Hiring the right people for your firm can be a challenging time-consuming endeavor, especially in today’s talent market when job seekers have most of the leverage and multiple job offers to choose from. Hopefully you have not had a job offer rejected, but if you have - you aren’t alone. One recent research study by CareerPlug found that 58% of job seekers had declined an offer of employment.
In this three-part series, we want to describe what we see each day as table stakes or the minimum it takes just to be competitive at the hiring table, some minor differentiators that can move the needle with certain candidates, and finally major differentiators that best position a firm to win over their top candidate and get a “yes” on their offer letter.
- Financial planning focused - While it is true that there are still some “financial planning” firms that do not focus on financial planning, the majority do. The CFP programs are heavily focused on teaching their students about financial planning, and the people we recruit from other channels want to leave those channels to join planning-centric firms so they can do real financial planning!
- Job description - Everybody has one of these, and they all look the same for the most part, especially for entry-level planning roles that don’t tend to vary that much across firms. Some firms have even resorted to using the same language as other job descriptions, though while it may seem like a time-saver in the short run, it does nothing to set your firm apart for the long run.
- Career track - While this might have been a differentiator years ago, almost everyone has this now, or at least a visual that shows how careers can progress. (Of course, if you want to retain the candidate, be ready to give them the promotions if/when they earn them!)
- Salaried position - New associate planners can be making anywhere from $40-$80k just starting out, depending on their capabilities, and the size and location of the firm. Very few, if any job seekers are looking for 100% commission roles.
- No business development requirements - The profession has changed since its founding approximately fifty years ago. Most firm owners had to pound the pavement and work with anyone to get started. The new generations of financial planners aren't looking for these types of positions and if they were, they would start their own firms and not be taking a job offer with yours. Those who want to grow in an employee career track expect a salary tied to their employee role.
- Client interaction - Most of the firms we recruit for have their brand new people in client meetings immediately, or soon thereafter. They may only be taking notes and not talking, but they want and expect opportunities for client exposure.
- Retirement plan - With large financial services companies sometimes putting in up to 10-15% of pay into a defined contribution retirement plan, financial planning firms need to have at least a 401(k) plan in place, and a matching contribution.
These are all solid things to offer, but as the profession has matured they don't carry the weight they used to with the tight job market and emerging job seeker expectations. I realize these items may not have been around when some firm owners started their careers, which can make them very frustrating for firm owners to be ‘required’ to offer now, but it is what the market demands nonetheless.
If you are seeking to break away from the average firms, stay tuned for next month’s article as we look at the minor differentiators we are seeing to get job seekers to say “yes”!
If you can’t wait that long, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will walk you through how we alleviate the burdens of hiring for financial planning firms.
Have a great month!
Caleb & The New Planner Recruiting Team