From ever-increasing regulatory red tape to fast-changing client demands and ongoing technological transformation, the financial sector is in a state of flux.
According to EY, the retirement of the baby boomer generation will play a big part in the 32 per cent growth the wealth management industry is expected to experience over the coming decade.
Meanwhile, however, advice firms are feeling the pressure of a dwindling talent pool and a shortage of specialist skills as competition heats up. Gaining the edge over industry rivals today requires a proactive approach to recruitment. If firms are to thrive, they must give top talent a reason to leave the security of their current role for pastures new.
Know your candidates
More than anything, well-seasoned advisers seek an employer that will enable them to hit their targets and write new business. Where routine tactics may have once sufficed in converting high-potential advisers into high-performing employees, firms operating in today’s competitive climate must focus on the unique needs of their target candidates and tailor their offer accordingly.
Every adviser will have their own idea of what their dream job looks like: some are incentivised by financial reward and attractive benefits packages, while others will be drawn to firms that help them focus on writing new business by providing back office support.
A high-performing adviser may have their sights set on the top rung of the corporate ladder but may only want to climb the ranks in a firm with a glowing reputation.
Getting under the skin of what makes your target candidate tick is essential in making an offer that appeals to them on both a personal and professional level.
Create a compelling proposition
Above all, firms would be wise to remember that a job change for an adviser represents a significant shift. It is an emotional decision that likely rests on a raft of factors that transcend remuneration. Advisers will prefer a candid approach from employers; they aren’t going to be sold by pretty pictures and enticing job ads alone.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution in crafting a proposition. Your offer should depend upon the priorities of your target candidate. Top-tier talent in this fast-growing sector will be reluctant to move away from the comfortable bonus package they are receiving, so a competitive commission structure could be key to convincing them to come on board.
That said, financial reward alone simply will not suffice: building a bespoke proposition will require insight into what motivates advisers to do their best.
It may even be the case that the next job they take will be in a firm that places distinct importance on the health and wellbeing of their employees. Younger candidates, on the other hand, could be swayed by the proposition of working with advanced technology that promotes productivity.
Keep your candidates engaged
When it comes to recruiting top adviser talent, building an attractive offer is only half the battle. Considering the emotional nature of the transition, your aim as an employer is to make the recruitment process as seamless, simple and smooth as possible. Force your candidates to jump through unnecessary hoops and they will likely lose interest fast.
Ideally, candidates would have all the time in the world to wait for your offer – but that is just not realistic. Firms eager to headhunt the hottest candidates in the market should aim to welcome new advisers into the culture; to make them feel from the very first impression that they are in the right place – even when the hiring process has just begun.
Firms offering a tailored proposition and an engaging candidate experience are best placed to recruit and incentivise talented advisers and keep ahead of the competition.
Alex Russon is managing consultant, financial services, at Heat Recruitment