RSM UK has recruited a record high of 723 new students across the UK in 2022, comfortably surpassing its previous record intake in 2021 by 20% as the firm continues to invest in its long-term growth plans.

The firm’s trainee recruitment policy runs counter to the national trend. According to RSM UK’s latest Middle Market Business Index (MMBI) the quarterly index and survey of approximately 700 senior executives, businesses are dialling down their hiring needs across the UK with just 33% of middle market firms recruiting more staff, down from 41% in Q2, and 52% in Q1.

Amongst the new trainees, the firm attracted 507 graduates and 116 school leavers. The lion’s share of trainees will be based outside of London, throughout the firm’s network of 32 offices stretching from Southampton up to Aberdeen. RSM has increased its graduate intake by nearly 30% on last year.

The firm’s audit practice has recruited the single largest group of trainees – 360 in total. The remaining number of trainees will be spread across tax, corporate finance, risk, restructuring advisory, consulting and outsourcing. The record intake is part of RSM UK’s strategic ambition to strengthen the firm from within its own ranks, and over the long term, to help become first choice advisers to middle market leaders globally.

RSM CEO, Rob Donaldson, said: “Recruiting our largest cohort of new trainees is a statement of our intent to continue investing in people to help us achieve our long-term growth ambitions. Taking their first step onto the career ladder, this group of new trainees form a vital component of a sustainable growth programme that looks to the future. Having worked at RSM for nearly 25 years, I have first-hand experience that the firm will give them a rewarding career and they will get to work with talented teams across a wide range of sectors and service lines. Tough economic challenges await; and with challenges come opportunities which I know the new trainees will embrace, learn and flourish as they gain more experience in the workplace.”

The new recruits will be supported in studying for their professional ACA, AAT, ATT, ICAS, ACCA, CIA or CTA accountancy qualifications while also benefitting from a comprehensive internal development programme focused on developing a broad range of skills and supporting wellbeing.

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RSM UK partner Victoria Kirkhope said: “It is very rewarding to know this year is our biggest number of trainees coming on board to help deliver our business ambitions.  With a focus on personal and professional development, RSM is a great place to start your career and an exciting environment within which to progress. The latest wave of trainees come from different backgrounds with different experiences and outlooks, and the firm benefits from having a wide and deep pool of people. In return, they will gain a well-structured training path in their early years against a backdrop of working in a supportive and collaborative culture.”

The number of school leavers joining the firm in the last two years has increased by 65%.