During the last year, if you have had a smooth interview process and made a successful hire, congratulations because many did not have the same experience. The market of available young talent continues to be very limited, and now more firms are hiring due to improving stock market conditions.
Furthermore, you will probably not have as many people interested in your role as you may have had in the past. Due to the plethora of openings stemming from the growth of the profession, job seekers aren’t as excited as they once were about salaried entry level positions in financial planning. Plus there are many other vocations (think content creators/social media personalities, etc.) that are perceived as much more exciting and rewarding than financial planning.
In the never-ceasing quest for talent for your firm - in particular, to make sure that if you do get in front of a promising candidate, you win them over other firms when it’s time to make the Offer - here are a few key mistakes we see firms make and how to fix them.
Lack of Clarity Around Role
What firms are doing - Due to poor planning and unclear vision, some firms are perusing competitors’ job listings, taking what they have verbatim, and simply adding their logo. This may save you time in the short run, but will make for headaches in the long run. You need to go through the process of putting together the role and responsibilities to ensure it fills your gap in your firm, and meshes with your culture.
What you should do instead - Use your KPIs and growth projections to back into how many people you need to hire each year (hint: if you are growing, it is probably at least one!) and begin the process now. Instead of searching for a unicorn that you think can do the three jobs you might have combined into one, split one role into two roles as needed, or a break up with a combo of outsourcing and an internal hire, so the job description is a clear description of what one person can realistically do.
Unprepared for Interviews
What firms are doing - Underestimating how much selling it takes to get a candidate interested in your offering, and struggling to answer questions such as ‘why are you hiring?’, ‘what is in it for you?’, ‘what does the growth plan look like for the next 3, 5, 10 years?’, ‘how is working here going to help me get to where I want to go?’, ‘how many days per week can I work from anywhere?’, ‘have you had turnover? If so, why?’, ‘tell me about your benefits plan, sabbatical? paternity/maternity leave?’
What you should do instead - Develop a laser sharp elevator speech, like the one you have for prospective clients, that you can deliver for prospective employees. Something that addresses these types of issues: ‘This is our past, but our future is going to be greater. Here is where we are going, and here is how we are going to get you to where you want to go.’ Send interested candidates all of your company benefits information early on in the interview process, so their questions will be answered or they self select out early on if they don’t like something (saving you time). Be honest, if you have had turnover - talk to them about it, and let them know what you have done to correct it.
Process Too Lengthy
What firms are doing - Spending six months or longer looking for the next best candidate. This may have served you well in the past, especially when there were substantial stock market pullbacks causing fewer firms to hire and more candidates available shifting supply in your favor, but is going to be a much tougher strategy going forward. If you do have some strong contenders for the role in front of you, avoid waiting to “see if something else comes along that might be better.” We have almost 15 years worth of data that shows the candidates you find first are almost always the best. We’ve noticed a sharp increase recently in firms being way too selective for this reason (along with lack of clarity, as noted above). Keep in mind, you will never get a candidate who checks every single box perfectly, because those people probably aren’t looking for a job.
What you should do instead - Realize we are suggesting streamlining your screening and interviewing process not eliminating it. Once you have made contact with a potential hire, you should strive to make an offer within three weeks. This should be enough time for two interviews and a screening exercise or two. Make sure you have reasonable expectations when it comes to candidate experience/qualifications and compensation. For example, you are not going to be able to secure a candidate that can already deliver as you do - a highly experienced advisor with a decade or more of experience - for under $100k, so there is no reason to hold out.
Hopefully these are helpful for you as you go about your hiring so you don’t derail the process, causing you to lose a quality candidate and place more stress upon your existing team.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and/or would like to hear more about how we have helped financial planning firms hire the right talent for the last 14 years to build and strengthen teams that allow them to grow much faster than their peers.