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Adding the right financial advisor to your team could be just what your organization needs to achieve its financial goals. But that’s often easier said than done. If you’ve been wondering how to hire financial advisors with the right qualifications, this guide should help. Keep reading to learn how to find, choose and hire the right type of financial advisor for your firm. A job posting board such as ZipRecruiter can be an invaluable resource — the company claims that 80% of employers receive a quality candidate in the first 24 hours.
What is a financial advisor?
A financial advisor is a professional who helps individuals and businesses with their finances. They often assist with the following and more:
- Investment decisions
- Savings plans
A company hiring for this role may wish to have more support with internal financial decisions. Or they may be looking to provide financial advice to clients. This is a distinction worth making when putting together your job description. The more specific you are, the easier it should be to attract the right candidates. You can also look at this guide if you have further questions about what a financial advisor is.
What does a financial advisor do?
Financial advisors help clients make optimal decisions with their money. To do that effectively, they need to assess a client’s goals and then create strategies that allow them to reach those goals as quickly as possible.
This process may involve many different duties and responsibilities, including:
- Interviewing clients to assess their financial goals, risk tolerance and other information needed to create personalized financial plans
- Answering financial questions from clients
- Reviewing clients’ accounts and looking for opportunities for improvement
- Using a variety of tools and platforms to perform financial analyses
- Helping clients adapt as their financial needs change
- Providing excellent customer support
Your financial advisor hiring process may involve looking for professionals who are capable of all of these responsibilities or only some of them. It will depend on what you’re hiring your financial advisor to do. For example, if you want a financial advisor to help your business and not external clients, the ability to communicate well with outside parties may not be as important to you.
How to hire a financial advisor
Now that you have a better sense of what financial advisors do, you’re ready to begin researching how to find great candidates for your job. Check out the following steps to get started.
Determine which type of advisor you need
A good first step is to determine the specific kind of financial advisor you want to add to your team. Here are a few different types of advisors you may be interested in pursuing:
- Investment advisors: These financial professionals specifically focus on providing investment advice to companies and individuals. They look to optimize returns while minimizing risk.
- Certified financial planners: Financial planners can also help with investments, but they approach their clients’ financial matters more holistically. They often help clients create and execute customized strategies to match their goals.
- Chartered financial consultants (ChFC): This role is reserved for a financial professional who has passed a ChFC degree program covering topics such as estate planning, asset protection planning and employee benefits planning. They’re similar to certified financial planners but go through a more intensive process to earn their title.
- Registered representative: Registered representatives perform client-facing work for financial firms, typically as brokers and portfolio managers. To earn this title, they must pass the Series 7 and Series 63 exams.
Write a detailed financial advisor job description
Once you know the type of financial advisor you wish to hire, you can begin writing a job description to attract qualified candidates. It may be helpful to start with a pre-written financial advisor job description template you can customize with your information. Whether you choose to use one or not, you should include the following details in your job description:
- A summary of the position
- A list of responsibilities and duties
- Important qualifications (such as education requirements, certifications and work experience)
- Some information about your company
- Details about the salary range and benefits of the position
When putting your job description together, it’s important to remember this is your chance to sell the opportunity to the best candidates. Highlighting the most enticing aspects of the job early in the job description may help you attract more qualified applicants.
Choose a recruitment strategy
The next step in the hiring process is establishing a recruitment strategy. You will follow this process to find and hire the best candidate for the job. Your recruitment strategy should include information such as:
- Hiring goals: Who are you hoping to hire and why? What type of financial advisor do you want to work with, and why do you need to add them to your team?
- Budget: How much are you willing to spend on salary for the right applicant? How about your budget for marketing the job opening?
- Marketing plan: How do you plan on getting the word out about your financial advisor job opening? What platforms will you use? Will you also try to look for applicants offline through local organizations or schools?
- Selection process: How do you plan on evaluating candidates and making a hiring decision? Who will conduct the interviews? Who will have the final say on your hiring decision?
Now may also be a good time to consider using an applicant tracking system (ATS). These help you keep track of the information you receive from applicants to streamline the hiring process and avoid misplaced data. This guide covers the best practices for using an ATS if you want to learn more.
Evaluate your applicants' qualifications, experience and skills
As you implement your recruitment strategy, candidates will begin submitting their applications. The next step is to compare them based on academic background, certifications, experience and skills.
The specific qualifications you look for will depend on why you’re hiring a financial advisor and what you hope they will be able to do at your company. But you may want to begin by eliminating candidates who don’t have the necessary professional certifications or work experience while setting aside the best resumes you receive for further consideration.
Interview the top financial advisor candidates
At this stage, you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews with your top applicants. You should devise a list of skill-based and behavioral interview questions to ask your remaining candidates. It may also be helpful to involve multiple people in the interview process to reduce biases and make more well-rounded decisions.
Some companies will use multiple rounds of interviews to assess different aspects of a candidate’s skill set. For example, your first interview might involve getting to know an applicant as a person and reviewing their qualifications with them. Candidates who pass that step may be invited back for another interview focusing on practice-based questions to assess key financial competencies.
Select your new hire
Now you’re ready to make a hiring decision. If that means choosing between two great candidates, you may need to make a tough call based on differentiating factors, such as:
- Differences in salary requirements
- Work experience in your niche
- Intangible fit with your company and its culture
How to find a financial advisor for hire
Your company can use many different resources to find qualified financial advisors who have been searching for full-time jobs in their area. Here are some options:
Job posting sites
You can begin by posting your help-wanted ads on the best job posting sites for employers. Many financial advisors review these sites, like ZipRecruiter, regularly to find new opportunities. Posting a strong job description on them will put your company in that mix.
Your company’s website
Your website is an underrated tool for attracting qualified applicants. You can update your career page to list your current openings and take advantage of the traffic that it receives daily. This guide covering how to create a better career page will help you convert a higher percentage of that traffic.
Local professional groups
In addition to using the best online recruiting software, you can also take advantage of local professional groups when looking for qualified financial advisors. Trade organizations often host events you can sponsor or attend to get your company’s name out there and meet skilled applicants.
How to choose a financial advisor to hire
Choosing the right financial advisor for your team can be a real challenge. If you’re still struggling with making a final decision, considering each of the following factors may help:
- Know why you’re hiring a financial advisor: When a hiring decision isn’t clear, going back to the beginning can help. Reviewing your specific goals in hiring a financial professional may lead to a breakthrough.
- Check credentials: It’s also important to look closely at each applicant's certifications. Some of these may give an advisor more flexibility than others.
- Know your culture: Your company’s culture is another factor that matters in your hiring decision. If you like two candidates’ qualifications but feel one would be a better fit for your existing team than the other, that may be a big enough factor to impact your choice.
- Consider the salary implications: Finally, you can also return to the salary implications of a hiring decision you’re struggling to make. When all other means of differentiation fail, hiring the candidate who costs less is not a bad way to go.
What to ask a financial advisor in a job interview
Whether hiring for one of the best-paying jobs in finance or an entry-level position, job interviews will play a critical role in the process. You can customize the questions you ask based on what you want in a financial advisor. But here are a few sample ideas to get you started:
- What certifications do you have? This straightforward question lets you know the types of financial work each applicant has been certified to do.
- How would you advise a client in "X" scenario? You can make up your own hypothetical scenarios based on situations that your firm often encounters. Asking this question will help you evaluate how each candidate approaches their work as a financial advisor.
- Tell me about your biggest mistake and how you solved it. No financial advisor has a perfect track record. This question will help you evaluate how honest each applicant is about their mistakes on the job and the steps they have taken to overcome them.
Financial advisor versus financial planner
The titles financial advisor and financial planner are often used interchangeably by laypeople. However, a difference is worth noting if you want to hire a financial professional.
Financial planners typically focus on providing long-term financial advice to their clients. They help clients clarify their financial goals and create personalized strategies for reaching them.
The title financial advisor is broader than this and can include professionals who help clients purchase securities, choose insurance plans and manage their money, in addition to long-term goal planning.
How to hire a financial advisor FAQ
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How much does it cost to hire a financial advisor?
Why hire a financial advisor?
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Summary of Money's how to hire financial advisors
Hiring a financial advisor can help your organization make more informed decisions about how it spends, saves and invests its capital. But if you want to find the best possible fit for your team, it will be important to conduct a thorough hiring process with customized interview questions and a comprehensive recruitment strategy. You can continue to use this guide as a resource as you work to make a hiring decision.