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How to Recruit the Right Financial Advisors for Your Firm


When expanding your advisory business is your primary focus, it may be necessary to hire new employees to keep pace with an expected uptick in clients. Recruiting financial advisors can require tapping into your creativity to attract quality candidates, particularly when demand outweighs supply. How do you make your business stand out from the crowd when competing with other firms for top talent? Employing some smart recruiting strategies can help you connect with advisors who have the most potential to help your firm grow.

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Importance of Recruiting Financial Advisors

Hiring new advisors can be a strategic move when growth is your top priority. Maintaining a good advisor-client ratio can become more challenging when your client base gets larger, but your staff doesn’t. When there aren’t enough advisors to go around, that could affect the quality of service being provided to clients. If service suffers, client retention may nosedive.

Adding new advisors to your staff roster can make it easier to avoid that scenario. It can also help to combat employee turnover. Some turnover is natural as advisors retire, which necessitates transitioning their clients to someone else on staff. In other instances, you may have advisors who simply decide to move on to another firm or start their own advisory business.

Regardless of the reasons for hiring new advisors, it’s important to find the right candidates. That means looking for people who:

  • Are you a good fit for your existing company culture
  • Can adapt themselves to the way your business operates
  • Possess the skill set and expertise that you’re looking for

Recruiting financial advisors effectively can be a test of your skill set as well, especially if hiring new employees is not something you do on a regular basis.

Recruiting Strategies for Financial Advisors

A firm trying to recruit a financial advisor during an interview

How you go about recruiting new advisors to your firm is entirely up to you. But if you’re looking for some direction on what to do, these tips can provide a useful starting point.

1. Understand Your Goals for Hiring

Knowing why you’re recruiting new advisors and what needs you expect to be met can give you a framework for hiring. The more specific you’re able to get, the better.

For example, you may be hiring because you want to…

  • Better serve existing clients
  • Take on new clients
  • Handoff certain clients to someone else
  • Target a new niche

Understanding your objectives can help you to evaluate whether hiring a new advisor makes sense. It’s possible that you may find another solution that doesn’t require you to take on additional staff.

2. Analyze Your Company Culture

Company culture is often an important consideration for job seekers, not only in the financial services industry but in other fields as well. Understanding your firm’s culture is important, as it can give you an idea of how both existing and prospective employees view the company.

Asking the following questions can offer some insight into how the company is perceived.

  • What makes your organization unique?
  • How would your employees describe your company culture?
  • Are the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that shape your company culture readily apparent?
  • What is your firm’s mission built around and how well does the company culture reinforce that mission?

The goal is to identify your firm’s core values and how those values are upheld. When values and actions align, that can reflect positively on the company as a whole, which could make it easier to attract talent.

3. Create an Ideal Candidate Profile

Recruiting is most effective when it’s targeted at finding the right people. Casting a wide net may turn up plenty of leads, but you might spend a lot of time sorting through them to narrow down the list of viable candidates. Knowing what you’re looking for at the outset can help you to fine tune your recruiting strategies. For example, you might consider the following:

  • What skills or experience does an advisor need to have?
  • Which personality traits or characteristics might be the best fit for the company culture?
  • What are your expectations with regard to a new advisor’s role in helping to grow the company?
  • What kind of personal and professional values do you deem desirable in a candidate?  

Additionally, you may also consider what you’re not looking for in an advisor when it comes to skills, experience, personality traits and more. Your final list of characteristics can influence the methods or tactics you use to recruit new advisors to your firm.

4. Understand What Advisors Want

It’s important to know what you’re looking for in an advisor, but it’s just as important to consider what prospects may be looking for from you. Competitive compensation is typically at the top of the list, but it may take more than a decent salary to attract talent. For instance, some of the things candidates may be desiring or expecting in their next role can include:

  • Opportunities to work remotely
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Paid leave for vacations, holidays or illness
  • Paid parental leave benefits
  • Generous health insurance and retirement benefits
  • Educational and career training
  • Opportunities to travel and/or network professionally

Advisors may also be on the hunt for openings with the potential for advancement and upward mobility. Viewing your firm from a different perspective can help you identify the biggest attractors and any factors that may be working against you in a competitive hiring landscape.

5. Evaluate Recruiting Channels by Potential ROI

At this stage, you may be preparing to launch your hiring campaign and it’s important to decide which avenues or channels have the most potential to reach your ideal candidates. Some of the ways that you might market a job opening online include:

  • Advertising on your firm’s website
  • Posting openings on general and niche job boards
  • Social media marketing
  • Hosting public hiring events
  • Hiring a headhunter
  • Leveraging any professional associations or organizations that you belong to
  • Offering referral bonuses to employees for recommending quality candidates

When considering how to approach recruiting, it’s important to consider your budget and what kind of return you might expect to get for the time and money that you invest. If you’re thinking of paying a headhunter’s fee, for instance, then it’s wise to look at their track record and past experience to gauge how likely they are to help you find the right candidate.

6. Utilize Your Network

Your network may prove invaluable when recruiting financial advisors if you’re leveraging connections to spread the word that you’re hiring. Other advisors, attorneys and accountants are just some of the connections you might be able to tap for recommendations on potential candidates.

You may even have someone in your network who could fit your ideal candidate profile. Reaching out directly, yet tactfully, could open the door to a conversation that might end with them accepting a job offer. Again, your success can hinge on how well you understand what your firm brings to the table and what a candidate might be looking for.

Bottom Line

A woman interviewing a potential financial advisor to join her firm

Recruiting financial advisors can be stressful, but it can be a positive thing if it’s a sign that your firm is growing. Careful planning and a lot of patience can go a long way toward helping you find the best person for the job. Ultimately, though, you need to make sure that any advisor you hire is not just good at helping clients but is a fit for you and your firm.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.
  • Creating quality social media content can help to increase your brand visibility and potentially attract advisors who may be looking to make a career move. If you’re not using social media yet, that’s something you might want to consider including as part of your overall digital marketing plan.

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