It’s Critical We Attract New Talent Into Financial Planning

It has long been talked about that our Financial Planning profession is facing an adviser gap and this, in turn, will create an advice gap.

If we are to be a profession that is fit for purpose to serve the consumer, improves public trust and empowers people to improve their knowledge and understanding around personal finance, we must address the demographic imbalance that has been created through decades of lack of focus in nurturing new talent.

Let’s make it easier to attract new talent

One of the ways we can make the changes needed is to take more risks on new talent. The requirement of previous experience can make this sector especially difficult to gain a foothold, yet the profession is desperate for talent!

Through my own journey I have seen how challenging it can be and this prompted me to try to address some of the challenges for those entering the profession.

When leaving the forces in 2016 I spent a lot of time conducting my own research as I had immense interest in financial services but no real idea of how to enter the sector. After some research I discovered some of the pathways available to get qualified within the profession – and my studies began.

I became active on Linkedin at the end of 2020

I noticed an increasing number of people asking questions related to entry roles to the profession. I found that there wasn’t much information available to answer these questions. It is all too easy to be a bystander in such circumstances, but I could see that action needed to be taken.

I decided to contact the people posting questions and offer a friendly phone call to at least share my experience thus far. Word spread quickly and after a dozen or so phone calls, I decided to create a simple guide to the terminology, processes and documents new entrants are likely to encounter when joining the profession.

I emailed this document to a fellow connection on Linkedin, it was so well received this individual asked me if they could pass it on to a new-starter within their firm. I continued to expand on the document and rather than continuously email to one or two people at a time, I decided to set up a closed Linkedin group – Financial Adviser Mentorship (FAM) – to share useful information that I came across.

To further assist those in the group and continue my own learning, I reached out to established advisers who kindly offered their time at the weekend to hold webinars over Zoom. This proved very popular and the ‘knowledge base/vault’ was created.

As the FAM group grew on LinkedIn, further webinars and information were pulled together with regard to job roles, requirements, FAQ’s on qualifications and more.

An overwhelming number of jobs advertised on LinkedIn go unnoticed

We were proactive in the community re-posting all the jobs in there.

Due to the level of activity in the group of which much went amiss, I began doing a weekly bulletin summarising exam passes, advertising upcoming webinars as well as a reminder of previous useful webinars and information published.

The group has now seen many people going through their qualification journey and even assisted in finding employment. This has truly been a collective effort and a welcome escape from lockdown and an opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

I firmly believe it is skills picked up through the forces and an entrepreneurial spirit which enabled me to keep pushing the group forward with no funding.

To assist with management and further development, FAM partnered with NextGen Planners in April 2021 as it proved too much for one person to manage alone.

FAM is no longer homed on Linkedin

It now has its own free, app-based, private social network and it is a growing community providing resources and support for new entrants and second careerists.

There are also many experienced financial planners in the group who provide insights and mentorship to prospective new entrants. In a small way, FAM is aiming to build links between the pool of new talent and businesses within our profession.

The community helps employers to meet potential candidates and get to know them.

This doesn’t remove the risks associated with recruiting raw talent but with the ever-decreasing availability of experienced professionals to fill the adviser gap, our profession needs to take a chance and look outwards.

We need to create a welcoming, collaborative, collegiate approach to recruiting new talent so that we can grow as a united profession. 

Join the Financial Adviser Mentorship community here: