However, finding good quality members of staff is a gripe for many adviser firms.
We asked this week’s Marketwatch panel how to approach recruitment and training of employees.
The battle to attract, develop and retain talented people has never been fiercer.
Figures just released by the Office for National Statistics highlight the challenge for firms.
The number of people in work has reached a record high of 32m, while the number of job vacancies also rose to a record high of 853,000.
To attract top talent you first need to present your business at its best. Have a clear and informative job advert.
Provide company information on your website and case studies from current staff.
A social media presence can also help to give candidates a flavour of your business.
At the recruitment stage give candidates a realistic job preview, with a clear job description, and don’t oversell the role or minimise relevant aspects.
Remember that the most cited reason people give for leaving a job is their boss, so let them meet their prospective new manager.
Be flexible wherever possible, consider homeworking arrangements and accommodate individual preferences on working hours where possible.
Fully assess the candidate’s ability to perform the role.
Instead of an informal chat, consider a role play or technical test, to properly assess whether their skills and experience match their CV.
Once on board, maximise the opportunities for employees to develop their skills and career. Along with a fair remuneration package, top talent will expect career conversations to set out a clear path.
Be open to discussions about the next step, where they’re going and what’s expected of them.
Finally, a successful mentor relationship can help to support staff through ongoing advice, encouraging reflection, and developing the knowledge and skills for future success.
In terms of advertising for positions, common methods of recruitment in our industry would typically involve using recruitment companies or adding vacancies to jobs websites.
While they are great methods for many industries, they can be time-consuming and sometimes deliver results which are quantity over quality.
Our recruitment success is via word of mouth and social media exposure, supported by our good reputation.
In the recruitment process, we would never judge individuals on their age or background.
We look for dedicated and passionate individuals who we believe have a passion for great customer service and exceeding client expectations, which are so critical in our industry.
A good mortgage broker needs to be a good listener, as this is vital for understanding clients’ needs and requirements.
Attention to detail, dedication, commitment and a strong work ethic are essential qualities too.
Evidence of these things may not come from one interview, a lot can be down to instinct and the general rapport built throughout the interview itself.
We find that Facebook is an essential way to share job vacancies within our company.
We also offer and promote youth training schemes where staff can obtain a recognised qualification at the end of a two or three year course.
Age is not important as the very young can be taught and they can learn.
The older generation can share their experience within the working day and we find that a real mix of demographic helps to build a strong and knowledgeable back office, which gives the opportunity to promote within rather than outsource.
Currently we have a gentleman who started working with us at age 24 and over the course of five years within the firm he has learnt, heard and witnessed first hand the process from start to finish of a mortgage and the client journey.
This in turn inspired him to obtain full CeMAP in 2018 and he is now progressing to be a trainee adviser.
Similarly we have a 16-year-old who is on the aforementioned youth training scheme and she is planning to be manager in the coming years, which is great to see from a business owner’s perspective.
What makes a broker for me is top service, being client-centric and respectful to the job at hand.
The finance world is forever changing and therefore a broker needs to be adaptable to change.