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It’s a family affair

Running a family business can raise other recruitment challenges

Employing a member of staff is possibly one of the biggest decisions a small or medium IFA firm might have to make. Getting this recruit-ment decision wrong can have a major impact on the future success of the business but failing to recruit at all can stifle the future financial potential of the IFA business.

IFAs probably agree that delegation is crucial if we, as practitioner principals of a practice, are able to make effective use of our time. There are simply too few hours in the day to get every-thing done in the typical advisory practice, particularly where you also have to fulfil the business owner role. Without effective delegation, we are placing an artificial glass ceiling on our own productivity and the future profitability of our businesses.

A challenge faced by most IFA business owners today is making the most effective use of time and, most importantly, getting to spend more time face to face with clients.

It is this face-to-face advisory time that clients value most and creating sufficient client-facing time means having the right human resources in place. We are very conscious of the time we are required to spend “behind the scenes” but this is not what our clients think about when they engage with us. Creating time for advice is crucial and without delegation to employed staff, this is very difficult to achieve.

As a family-owned and managed IFA business, we have certain attributes that make us different from other firms. Some might call this a different “culture” and this is probably an apt description. We differ from other firms because we function in business as a family and this in itself raises other recruitment challenges. Any new recruit will have to get used to working in an environment where they are not family members.

Individuals who come to work for us from a bigger company back-ground are going to be faced with something of a culture shock. Attitudes that are present in big organisations with a formal management hierarchy are simply non-existent (or at the very least hard to find) within our own business.

In a big organisation, it can be difficult for the individual to make a significant impact. It is different in a smaller firm. When you do something, it has an impact on the entire business. The consequences can often be significant.

It is not possible to affect change (however small) without everyone in the firm noticing but we believe that in a smaller firm it is at least easier to make those changes.

So recruitment can be tough for the small or mid-sized IFA practice. It is tough because it is so important to get it right and to find the right recruit. The cost consequences of getting recruitment wrong can be quite enormous.

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