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The Battle for Talent: 5 Ways Your Firm Can Win and Retain Top Advisors

Does your firm struggle to recruit (and retain) advisors? If so, you’re not alone – a recent study from Arizent showed that 90% of firms have trouble recruiting open positions within their business.

With pandemic-driven workplace changes and a demand for more flexibility and freedom on the job, advisors are exploring their options to find the right professional home.

While higher pay might be the apparent attractor for top talent, there are a few other ways your firm can set itself apart.

Let’s dive into the stats (we’re really big into data here) to explore which tips can help your firm win the battle for advisor talent and increase employee retention.

5 Ways to Set Your Firm Apart

There are five main benefits advisors are looking for in a potential firm, including competitive compensation, additional perks, clear career tracks, a great tech stack, and a future-forward mindset.

1. Compensation

According to that same Arizent study, 28% of firms report low comp as a top driver for turnover. It’s important to know the average compensation for your state and local area to remain competitive.

The average advisor comp is highest in New York, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and Maine, respectively. A mid-level advisor would expect to make somewhere between $134,000-$166,000 in these areas, if not higher.

You should also consider adding a salary range to any job listing. According to at least one recent report, up to 70% of applicants prefer to see a salary range in the first message they receive from a recruiter. A listed salary range promotes transparency between your firm and potential candidates and provides a jumping-off point for compensation negotiations.

2. Perks

In addition to salary and any bonuses, there are a few other perks your firm can offer that could attract and retain top advisors.

Your firm could consider a remote or hybrid work environment, which would allow your advisors to work from home. Prior to Covid, only 29% of financial services companies had at least 60% of their employees working remotely once a week or more. That number has jumped to 69% of financial services companies in the last couple of years.

Remote capability in some capacity isn’t just a perk anymore – it’s pretty much expected.

3. Career Tracks

A modern approach to human capital includes clear career tracks. Advisors want to grow their businesses and professional skills and knowing that your firm has a clear growth plan could be a big bonus.

However, it’s important to remember that not all advisors follow the same path. Giving them options to grow in areas they are interested in is critical to keeping advisors and recruiting new ones. While some advisors may want to get out in front of clients and be a part of growth, others may decide it fits them better to mostly do planning work inside your four walls.

Defined career tracks can also solve inherent problems in performance reviews – they give guidance on both advisor and manager expectations.

4. Technology

A great tech stack is table stakes now – every firm can now access amazing tools that improve firm growth, both with increased leads and with employee retention. Although tech might require an upfront investment, you really can’t afford not to deliver the best tech experience for your advisors.

Consider what tools could set your firm apart from the competition – what tech would dramatically improve the client and advisor experience?

Your tech should have four primary areas of focus: financial planning, CRM, Asset Platform, and your Growth platform. With these four, you can filter out providers by one mantra: does this tool provide scalable benefits to spin up the growth flywheel, deliver a consistent client experience, and keep your firm safely on course?

If you’re not sure which tools would most benefit your team, take the time to discuss options with your advisors – which tools would they most like to see in action at your firm?

5. A Future-Forward Mentality

Lastly, you’ll want to keep the next generation of advisors (and investors) in mind. As older advisors phase into retirement, younger professionals will take their place, and prioritize workplace benefits differently.

For example, a recent study from Financial Advisor IQ reported that college students pursuing a career in financial advice are focused on company culture and work flexibility.

These workers want to feel like they are making meaningful contributions to your firm and their clients, while maintaining a positive work-life balance. To attract next-gen talent, make sure your company policies, practices, and marketing reflect those values.

Advisor expectations are changing over time – to keep your top talent on board and attract strong recruits, it’s important to invest in your team and the tools they use on a daily basis.

Learn More with Nitrogen

Nitrogen can help your firm attract and retain top advisor talent both now and in the future. Click here to contact a team member or sign up for a free tour of Nitrogen today.

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