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Lisa Winnard: Now is the time to boost adviser recruitment

WinnardLisa

For some people, a new year means a new job. As we move into the year of the rooster, it is useful to take a step back and look at what the major recruiters are saying. Is the job market on the move?

A recent survey by recruitment firm Hays of 800 employees within financial services found just 25 per cent wanted to stay with their current employer.

That leaves 75 per cent open to new job opportunities, 25 per cent of whom are considering leaving the sector altogether, many within the next year.

The results of the survey marry up with views elsewhere that recruitment activity in the industry is increasing.

According to a study of 157 hiring managers by Morgan McKinley, 68 per cent see their biggest challenge as the skills gap and lack of future talent.

This issue has been evident within our profession for a number of years and it will need to change if we are to move it forward.

“Our industry desperately needs new blood.”

Next generation recruitment

While the graduate market is certainly heating up, we are yet to see the success of the Government’s move to introduce more apprenticeships.

We can only hope this will provide greater access and more investment in training and development, as our industry desperately needs the new blood.

Promoting a career in financial services was made more difficult following the banking crisis, with younger employees choosing other industries due to a lack of trust.

Many employers need to review their longer-term development strategies in order to grow their future workforce.

That said, Aviva’s recent Adviser Barometer found 45 per cent of advice firms are planning to recruit additional staff in the next year.

This is a significant increase on 31 per cent in 2013 and 40 per cent a year ago, which is a positive indication many businesses are planning to grow further. We have certainly seen this trend ourselves among our clients.

The so-called gig economy, encompassing people on short-term and self-employed contracts, is another notable trend. It could, however, prove a potential challenge for business owners.

You may have seen some of the high-profile legal cases, including a challenge against taxi firm Uber, where a number of drivers took action to gain better working rights and protection.

The drivers won the right to be classed as “workers” rather than “self-employed” and are entitled to receive the national minimum wage and paid annual leave.

The key lesson for employers is that courts and tribunals will look behind what is in the written terms and examine the reality of the situation when deciding employment status.

This could see changes for self-employed workers filling full- time roles, which includes a significant proportion of advisers.

So with busy times ahead in recruitment and retention, and challenges all around us, it will be interesting to see how the employment market shapes up in 2017.

Lisa Winnard is HR and business services director at Sesame Bankhall Group

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