The talent game has changed, and employers need to think critically about their hiring strategies, according to Kelsey Ruwe, chief of staff at Carson Group. The name of the game is transparency, which extends from conversations about salary to those about job descriptions and company culture.
According to a Charles Schwab 2022 RIA Benchmarking Study, recruiting staff is top-of-mind industrywide, even ahead of acquiring new clients. And for good reason: More than 70,000 new hires are expected to be made within the industry over the next five years, according to the study.
Accompanying that hiring wave? A new mindset.
“We can't just sit back and wait for people to apply,” Ruwe said during a session at Carson’s Excell conference in Las Vegas last week. “We've got to be really strong in who we are, who we are as a culture, and our talent philosophy, and build that purpose and mission.”
Anand Sekhar, vice president of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Investments, echoed the importance of culture. “You have to align personal mission with the firm’s mission,” he said, and then pointed to nonprofits which do just that.
However, he suggested replacing the phrase “recruiting” with “attracting talent” because recruiting suggests employees moving from company to company within the same industry, which doesn’t expand or diversify the talent pool, he noted.
Sekhar hinted at recruiting from other sectors.
“Talk to any pastor, CEO of a nonprofit, and you will find perfectly aligned [business] missions with personal mission. You will find that often with teachers, nurses, social workers ... by the way, all three are great potential individuals for our industry who are really burnt out right now, and have a lot more diversity than our industry has ever had," Sekhar said.
To effectively find talent, advisors ought to consider what prospective hires seek. Sekhar narrowed it to five components based on Fidelity’s research: benefits that resonate; flexibility; a focus on well-being; purposeful work; and higher compensation.
Although salary may be important, it cannot be the main incentive, Ruwe noted.
“What's not going to keep you there is a salary because they can go … They can walk out your door and can probably get paid more doing very similar things,” Ruwe said.
Instead of making salary the main incentive, Ruwe suggests using it as an example of transparency.
“When we hire people at Carson, I would say the first month that job description’s outdated … because we bring them in, we look at their skill set and say, ‘Hey, where else can you add value to the organization?'" Ruwe said. She suggests that employers “do the research, sit down and look at the job description, price the job and share it with [employees].”
The benefit of doing so? “You just validated them in the work that they're doing. You remove that unknown off the table,” she said.
But salary is always a consideration, so when the topic arises, a visual presentation may be the best way to go, says Lindsay Odvody, director of compensation and total rewards at Carson. She suggests presenting a personalized chart that includes information about job title, level, base salary and bonus targets.
“No one likes to talk about compensation, but this will bring it to the forefront,” Ruwe said. “It takes the emotion out of it: Here's the job. Here's the pay level.”
“If you're having these conversations with your stakeholders proactively, [it's] less likely that they're looking elsewhere to have that conversation,” Ruwe added.