When hiring new planners for associate planner positions many firm owners tell me to find them someone like them. Just like Peter Lynch said, “Buy what you know,” owners tend to want to take the same approach and hire what they know. It is human nature after all – we prefer staying in our comfort zone and don’t operate as well with the unknown.
However, I often find though that firm owners have not thought the position activities or the candidate expectations through thoroughly. They should begin first by having a good understanding of what their firm’s needs really are. If the firm owner skill set is strategic visionary, relationship manager, and primary rainmaker, then the firm should strive to find candidates with complementary skill sets to fill in gaps. Frankly, if it is a small organization too much overlap will lead to inefficiencies.
In most cases, if the firm owner is the strategic thinker, they need someone to implement those ideas and carry out that vision. If they are gifted at bringing in clients, they need someone to serve those new and existing clients. If they are great at meeting with clients, they need someone who can complete a majority of the meeting prep tasks and deliverables. At this career stage, firm owners should have a pretty solid idea of what their gifts and passions are. Once that has been fully established, they should find someone else to do everything they aren’t good at or do not want to be doing, either by hiring, or by outsourcing (see a complete list at www.virtualsolutionsconsortium.com).
Here are some questions that firm owners should ask themselves before they attempt to hire to help determine role identification and job fit characteristics:
- What am I good at that I want to spend my time doing?
- How does this new hire fit in? What will they do that I don’t want to?
- What is lacking in my client service and deliverable model?
- Do I want to teach someone the business? Do I want to be a manager?
- Am I willing to take a step back in both income and time to take steps forward?
- Do I want an ensemble, silo, or sole practitioner type structure for future professionals?
Spending the appropriate time identifying an owner’s needs before blindly plunging into hiring is paramount to a long term fit. A lot of the mistakes occur when firm owners try to hire someone exactly like them and place them in a support advisor role indefinitely – a combination which rarely works out long term.
·Michael will be at FPA Retreat in Bonita Springs, FL May 3rd – 6th (more on Michael’s conference travels at www.kitces.com/outandabout.php)
Caleb is presenting on “Finding and Keeping New Advisers” via Investment News Live Webcast on March 15th 4-5pm ET. More information can be found here https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=288418&sessionid=1&key=FD47CD2A6329FBF4051DCDD38F64A1F0&sourcepage=register