trust, Deliver Impact & Seek Growth: What KPMG’s CEO Looks for in Job Applicants

kpmgs us ceo lynne doughtie explains why feeling uncomfortable in your job is actually a good thing

In decades past, all that was needed to earn a coveted job was a diploma and a sharp resume. However, in today’s job market hiring managers are digging deeper for candidates who are a culture add and whose values align with those of the company.  For KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie, a candidate who values ethics and integrity shines far more than Ivy League alumni status.

“Our role is to help protect the capital markets, so above all, top talent are those who live our values, uphold our ethical standards, deliver quality, and inspire trust among our constituents,” says Doughtie.

It’s this commitment to the professional service’s mission and values that make her a leader employees are inspired by. On Glassdoor, KPMG team members have given Doughtie a 95% approval rating, earning her a coveted spot on the Employees’ Choice Awards, honoring the Top CEOs in 2018 across North America and parts of Europe.

On the eve of the award announcement, Glassdoor caught up with Doughtie to discuss being one of a handful of women CEOs on the list, how she views recruiting in an ever-changing industry, and her best advice for staying productive.

Glassdoor: Congratulations on your Top CEOs win. You are one of eight women on the Top CEOs list. What do you think it will take to have more women in leadership positions in the future? 

Lynne Doughtie: To make a lasting impact, leaders need to drive change that goes beyond lofty goals.  It’s about being intentional.  We have to do more than tell women they need sponsors.  We have to identify high-potential women by name and strategically map them to those who will help them get to the next level. We set goals, we measure them and we hold leaders accountable.

Glassdoor: With this in mind, what attributes do you look for when you’re hiring leaders at KPMG?

Lynne Doughtie: Leaders at KPMG must: Inspire Trust, Deliver Impact, and Seek Growth – for themselves, and their teams.  I look for individuals who lead with passion and purpose, live and uphold our firm’s long-standing values, drive quality, and value an inclusive and diverse culture.  

Our role is to help protect the capital markets, so above all, top talent are those who live our values, uphold our ethical standards, deliver quality, and inspire trust among our constituents.

Glassdoor: Like every industry, professional services is experiencing a good amount of change and innovation. How are you and your team approaching recruiting in this new environment ?

Lynne Doughtie: Technology is rapidly changing the business landscape – and our profession – and we must ensure we have the talent with the requisite skills to meet the fast-evolving needs of our profession. For example, across all of our service areas – we need professionals with data and analytics experience and knowledge of emerging technologies, and our talent acquisition strategies reflect that.

Today’s marketplace is creating never before-seen opportunities, so we seek people with an innovative spirit that embrace change and have the vision and passion to steer our firm into the future.

Glassdoor: Then, how do you lead your teams to retain top talent? 

Lynne Doughtie: First, we make sure our teams are constantly identifying high performers and high potentials. Top talent wants to know we are helping them grow and develop throughout their careers. We make sure our business leaders create stretch assignments and new roles, provide mentors and sponsors, and constantly recommend opportunities to expand their careers.

Culture matters to retain top talent as well.  I’m proud that our organization is recognized as having an inclusive culture where people are valued and cared for. The unique talents, insights and perspectives each of our professionals brings to the table shapes our success.

We also invest in our extraordinary people.  Right now, we are building the KPMG Learning, Development and Innovation facility in the Lake Nona community of Orlando, Florida. It’s the largest capital investment our firm has ever made. We broke ground last year and, once complete, it will serve as a place that inspires our people to keep learning and growing. 9 Companies That Offer Incredible Professional Development Programs

Glassdoor: What is one book that you think everyone should read? Why?

Lynne Doughtie: Return on Integrity: The New Definition of ROI and Why Leaders Need to Know It” by John Blumberg.  It’s a powerful book that challenges you to reflect on the importance of personal core values.  When each of us really knows our personal core values, they’ll permeate the organizations we work for by strengthening our decision making and enhancing openness, collaboration, and trust.

Glassdoor: Lastly, what is your best advice for staying productive?  

Lynne Doughtie: Every day, focus on the few things that are uniquely meant for you to do, and do those first.  It is very easy to get bogged down in the never-ending “to-do” list and miss opportunities to make the greatest impact, truly be productive and move the organization forward.  


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