What makes good people want to work for you? Is it a competitive paycheck, generous benefits and cool perks? Sure, an attractive compensation package and appealing extras are certainly a big part of the recruiting equation for employers and hiring managers. But there’s a lot more to it. Over the course of my career I have found time and again that the best job candidates are looking for more. They want to work for an organization with a clear mission and a truly team-oriented culture. They desire the opportunity to fully utilize their skills — and seek the encouragement to hone new ones.
The bottom line is that attracting and retaining top talent is essential if your financial company is going to be successful. Here are my tips for recruiting (and keeping) the best of the best:
- Create An Attractive Culture
No one wants to make a major decision to join your company only to later discover that it’s an environment full of drama, chaos or hyper competitive backstabbers. Develop a culture that rewards loyalty, cooperation and collaboration. Employees will take their cues from you and other senior leaders so also make a point to communicate your vision for the company.
For instance, I want Planning Alternatives to be the absolute best and most well known financial firm in the Detroit area, and I have established a detailed roadmap on how we’ll get there. I give regular updates to my team and also share the vision with job candidates. I make it known that we are building a scalable company, which provides plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurial thinkers seeking career advancement and professional development. I also make it clear that we are not a sterile financial firm; we are a collection of positive-minded individuals unafraid to go deep with clients and truly get to know them, their problems and their dreams.
Again, the key to attracting the right people is to communicate clearly and often.
I’d encourage you to promote your positive culture at recruiting events, industry conferences, on social media and in your job postings.
- Commit To Recruiting A+ players
Remember that truly talented financial professionals want to work at firms with other truly talented financial professionals. The right candidates will be drawn to your team, not intimidated by the expertise of your existing staff or your lofty goals.
And as Steve Jobs once said, “A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.” It’s so true. I’ll admit there were instances at previous companies when I made hiring mistakes simply because I rushed to fill a vacant role. I settled for “good enough” when I should have held out for “great.” Do your best to think longer-term when hiring. Do you want someone adequate to merely fill a seat and help you hit this quarter’s numbers — or do you want a standout candidate who has the potential to grow with the firm and help take it to new levels? While holding out for perfection can be problematic, rushing the hiring process is often a recipe for disappointment.
- Always Be Recruiting
ABR! Many employers think recruiting is a one-time event. There’s a slot to fill, so they quickly write up a job ad, collect resumes, do some interviews, fill the seat and move on. And then when they have another vacancy they start all over again and do the same process.
A savvier approach is to view recruiting as a continual exercise. Maintain a list of talented people you’d be interested in bringing onboard. These individuals are likely already employed, but the world is full of passive job candidates who’d jump at the right opportunity. Recognize this and understand that the person may be feeling trapped, unfulfilled or frustrated with their current environment.
Look for channels to communicate your financial firm’s story and value proposition, engage them in conversation and discover together if there are mutual benefits to joining forces. Attend business-networking events, remain active on LinkedIn, and periodically send a check-in email or have coffee with potential recruits. When you have a job opening let trusted and valued contacts know so that you can tap into their professional networks.
- Leverage Your Employees
Don’t overlook the opportunities to recruit through your team’s network. When people are excited about what’s happening at their workplace, they will tell others. Many times they have connections to people who have a similar mindset and work ethic. When hiring for a role, arm your employees with a job description, personality profile and any other pertinent information that will help them identify top-quality recruits. Financially incentivizing your staff to find the next great team member by offering referral bonuses is also a wise win-win proposition.
I’d wish you luck in your search, but if you do these four things you won’t need it!
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