Financial Planning Recruitment Techniques Posted on 29 Sep 08:35 , 0 comments


Tom Brown and I attended the FPA's AFL Grand Final Luncheon on Monday. It was great to hear from current and previous AFL players about how they approach their career.

I have to admit that I'm not an AFL expert. My husband and I once went out to dinner with friends who were also friends with Brisbane Lions Player, Simon Black and his beautiful wife Catherine.

We had no idea who he was.  (And wondered why he was asked for autographs during dinner).

We actually asked him, "What do you do?"

And when he told us he played for the Brisbane Lions for some reason I thought he was a soccer player. I hope he thought it was refreshing not to be swooned over. 

I googled him later and learned all about the awards he'd won- including the Brownlow Medal. 

When I moved to Melbourne a few years ago I was given business advice from someone I respect. "Learn about AFL," she said.  

It's one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given.

Now, I am still no expert in AFL. I'll admit that I took the cue from the crowd on when to laugh at certain jokes and stories told at lunch. 

I still managed to take inspiration from the event.

What was clear to me was that AFL is all about getting the right people on the team, providing them with support and encouraging team work.

Just like in Financial Planning. 

When it comes to recruiting new team members to your team, you should look for a combination of three factors:

  • Motivation;
  • Personal Characteristics; and
  • Skills and Background. 

The greatest risk in recruitment is hiring someone who has the right skills and background, but the wrong attitude and personal characteristics to fit in with your team.

Here are techniques to help you identify the right candidate fit for your business:

1. Motivation, Commitment and Attitude

An ideal candidate will be someone:

  • Whose goals are achievable within your environment; and
  • Who enjoys the kind of work you do, the clients you work with, and the culture you offer. 

Before you start your recruitment process, take time to ask high performers in your business what they love about their job. This will include the work itself, your client base, the team and culture.

Also take time to understand the downside of the role. It's important to be transparent about these things in the recruitment process to avoid turnover within the first six months of employment. 

Look for alignment in the interview process between the role and candidate motivators by asking:

  • What are the features you're looking for in your next role?
  • What are your long term goals?
  • What did you like most about your previous role/s?
  • What did you like least about your previous role/s?
  • Why did you leave your previous role/s?

These questions will help you determine motivational fit. 

2. Personal characteristics

Like motivation, personal characteristics are intrinsic. They are difficult to coach and as such should be identified as part of your selection process.

Personal characteristics are observable as you liaise with candidates in a process:

  • How do they communicate over the phone? 
  • How do they build rapport in the process? 
  • How do they speak to your receptionist?
  • How do they present themselves in the interview process?

Give candidates the opportunity to get to know you and your team as part of the process. This may mean you involve a few different team members in the interview process, or that you walk them through the office to make introductions.

Personality profiles are also excellent tools to identify personal characteristics and help you assess team fit. 

Behavioural questions allow you to assess how candidates have reacted to problems and situations in the past and resolved situations as they came up. Questions about difficult situations and frustrations are also excellent to help gain an understanding of what candidates value, and how they respond to difficult situations. 

Questions to ask include behavioural questions such as:

  • Tell me about a time you've been frustrated with a work problem?
  • Tell me about a difficult customer you've dealt with?
  • What's something that really annoys you?
  • Tell me about difficult feedback you've received previously, and how you responded to it?

Remember that the key to behavioural questions is probing. Ask at least two follow up questions and guide the candidate to answer behavioural questions by using the STAR formula:

Situation/Task: What was the situation you were in or the task that you had to complete?

Action: What specific action did you take?

Result: What was the result of your action.

Pro tip: When asking these questions you can assess a candidates ability to reflect by asking:

  • In hindsight, is there anything you would do differently?


3. Skills and Background

Be clear on the skills and background you're looking for prior to the process. 

Assess skills and background in three ways:

  • Go through the candidate's resume role by role and ask the candidate to explain the responsibilities they had in each job. Alternatively, work through your role requirements, and ask the candidate for examples to demonstrate their experience as it relates to each selection criterion. 
  • Have the candidate complete a work sample or role play to demonstrate what they've done in the past. 
  • Complete background and work history checks to ensure the candidate has accurately represented themselves during the process. 

Want further assistance?

Contact our team to help you with your recruitment needs. Email Tom Brown to arrange a confidential discussion.

Achieve greater profitability by signing up team members to one of our Accredited Financial Planning Programs. 

Our October online program closes 4th of October. Register here.

Work on a one-on-one basis with one of our coaches. Register here.

This activity has been accredited for continuing professional development by the Financial Planning Association of Australia but does not constitute FPA’s endorsement of the activity. Accreditation number 008456 for 6 hours:

  • Attributes and Performance (3 points/hours)
  • Reflective Practice (3 points/hours) 

We welcome referrals. If you feel someone in your network would benefit from our insights, please invite them to subscribe to our newsletter.

Thanks as always for your support. I look forward to chatting further. 

Kind Regards,

Cholena Orr

Director- pac executive 

(03) 9602 9801