Often times hiring firms are unsure of where to best utilize their new hires. In this month’s article, we will discuss the first few tasks you should delegate to your new planner to help your firm grow and to retain your new hire for the long term.
Due to a previously existing shallow talent pool and the recent Talent Realignment, hiring is especially challenging right now. If you are successful in having your offer accepted, ensure you are getting the maximum return on your new investment.
It can be tempting to have your new hire work their way through a laundry list of tasks that are typically found on a job description, but consider putting your new asset to work in the places that will alleviate the most pressing bottlenecks within your firm. For many financial planning firms, these bottlenecks primarily center around financial plan preparation and process.
Accordingly, here are three things to delegate to your new hire first:
- Note-Taking and Client Meeting Follow-Up - Observing and participating in client meetings accelerates a new planner's growth, and is instrumental in developing their communication and advice delivery skills. Plus, you and the other Senior/Lead Planners should not need to be worried about capturing every last detail yourself, and personally keeping track of what must be done in terms of post-meeting follow-up to implement the recommendations that were discussed. Having your new hire capture this information frees you up to focus on the client, so you can listen more intently, ask better questions, and deliver more accurate advice.
- Tip - In the beginning, tell your new hire to capture everything, then debrief with them after the first few meetings and point out what the minimum critical pieces of data are, and how the firm will use the information to provide better advice and overall experience. This helps the new hire understand over time which meeting information is truly critical to capture.
- Data Gathering and Input - Requesting and reviewing client documents are vital for the new planner's technical skill development. For anything that is not already automated, have the new planner key in the appropriate information, and double-check any data-driven automated processes (e.g. client submits their information via portal or directly into a software program) to ensure everything is captured appropriately.
- Tip - Have another associate planner show the new hire how to work through the requested document checklist your firm utilizes. They can also train on the proper procedures for reaching out to the client for clarification and/or additional information requests. This is also an opportunity for the new hire to learn the data integrity checks while working through the software inputs.
- Basic Planning Scenarios - Since your new hire is involved in the prior two areas of your business, you might as well introduce them to the planning process and have them take a run at generating the base financial plan, as well as any basic planning scenarios the client has requested to see (and/or scenarios you want to show the client). This frees you and your other team members up from time consuming data entry, and allows them to act in more of a supervisory role for quality assurance purposes. This step is important to the growth of the new planner, as it builds the cornerstone for their planning skills.
- Tip - At first, strive to have your new planner complete at least 25% of the planning project, then gradually they should be able to do more and more until they eventually handle it all from beginning to end. This might be more difficult if the new planner is required to prepare plans for several different Lead or Senior planners who have different expectations. If this is the case for your firm, make sure you take the extra time up front to train your new planner on the nuances of the different planner’s preferences. This is a large point of frustration for new planners that we hear frequently.
If you are the entrepreneur and driver of your business, you should only be focusing on what your core abilities are, which should be the activities that move your firm forward with the largest impact. To operate at your highest and best use, you need to delegate everything else. Yes, there will likely be some hiccups in the beginning, but it is helpful to remember that we all started somewhere, and if you have hired and trained correctly, your new hire will leverage your time freeing you up to do more of what you love.
Send us a note on what you are delegating and how it is going.
Until next time!