Independent RIAs Get Much-Needed Help from Recruiting Specialists

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RIA owner Michelle Smith shares an observation that illustrates the dilemma independent financial advisors face in recruiting advisory talent.

“You can’t get AM on a radio station that’s tuned to FM,” says Smith, who runs Source Financial Advisors in New York. “If you’re stuck on the wrong station – meaning old stagnant job descriptions you’ve used for years – and don’t take the time as a leader of your organization to query the team, identify gaps, get their input as to their daily pain points, and ask them who their ideal hire would be, and what that hire, should do, you’ll hire the same person over and over,” she says.

“I don’t think there is a lack of talent,” Smith clarified. “The trouble is firms aren’t clear about their talent needs.”

For help out of this trap, Smith turned to my firm, which provides wealth management and technology services to independent RIAs. In particular, she reached out to our team for help filling two pivotal positions.

Put an end to circular thinking about candidates

“Talking things over with an experienced talent team about roles we needed to fill and receiving their feedback before we even started a search was critical,” Smith said. Later, in assessing candidates, she found that our talent “has a wonderful way of pointing out the pros and cons of particular candidates that helps cut through the second-guessing and circular thinking about candidates you can experience trying to make important hires by yourself.”