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Consultant’s View: RDR is causing recruitment delays

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The RDR could easily stand for ‘Recruitment Delayed Review’ given the way in which it is being blamed for recruitment decisions being pushed back in 2012.

Unlike the Olympics, which we heard about in 2005 and arrived in a wonderful blaze of glory this summer, the RDR which was announced the year after, has slowly but surely crept up on us, is now less than 80 days away and is likely to be greeted by a miniscule percentage of the enthusiasm of the former event.

We all know how the RDR has impacted on qualifications and remuneration – though it will also change the way advisers operate, the nature of the relationship with clients, the products sold and even how client monies are handled.

This uncertainty – coupled with increasing numbers of directives from the FSA about what is or is not required – has left many IFA’s wondering how they are going to have time to meet clients, much less recruit new people who will require training and hand-holding.

Many current, proud independent financial advisers have said privately that they will be restricted advisers (RAP – ‘Restricted Advice Professional’ does not sound quite right really!) from January.

According to Touchstone, most IFA’s are still not anything like RDR-ready and, therefore, their emphasis in 2012 has either been on how to sell their company whilst it still has a value or on getting more qualifications.

Neither is conducive to recruiting additional people.

Product providers have been affected equally because if most of the IFAs they work with become restricted then there is no longer the need to have as many broker consultants interfacing with introducers.

A number of companies have drastically reduced the size of their broker consulting teams in 2012 and this has had a severe knock-on effect on broker consulting recruitment as all but the best panels are left vacant or to be covered on a ‘temporary’ basis.

Despite this gloomy news, the third quarter of 2012 has seen a welcome increase in recruitment activity as companies which had been sitting on their hands wondering what might happen, have decided to take advantage of the talent that is currently available.

Occasionally, these recruitment decisions are then followed by long periods of seemingly endless interviews as companies constantly see potential new candidates and then get upset when a previously interviewed candidate is no longer available due to having been snapped up by a more-fleet footed competitor!

The RDR has delayed recruitment decisions though the dam is now breaking, as more companies make their move to a post-RDR world.

Harris Keillar is managing director of Keillar Resourcing Ltd

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