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Team Alignment On Hiring

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As the ensemble grows, it’s important that the advisor/ owner, the COO and other team members involved in the hiring process are all aligned on what the firm needs in the role. This seems obvious, but we have seen many disconnections in growing firms.  For example: team members share that the role is mostly client facing with existing clients but in the last interview, the firm owner says its more about new business development. Or the role description and early interviewers share the role is to help with the building financial plans and in later stages the interviewers highlight it is more of an investment client onboarding role! 
Eddy Ricci, Jr., CFP ®, CEPA ®: You’d be surprised how many times we have seen a needed role “change responsibilities” in a short period of time. This then causes confusion for all team members and obviously candidates. There could always be the “just get the right people on the bus” philosophy for some star candidates that you meet but that is the exception to the rule.  Two simple steps is for the person who “owns” talent acquisition to ask all involved team members in the hiring process: “What lift and capacity does the firm get, when this person is hired?” and “What 3 responsibilities on the description will they spend most of their time, and in what percentage?” “What experience or technical skill is most important for the candidate to have?”.   Once aligned on this, it should be kept in an internal file and if any of this shifts from week to week, it should be communicated in a weekly team meeting.
Michael P. Connaughton, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®: A growing wealth management business might have support needs across various aspects of the practice. A first step should be prioritizing with key team members where the most help is required: “Does the biggest need lie in operations? Planning support? Compliance? Relationship management? Investment strategy?”.  There might be multiple needs, but don’t make the mistake of trying to hire for an “all encompassing” position or advertise for a specific role but then layer in other responsibilities throughout the interview process. A seasoned wealth management professional frequently gravitates to a defined discipline within the business and a potential catalyst for their search is finding an opportunity that allows them to focus their energy where they are most passionate.  If a candidate gets a sense from discussions with the hiring firm that there might be regular responsibilities outside of the job description, they are likely to consider other options.

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