This study aims to examine the potential factors influencing the hiring decisions of experienced auditors in public accounting practices in Hong Kong.
Multinomial logistic regression is used to analyze the survey data, which is the first time such an approach has been used in the literature. A total of 337 interview rating forms are collected in actual employment interviews from two Big 4 firms. Graves and Powell's hiring model is adapted to this Hong Kong study. Interpersonal attraction theory is employed to assist in analyzing the results.
The results indicate that subjective qualifications have the highest explanatory power. Big 4 recruiters regard subjective qualifications as important considerations in the evaluation of experienced auditors. Interpersonal attraction is the second most important factor. These findings are consistent with the theory of interpersonal attraction. Perceived similarity and objective qualifications are also perceived as significant factors. Physical attractiveness, dress effect and gender are not found to be factors influencing the hiring decisions, in contrast to the findings of earlier literature in the USA.
These findings indicate that recruiters would look for attributes other than those primarily based on objective qualifications. Job relevant skills, knowledge and demonstrated initiatives are important. The accounting profession could conduct more training programs for auditors to improve and demonstrate their “soft skills” in the interview process so as to enhance their chances of employment, particularly during a recessionary environment.
Law, P.K.F. and Yuen, D.C.Y. (2011), "An empirical examination of hiring decisions of experienced auditors in public accounting: Evidence from Hong Kong", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 26 No. 9, pp. 760-777. https://doi.org/10.1108/02686901111171439
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