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CISI planning chief’s top recruiting tips

A lot of people have told me recently how hard they are finding it to recruit good quality staff. There are a number of things to think about when looking to recruit.

Once you have identified the specific tasks you want doing and have written a job description, you will probably place an advert or contact a recruitment agency, which might include telling them what “type” of person you are looking for.

Before that, though, it is worth doing a little self and team evaluation. You could look at personality tests such as Belbin, DiSC, Kolbe or Strengthsfinder.

It is important we are aware people communicate differently. Understanding how different people like to interact and learning ways to develop your existing skills to accommodate them will be vital in recruiting and developing your team, as well as truly understanding clients.

When I was a paraplanner I got on very well with my planners because they would tell me straight what they wanted me to investigate without telling me how to do my job. I had the detail I needed, which I liked, but they had no interest in the way in which I went about actually doing the research.

Both Belbin and Strengthsfinder offer team analysis, which can be very helpful in seeing just how everyone’s traits fit together. For example, if you have a team that scores highly on creativity but not on organisation, you will have lots of ideas but not a lot will come to fruition.

That said, I am always a bit nervous about doing these sorts of tests because I like to think that, although I have certain traits that will not shift (a stickler for detail being just one), I have developed my skills over the years to accommodate and communicate with all sorts of different people with different traits.

Many years ago, I worked at the Institute of Financial Planning with a lovely lady who did a completely different job to me; she sought sponsorship from fund houses and I was marking exams. We did a personality test but our overlap scores were less than 2 per cent. It begged the question, why did we get on so well?

I then learnt that people naturally communicate on different levels when we come across these sorts of situations.

In our case, we found out she remained unchanged but I communicated via my “child side” (which we found rather funny). So it is certainly not the case that you cannot communicate with others with differing personality traits; it just needs a little more flexing of your personality.

Remember that any test like this is just a snapshot of you at one moment in time. But think about developing more skills and adding to your kit bag of life. In the long run it will help you get on and communicate effectively with all sorts of people.

Jacqueline Lockie is deputy head of financial planning at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment

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