Working with Junior Advisors
One way to address the aging advisor conundrum is to mentor junior advisors. Tech and social media savvy, they can relate to younger clients, free up valuable time, contribute to a succession plan, and help to grow a practice. Try recruiting raw and enthusiastic talent that reflects your ethics and values helping guide the future of your practice.
You can teach trainees the business, but you can’t teach certain intrinsic characteristics or skills.
Cultivating the next generation of advisors
Right now, the financial advice industry is looking a little gray. The average advisor age is going up, and fewer new professionals are joining the business. One way you can help ensure the availability of financial advice is by working with and mentoring junior advisors.
Why junior advisors?
- They give you freedom: Having junior advisors releases you from your desk and widens your world, whether you want to spend time outside the office or on other activities inside the office beyond client service.
- They help you grow: You can hand off smaller accounts to junior advisors, which allows you to focus on larger clients and rainmaking activities. In addition, younger advisors are generally motivated to grow their own clientele and can bring in more assets for the business on their own.
- They provide a succession plan: If you don’t already have a succession plan or potential successors on the horizon, junior advisors offer an ideal solution. You can train them to run your business how you run it, using your philosophy.
- They offer a bridge to the next generation: There’s a benefit to bringing an advisor of a different generation who may connect more easily with younger clients or your existing clients’ children and grandchildren.
- They can help with technology: It’s a good idea to look for junior advisors who are tech-savvy and social media literate. They’re likely to have some great ideas for how you can better use technology to reach new clients and cultivate existing relationships.
How to find junior advisors
Post your open position on job search sites such as Indeed, Monster, and Career Builder, as well as LinkedIn. Put out the word among your network that you’re looking for a new or inexperienced financial advisor, or even someone interested in becoming a financial advisor. Some senior advisors simply look for certain qualities in an individual and offer to bankroll licensing if they’re willing to learn the industry.
Also, connect with local colleges, as most will have career centers where you can advertise your position. Sometimes a young trainee straight out of school can be a great source of enthusiasm and fresh ideas. If you’d like to bring in a financial planner, connect with CPA associations, as they may be able to provide listings of recently licensed planners looking for positions.
When interviewing candidates, look for qualities that can’t be taught. You can teach trainees the business, but you can’t teach certain intrinsic characteristics or skills. For example, look for:
- Strong work ethic
- Technical knowledge
- Values that mirror yours
- Willingness to buy into your long-term vision for the business
You need raw skill and ability; what you don’t need is experience. In fact, in some cases, an experienced advisor may be more difficult to integrate into your business because they’ll already have a developed approach. That isn’t to say it’s not doable—it all depends on what you need and want for your practice.
If you come across a junior advisor who didn’t do well at their prior firm, don’t necessarily write them off. In many cases, firms will hire brand-new advisors and expect them to create business and make success on their own, without spending anytime mentoring them. Book learning can only get a new advisor so far and, especially in today’s environment, most novice advisors will have a difficult time succeeding without direct guidance and help. If someone looks like a good candidate, but didn’t “succeed” at their last firm, dig deeper to find out how they were trained—or if they were at all.
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