Change begins with understanding

Practice Management

Change begins with understanding

Matt Ransom, Vice President, New Financial Advisor Development, discusses how to attract and retain the next generation of financial advisors.

While a number of long-serving financial advisors were motivated to pursue the profession in large part due to uncapped income potential, the next generation has a different set of motivators – and a skewed perception of the industry. In order to attract and retain fresh talent, we must hone in on their wants and needs and educate them on what being a financial advisor means.

It all begins with recognizing how the profession has evolved. No longer is an advisor just required to sit at a desk, crunch numbers and make cold calls all day. Portfolio management and sales are part of a multifaceted role and comprehensive planning has become the norm.

Life’s complicated. It’s messy. And clients need emotional support. They’re seeking guidance, a sound financial plan and someone to hold them accountable in sticking to that plan. That’s why today, an advisor’s job is to make sense of and rein in the chaos their clients are experiencing.

While next-generation job seekers may have the disadvantage of a negative misperception of the financial services industry – think Bernie Madoff, Wall Street greed and the impact of the Great Recession – many also have the advantage of a forward-thinking drive that aligns with the holistic approach those in the profession have come to embrace.

Hiring managers have a host of tools and resources they can take advantage of to make more informed employment decisions. One such tool is open-mindedness.

Next-generation advisors want to be trusted professionals who make an impact on clients’ lives, while building close relationships and helping improve their own financial circumstances. Keep that in mind as you are sharing your thoughts on the position and the perks that this job offers.

Though most managers are inclined to seek candidates with experience, talent can trump skill. Sales and industry experience no longer make a difference in terms of overall success. We can teach the hard skills. It’s the soft skills that can make a once-looked-over candidate a manager’s top choice. In the hands of the right person, our training is fantastic. In the hands of the wrong person, it just won’t work.

Empathy. Drive. Curiosity. That’s what it takes to succeed. Being comfortable asking uncomfortable questions and truly caring about the answers. If you want to learn more about what makes a successful trainee – please review the work done for the AMP Trainee Profile Project. The research highlighted 27 characteristics of top performers that the new AMP Virtual Job Tryout will help you identify.

When hiring managers accurately convey what financial advising truly is, the next-generation is sure to be drawn to the noble profession – because when you love what you do, you do it well. Passion for and dedication to making a difference can get you through even the hardest days of a difficult job.

At that point, it’s no longer a job.

It’s a calling.

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