SKILL-BUILDING:
"We have point-of-need training for specialized skills, which can be delivered through a PC at home or office. And our Web portal Knowledge Exchange - where we have stored information like what the best practices are for managing the supply chain in the pharmaceutical industry - gets 40,000 hits per week."

- SCOTT S. SMITH

HIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS


Besides showing other companies how to run their businesses better, Joe Forehand has to run a business himself, and this requires good people. Here's the strategy Accenture uses when hiring, in CEO Forehand's own words.

IT'S ACADEMIC:
"In fiscal 2001, we hired 20,000 new people. Two-thirds were from top universities in the countries where we have offices. We used to recruit almost entirely among new graduates, but we now prefer a mix of one-third experienced new employees, and two-thirds entry-level, with grades that show not only intelligence, but discipline."

TEAMWORK:
"We also look at extracurricular leadership - which shows they enjoy working with people - and for participation in team sports. We want to see good communication skills. We want people with a good bedside manner, because consultants sometimes have an image of being arrogant."

ADAPTABILITY:
"It's common for our employees to have half a dozen or more assignments in the course of a year. They change teams, they're thrust into the middle of a project, they have to move to another location for three months. During interviews, we ask applicants to describe experiences at school or work where they've demonstrated adaptability."

UP OR OUT:
"We have 8 percent turnover per year for all reasons, including the 3 to 5 percent of bottom performers we counsel out, placing them elsewhere so they become valuable alumni."