In last month’s article, we reviewed several places online you can go to find potential new financial planners for your firm.
In the end, though, getting candidates to want to work for your firm still requires a marketing effort. And just like any other marketing effort, it is essential that you have a strong ground game as well, to support your online presence.
Here are several additional areas we suggest firms focus, when trying to attract good young financial planning talent:
- School Visits – Plan to visit several schools in your area, and even outside of your area, to fill your pipeline. CFP Board Registered Programs are saturated with employers, though, so the earlier you visit in the recruiting cycle, the better your chances. We visit a handful of carefully picked schools each year, and it is a great way to garner students’ interest and get them engaged.
- Teach a Class – Volunteer to teach a CFP class, or give a guest lecture for your local CFP program. This will give you first hand access to top performing students, versus emailing professors and hoping they send you their best students (especially since some professors have their own firms and hire the top talent themselves!). Realize though, that just because someone performs well in the classroom does not necessarily equate to job performance. This can be time intensive, but just like other volunteer opportunities, you get out what you put in.
- Become a Mentor – There are many ways to structure this. You can take the formal route and become part of the mentorship programs that the professional associations (FPA, NAPFA, etc.) have in place. Or simply find someone newer to the profession, and offer to be their mentor.
- Community Participation – Involvement in your community – locally and regionally – gives you substantially more opportunities to meet potential talent for your firm, not to mention prospective clients. Furthermore, taking an active role in your local or national chapter of professional associations, such as the Financial Planning Association, is valuable. When I first started my career right out of college, I was the Career Development Director for the DFW FPA, and many job seekers were contacting me looking for opportunities. Usually, I was the first one they reached out to in their search. If you’re a firm owner in that volunteer position, that means the candidates would be coming to you!
- Utilize a Recruiting Firm – If the time it takes to invest into these strategies is overwhelming, consider a recruiting firm that can do it for you, from helping to find talent, to running the hiring process. Ideally, you’ll work with a firm that has relationships with a number of existing CFP programs, to maximize the potential for finding talent. Costs may vary from 20% to 35% of first year’s cash compensation (though some are available on a flat-fee basis), which is still a deal for many advisors considering the cost of their time and the consequences of a “bad” hire and excessive turnover.
- Develop an internship and/or Residency Program – As mentioned previously, the competition for the top financial planning graduates from CFP Board Registered programs is fierce. Firms that have a structured internship and/or residency program have a substantial advantage, as it allows them to essentially “lock up” interns early on (who eventually become future hires).
Unfortunately, the typical planning firm has a more ad hoc recruiting strategy, and simply tries to hire someone a month or two prior to graduation (and/or when they need to hire), but the compressed timeline can lead to fewer candidates (and potentially lower quality candidates) to choose from.
Combine these ‘boots on the ground’ activities, with your online presence, to gain the attention that you need to fill your recruiting candidate pipeline.