Employers will all agree, that their greatest assets are the people who make up their teams. In fact, they go through great lengths to attract and retain the best talent, that can help them exceed their clients’ expectations. KPMG, one of the globe’s most recognised brands, is renowned to excel in this field - attracting talent from around the world and ensuring an effortless and enjoyable experience for its team members.
GuideMeMalta sat down with Eva Thangaraja Hruscova and Asanka Bandara, who have been part of the KPMG Malta team for a number of years. They shared their reasons for moving to Malta and selecting KPMG as their preferred employer.
Eva Thangaraja Hruscova, holding a Psychology PhD, has resided in Malta for nearly five years, having intentionally relocated to the island to join KPMG. Today, she is a Senior Manager within the People and Change Advisory team, where she assists clients in areas including organisational culture, employee engagement, people analytics, organisational transformation, job grading, organisational design, change management and strategic talent management.
“Taking the decision to come to Malta was fairly easy, especially when I knew that it was to join one of the Big Four advisory companies in the world,” Eva explains. “At KPMG, we make it a point to foster a strong familial environment where colleagues support each other, cultivating a strong team spirit that often extends beyond the office walls.”
Eva had previously visited Malta during the interview process for her potential role at KPMG, and she was instantly struck by the friendly atmosphere within the organisation and on the island.
“Upon my relocation to Malta from Slovakia, I couldn’t help but observe the diverse group of expats hailing from all corners of the world, which created an international vibe in the office. The warm welcome extended by KPMG was highly appreciated – and the view of the Valletta marina from the office was an added bonus,” Eva quips.
The process was also fairly straightforward, as KPMG supported her throughout the relocation journey, answering any questions and guiding her when she encountered issues. The onboarding process was truly comprehensive. Once on the job, Eva was assigned a colleague with whom she would collaborate closely from the very start. KPMG is renowned for its successful buddy system which ensures that no one is left feeling lost.
“Though I was effectively building a new life from scratch, it didn’t feel difficult for a moment, as I immediately made a lot of new friends, some of whom were going through the same exciting experience as I,” Eva notes.
Coming from a background in psychology, adapting to life in an advisory firm came with its own challenges, but Eva managed well, with the constant support of her colleagues.
“Life at KPMG makes it all worthwhile,” Eva says. “I particularly enjoy the extra-curricular activities, taking an interest in sports and other social events.” In fact, Eva participated in in the Attard 5K marathon, and she is looking forward to the upcoming Christmas shoebox initiative, where children from orphanages are gifted boxes with toys or gadgets according to their profiles.
Ultimately, working at KPMG is very satisfying for Eva as it aligns with her values. “The mutual respect that exists in the workplace makes the workflow easy, even on those challenging days. There is absolute respect for diversity, which undoubtedly stems from the fact that there are around nine different nationalities in my team alone,” Eva continues.
“Apart from that, the firm takes its values very seriously, such as integrity, excellence, courage, together, for better. These values are reflected in every initiative we are encouraged to participate in, such as the EuroPride events or Pink October, aimed at raising awareness and making a difference, one step at a time.”
Asanka Bandara joined KPMG in 2017 after working for a Big Four firm back home in Sri Lanka. In Malta, he serves as a Senior Manager for Audit, Banking and Asset Management.
The flat organisational structure drew Asanka to the firm, as it allows him to communicate his thoughts freely with anyone. Relocating to Malta from halfway around the globe naturally presented a few challenges, but Asanka also found a great deal of support.
“In Malta I immediately embarked on a learning journey that kept me moving forward, no matter the challenges. In fact, I moved from Audit Senior to Assistant Manager, to Manager to Senior Manager, progressing steadily along the way. It made absolutely no difference that I was not a native, as opportunities are based purely on a merit basis within KPMG,” Asanka says.
“If you work hard, you will certainly advance as opportunities are abundant. Moreover, KPMG ensures that its team members acquire crucial skills through performance management training, coaching, mentoring, and access to numerous online learning tools.”
Asanka also points out KPMG’s encouragement for its employees to excel both professionally and physically.
“For KPMG, it is a priority that team members stay fit and healthy. We receive generous discounts on gym memberships and sporting events. The firm also supports fun walks and marathons from time to time. Personally, I practice swimming, which I find keeps me healthy both physically and mentally. Collaborations between KPMG and the Richmond Foundation continue to emphasise the importance of this philosophy,” Asanka explains.
Asked about extra-curricular events, Asanka also mentions the shoebox initiative in collaboration with local orphanages at Christmas time. “It’s the amazing gift of giving anonymously, knowing that your small contribution will make a child happy.”
Highlighting KPMG’s dedication towards a better society, Asanka mentions ‘Our Impact Plan’, which are the collective environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments of KPMG firms across the globe.
“KPMG’s commitment towards ESG sets priorities which are in line with those of the World Economic Forum. Focusing on four main areas; planet, people, prosperity, and governance, these are bolstered by ambitious goals, which the organisation has committed to reach. For instance, KPMG aims to become carbon-neutral by 2030 by reducing carbon emissions, paper and printer usage, and promoting digitalisation and online meetings. Furthermore, diversity and equity remain a priority, even though the firm already has an impressive track record in this regard. With 37 nationalities, 50% female participation in management roles, five female partners in the senior-most levels of the firm, and flexible work patterns, KPMG is undoubtedly on the right track to make a difference for the future,” Asanka concludes.