If you have followed our newsletters, you know we are proponents of a thorough screening process. Because it’s easier to just not hire someone, than to have to fire them later!
However, making great hires is like investing, in that you can reduce risks with proper planning, but can never eliminate them. You are always likely to have some concerns when making a hire. Yet at the same time, if you are dead set on holding out for the perfect candidate whom you have zero concerns with – you might be waiting a long time.
Which means even with a good screening process, there’s still a small leap of faith that must be taken when making a hire. Accordingly, we have laid out some frequently cited concerns we hear from firms when contemplating a hiring decision, and some suggestions on how to work through them and take the hiring leap.
- They might leave to start their own firm or go to another firm.
- We have found that this rarely happens with firms who offer their team members a collaborative culture, career and income growth potential, training and mentorship, and equity ownership opportunities once earned. In other words, advisors rarely aim to get hired with a plan to leave; they leave if/when they discover there aren’t enough upside opportunities to stay. Offer them the opportunity, and you’ll usually be able to retain them.
- They might not be able to meet my expectations.
- This is why it is imperative to convey your expectations of them early and often. The starting point is a clear Job Description that articulates your expectations in the first place, so they really know what is expected of them. If you aren’t quite sure what to expect, you may need to think through the position more thoroughly before setting out to hire.
- They might meet someone special and relocate to another geographical area.
- For someone who has been hired in, trained, and worked in the home office, with today’s tools and technology, working virtually is not the hurdle it once was. In other words, even if an employee moves, it doesn’t mean they have to stop being your employee! You will want to ensure this person has the discipline, structure, and organization to succeed in a virtual role, which can be assessed by various personality and work instinct tools such as DISC and Kolbe.
- They might take my clients.
- See above. You can check with an attorney about putting a non-solicit in place, but the firms that realize that it is the client’s decision on where they want to go and who they want to work with strive for more of an amicable solution. Such as agreeing up front to a purchase price for each departing client – usually 1-2 times the annual revenue the client generates. Though again, if your employee advisor has good upside potential to grow within your firm, there’s generally no reason to leave (and potentially take clients) in the first place.
- They might cause one of my existing team members to resign if personalities clash.
- There are some tools you can use to assess this risk, from Culture Index, DISC, and StrengthsFinder, to Caliper, and others. However, sometimes what looks like a personality issue is really disguised as the old guard feeling threatened by the new guard, and the harmony and productivity you thought you had may have been a mirage. Consider addressing this on the front end by involving the existing team member(s) in the interviewing and decision-making process so there is consensus and buy in.
Stay tuned for part 2 next month.
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