You can teach trainees the business, but you can’t teach certain intrinsic characteristics or skills.
Right now, the financial advice industry is looking a little gray. The average advisor age is going up, and fewer new professionals are joining the business. One way you can help ensure the availability of financial advice is by working with and mentoring junior advisors.
Post your open position on job search sites such as Indeed, Monster, and Career Builder, as well as LinkedIn. Put out the word among your network that you’re looking for a new or inexperienced financial advisor, or even someone interested in becoming a financial advisor. Some senior advisors simply look for certain qualities in an individual and offer to bankroll licensing if they’re willing to learn the industry.
Also, connect with local colleges, as most will have career centers where you can advertise your position. Sometimes a young trainee straight out of school can be a great source of enthusiasm and fresh ideas. If you’d like to bring in a financial planner, connect with CPA associations, as they may be able to provide listings of recently licensed planners looking for positions.
When interviewing candidates, look for qualities that can’t be taught. You can teach trainees the business, but you can’t teach certain intrinsic characteristics or skills. For example, look for:
You need raw skill and ability; what you don’t need is experience. In fact, in some cases, an experienced advisor may be more difficult to integrate into your business because they’ll already have a developed approach. That isn’t to say it’s not doable—it all depends on what you need and want for your practice.
If you come across a junior advisor who didn’t do well at their prior firm, don’t necessarily write them off. In many cases, firms will hire brand-new advisors and expect them to create business and make success on their own, without spending anytime mentoring them. Book learning can only get a new advisor so far and, especially in today’s environment, most novice advisors will have a difficult time succeeding without direct guidance and help. If someone looks like a good candidate, but didn’t “succeed” at their last firm, dig deeper to find out how they were trained—or if they were at all.
To find out more about the aging advisor population, as well as four other trends influencing our financial services landscape, download the white paper, 5 Forces Shaping Our Industry.