Last month, we looked at what constitutes table stakes in an offer letter. This month, we explore what minor differentiators look like and how some firms are using these to get candidates to say “yes” to their offer.
- Team-member-first culture - Every firm says they offer this, but there is a clear difference between the firms who have more of the mentality of “if it weren't for the clients, you wouldn't have a job.” When the truth is that if you didn’t have your team, you wouldn’t have (or be able to retain and serve) the clients.
- Mentoring - This constitutes senior experienced people spending significant time with newer people teaching them the craft of financial planning. Job seekers will be able to tell which firm’s culture is built around mentoring, seeks to provide it, and doesn't see it as a burden.
- Reimbursement for conferences/learning - Vital part of a firm whose culture includes life long learning. It is common for firms to give new hires a range and or budget figure such as $1k - $5k.
- Technology - Replacing and/or upgrading computers frequently to ensure everyone’s machine is working at peak performance. Firms that are technology-focused typically replace computers every 2-3 years.
- Unlimited time off - This was becoming a trend prior to the pandemic, and firms found that their people actually took less time off when they had the option. Team members love this flexibility, even if they don’t fully utilize it.
- Hybrid/Work from anywhere setup - Since most firms we talk to didn’t miss a beat over the last two years and actually had substantial growth, job seekers now know this can work well for more roles other than admin ops functions (which has been outsourced virtually for years) and may be seeking it for an associate planner role.
- Niche clientele - There is a certain allure to working with a specific type of client and only that client. While some entrepreneurs think it is boring, it creates superior efficiencies and attracts talent who find it interesting to work with a certain type of client. It is worth noting that with the newer generation of financial planners, there tends to be a stronger preference for younger less affluent clients.
- Support work with clients - If a new hire who is pursuing their CFP certification works in each of the seven areas of the financial planning process and is working under a CFP, they are able to complete the work experience requirements in 24 months vs. 36 months.
- Equity ownership opportunity - The future opportunity for equity ownership is one of the most enticing components of attracting job seekers from other channels within the profession to aspiring planners considering careers in other fields. Not everyone may do what it takes to become a partner, but the potential to be able to ‘make partner’ someday is likely to become a table stake as the profession progresses.
- Health, Disability, Vision Insurance - Offered by the largest firms, and commonly requested by job seekers trending to more of a table stake. FPA and NAPFA both offer health and disability via a third-party broker as a membership benefit.
These items can still move the needle and convince job seekers your position is the way to go. However, as noted above, there are several that could revert back to table stakes soon. If you really want to go all out to get your person, consider the items in next month’s article that tend to be associated with the most successful and creative firms.
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.
Until next time!
Caleb & The New Planner Recruiting Team