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Creative Recruiting Strategies for Advisors

The demand for talented financial professionals has never been greater, considering more baby boomers approaching retirement, an aging population overall, and the replacement of traditional pension plans with individual retirement accounts. The Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 14 percent from now to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The rise of the “robo advisor” had far less impact than anyone predicted, and with more access to innovative tools than ever, it’s a truly great time to be a financial advisor! 

Advisory firms are looking to find additional advisors, junior advisors, administrators, and other staff to support the business, but finding great talent is a challenge in itself. The right candidate can be anywhere and there are thousand of hiring websites and job boards online. How do you find them?

Nitrogen is no stranger to team growth—when advisors flock to the Risk Number® as quickly as they have, we’ve got no choice but to scale a team of “A” players to support them! We’ve grown from 90 to 210 members of team Nitrogen in the past year with the help of our incredible recruiter. 

Brian Gelfuso is Nitrogen’s Director of Recruiting (and hiring guru), and we asked him about recruiting strategies that can make your firm stand out. He outlined his favorite methods on finding the best hires for the job, and how to make sure it’s a perfect fit.


Forget the Traditional Job Board 


Monster, Indeed, Careerbuilder, et. al., are good resources but should by no means be your only way of finding good candidates. You won’t find your dream candidate only searching through stacks of resumes. At Nitrogen, we hire “A” players, always, and sometimes it takes some creative tactics to find them. 


Learn the Art of Self-Selection 


Self-selection is a way to add a layer between the resume application and the interview. One method is inviting eligible candidates to an open company event like an open house strategy, game night or happy hour mixer. You’ll find out which candidates are really interested by seeing who attends and it gives you different interactions with candidates to see how they interact in groups and less formal settings. This strategy can lower the screening process and save time. 


Handpick Your Dream Candidates 


Passive candidates are most likely to be your dream hires. To attract your dream candidate, you need to tell them you want them. Don’t be afraid to go a little out of your way to get their attention, and get personal. Examples: LinkedIn targeting and personalizing messages to specific candidates (nothing generic—research the candidates profile and spark their interest). A text message from the CEO (or equivalent leader) will go a long way to explain why they should join the company. Flattery pays off. 

Unlikely Places Bring Great Talent 

Don’t make the mistake of always focusing on industry-specific experience when you recruit. You can teach someone about your industry, you can develop young talent, candidates can earn their certifications over time…but you can’t teach passion, urgency, and a willingness to go the extra mile. Doing a local search or visits to local businesses (retail stores, restaurants) can sometimes find you hidden talent that would be great for your company. 

Attend Events, NOT Career Fairs 

Career fairs tend to be useless since the best candidates already have jobs. Look for great talent at events that are not traditionally recruiting related such as Meetup groups, college business groups, or college clubs. The industry is hungry for young advisors. One of the benefits is that you’ll meet potential candidates that are already passionate about what they do. 

Use Social Media to Stand Out 

Job descriptions posted on job boards won’t make your company stand out and don’t show what is special about your company or culture. Be active on social media to make your company more appealing to recruits (Twitter, Videos, or Podcasts). When you’re open about your company’s culture and core values, it’s easier for candidates to know if the position will be a cultural fit. When you have a culture match you’ll have less turnover, and that means less money wasted on hiring and recruiting because you picked right the first time.

Be Strategic 

Advertise your open position in places frequented by your ideal candidates. Look for specific online communities in your industry as opposed to job boards (like the ones mentioned above). Do a search for “Junior Advisors or Financial Advisors” and you might find multiple forums where you can let people know you’re hiring. We partnered with Penn State to bring real-life fintech into the classroom—check with local colleges in your area to see if they offer similar programs. 

Use Referral Incentives 

Some of your best hires come from people you know and trust—referrals. Let both your employees and network know you are looking to hire. “A” players flock together, and if you’ve created a team full of these assets, they can be an effective recruitment tool. Include a note in your email signature or LinkedIn header indicating that you’re hiring, and always offer referral rewards to show your appreciation. 

We hope you find these creative recruiting techniques helpful in your hiring efforts! We believe financial professionals are worth betting on deep into the future, and the future’s looking bright. Use these tips to attract the very best our industry has to offer and empower fearless investing for decades to come.

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