How to recruit advisors to your financial planning firm

June 14, 2019 by Rebecca Reindl

Advisor shaking hands with job prospect

about the author:

Rebecca Reindl

Instructional designer

Rebecca Reindl is an instructional designer at Advicent, the financial planning technology provider of choice for nearly 100,000 financial professionals.

Undeniably, the job market is changing quickly. Recent data collected from Financial-Planning.com found that since the beginning of 2019, more than 222 advisors who manage nearly $47 billion in assets have switched firms. Additionally, a 2018 Fidelity survey found that more than half (56 percent) of advisors considered switching firms in the past five years and nearly one in four (23 percent) made the switch in that timeframe. This news may be alarming to financial planning firms that are seeing nearly 50 percent of all Certified Financial Planners above 50 years old and approaching retirement.

The current financial advisor job market gives a lot of negotiating power to young prospects looking to join established firms. These young prospects are highly-educated, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial in ways that are leading change in the job market. For firms who are looking to sustain their books of business and hold a strong competitive edge moving forward, here are some tips on how to recruit the next generation of financial advisors.

Before starting your search

There are steps you can take even before posting your job to help attract top talent to your firm. First, cultivate your company culture to be a place where top-tier candidates want to work. Advisors will be much more responsive and engaged through the hiring process if you are upfront and offer compelling reasons to join your firm. Such reasons may include offering a supportive environment, upward job mobility, and professional development opportunities.

Candidates are looking to focus on the quality of work, regular feedback, and opportunities to feel connected and engaged in the workplace. Outlining a career roadmap for potential hires signals that you are ready to invest in the right person and give them a place to thrive.

Top talent expects and demands top benefits and perks. Assess your benefits package to ensure it is robust and comprehensive. Adding perks like increased or unlimited vacation, a flexible work environment, and state-of-the-art office spaces will pay dividends in the energy and positivity advisors bring to the firm.

Finding high-quality candidates

To start, craft your job postings in a way that will attract new advisory talent. Job seekers today want to know the profile of your company, pay scale, career opportunities, and more just from reading the posting itself. Job postings with the most traction go beyond the basic job requirements and minimum qualifications so consider another form of engaging content such as adding a video or link to a recruitment landing page on your firm's website. As you are writing the post, make sure the tone reflects your company culture. Utilize bullet points and short paragraphs to get the important information directly to the candidate in an easy-to-read form.

When you are ready to post the position, make use of mobile platforms for job seekers. If candidates apply on your website, ensure it is possible to fill out the online application on a mobile device. Third-party platforms that can automatically sync applicants' resumes help streamline the application process for potential candidates. Often, these platforms offer filtering capabilities for you to narrow your search to find the best new advisors to add to your team.

In addition to other third-party recruiting platforms, use social media to increase engagement with job seekers. There is no denying the value of social media with a recent Aberdeen Group study finding that 73 percent of job seekers under 40 years old found their last position through a social media platform.

Social media is not only a recruiting tool but is also a way that savvy new hires will look for background about the company culture, current employees, and company status.  Make sure you are proactively driving those conversations by owning and maintaining your social media channels. Check out our previous post on five ways advisors should be utilizing social media.

Employees can also be a great promotional avenue. Not only will they act as fantastic brand ambassadors for your firm, but you can trust that the high-quality employees you currently have will suggest similarly talented candidates from their networks. Word of mouth might not be as slick as social media, but it often cannot be beaten at getting the right message to the right candidate. Offering an incentive to current employees in an employee referral program will help you realize a huge ROI.

Attracting fresh talent often means attracting fresh, new advisors who may just be entering the professional job market. Make sure your college campus recruiting efforts are polished to reach these motivated job seekers. Start building relationships early with college students by offering internship programs – and look to coordinate these with a university’s career center. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, elevate your firm's presence on college campuses by sponsoring activities or fairs. You can even connect more directly by being a benefactor for student organizations like economic or investment clubs, as well as business fraternities. Beyond monetary donations, you can participate in workshops and seminars to share your industry expertise.

Enticing candidates to your firm

Because many job candidates can afford to be picky in today's job market, be sure to sweeten your offer with competitive compensation scales and cutting-edge technology.

Compensation may be a top way to compel recruits, but the structure of it matters greatly. Increasing base salary and adjusting commission is a fantastic way to show candidates you are ready to invest in them. If you offer more commission-based pay, be sure to share typical commission nets for your advisors so candidates fully understand the expected salary range. An attractive hiring bonus may be the opportunity to retain clients of retiring advisors.

Resources can be attractive differentiators for job seekers. Advertise the technology options you offer during the interview process. Knowing they have access to a comprehensive planning tool like NaviPlan can make all the difference to job candidates. This opportunity for increased upselling means so much for their bottom line over a simple goals-based planning tool. Advanced technology will increase their accuracy, streamline their workflows, and allow them to develop deeper and lasting relationships with their clients. Administrative support, express underwriting, and concierge services can all help advisors be more attracted to your firm’s sales process.

Contacting candidates

Landing the right candidate takes preparation and finesse. Putting in the work prior to posting can make all the difference in who you can hire.

Speed-to-hire is an important consideration in today's job market. Structure your interview process so that you are prepared to act quickly to make an offer to your preferred candidate. You can expect talented candidates to have multiple offers, so timing can be the deciding factor. Within the first interview, share the structure of your interview and hiring process with candidates.

Frequent and clear communication throughout the process will leave candidates feeling reassured and confident as they move forward with you. Craft recruitment materials to have at the ready to share with potential candidates or send in between interview stages with compensation and benefits information. This is an easy way to stay connected to potential hires and keep them excited to join your firm.

Lastly, stay involved throughout the recruiting process. You can ensure that your firm is being presented in the best light if you are driving the conversation. Prospects will appreciate the authenticity that comes from cohesive messaging and a firm that is committed to providing advisors the best opportunities for success.

For more information on how to recruit the next generation of financial advisors, download this free whitepaper >

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