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Pitfalls to avoid when recruiting Financial Advisers

by Heat Recruitment

As the sector enjoys continued growth and market demand, wealth management firms face a fierce talent war when scouting for well-seasoned Financial Advisers.

For employers in this highly competitive landscape, a compelling proposition is critical in convincing a high-performing IFA to jump ship. However, even firms well known for their position in the industry and positive employer brand can struggle to secure high-performers. Pushed back to the start of the recruitment process by a last-minute change of mind from a prospective employee; they wonder what went wrong along the way.

In truth, the path that leads to a successful hire is with pitfalls that can easily catch employers out. In order to mitigate the risk of losing out to their current employer or a competitor firm, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the common mistakes made when hiring Financial Advisers:

Waiting for the need to arise

In a candidate-driven market, a proactive approach to the recruitment process is not only beneficial, but essential in gaining the competitive edge. Yet, many Financial Advisory firms are guilty of waiting until the need arises to start their search. Generally, these firms will fail to recruit the best and brightest as the early bird gets the worm.

Overcoming this issue requires employers in the industry to build and nurture a strong external talent pipeline; it demands their ongoing commitment in making connections in the industry.

Fortunately, social media has made it easy for employers to strike up conversations with skilled IFAs – however, those who make a point to attend industry events or meet face-to-face with their prospective employees will naturally have a higher chance of winning them over.

Assuming your candidate’s priorities

Having researched industry trends, hiring managers within wealth management firms can be quick to build an offer around commission. However, it takes more than an attractive compensation package to sway most candidates: beyond the price tag, talented advisers want to know that the firm they join will enable them to thrive and give them the best chance to write new business.

Of course, what this means will differ depending on the candidate in question. Perhaps it’s the promise of back office support and the prospect of more time to spend meeting with prospective clients. In order to build a proposition that appeals to the IFA you have set your sights on, you must get under the skin of what is driving their decision.

Take advantage of the interview to understand what environment your candidate prefers; where they seek to take their careers and whether there are any personal factors that may steer their choice such as family commitments or transport requirements. That way, you can build a proposition that is tailored to their needs.

Failing to factor in the counter-offer

Being headhunted by a rival firm on the basis of their skills and experience is certainly great for a Financial Adviser’s confidence, but experienced candidates in this profession don’t tend to hop jobs at the first eye-catching offer.

If they truly are an asset to any wealth management firm, an attractive counter-offer is to be expected. Firms who fail to take this into account when recruiting financial talent risk falling at the final hurdle. After all, a candidate’s current employer is usually best placed to know what makes their advisory talent tick.

Gaining the competitive edge at this critical stage requires forward-planning; it requires a firm to build a complete profile of their target candidate before entering into negotiations and confronting the risk of a counter offer verbally, in the initial stages.

Keeping the candidate waiting

Time kills all deals, and even the most enticing offer can fall flat when a firm takes too long in their hiring decisions. Unfortunately, this is a common pitfall for employers in the wealth management industry; their meticulous recruitment processes designed to ensure only quality hires are made in the business.

However, with competitors around every corner, firms who fail to sustain momentum in the hiring process will quickly lose out when the offers pour in. With this in mind, it’s always sensible to assume your candidate has several options – regardless of their situation.

Of course, that isn’t to say you should rush through recruitment and hire the first qualified adviser you connect with. However, it may not be a bad idea to remove any unnecessary layers that may be putting your candidates off.

Click here to learn more about strategies to effectively recruit and incentivise financial advisers

By Dan Gratton