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    Professional Standards for Financial Advisers - what will the business impacts be?

    Legislation mandating new education, professional and ethical standards for financial planners has been introduced into the parliament by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer.

    Integrity Education is developing programs to assist Financial Planning Practices:

    • meet the Professional Year (PY) requirements.
    • access a pool of 'pre-qualified and verified' Graduate Talent.
    • access a pool of 'Pre-qualified and verified' Client Services Support Talent.

    What is the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM Financial Services SMEs?

    Simple - hiring the WRONG PERSON. It's often hard to see people for who they really are in a recruitment process that may involve SEEK (the 'hit & hope' approach), a Recruitment Specialist (10-15% recruitment fee), or even a Family Member (convenience but at what cost)!

    The COST of this mistake is MASSIVETimefrustration$$$ and Growth potential - all wasted. An average estimate is that recruitment mistakes costs a financial services business:

    • at least $30,000 to $40,000 in CASH &
    • sets business growth & development back by at least 6-12 months.

    Proposed Legislation: Professional Year, Degree/Degree-equivalent, & Exam

    Come 1st January 2019, Graduates will be in demand, because the law will say new entrants must be graduates, and there will not initially be masses of them.

    How do you plan for this?

    Simple - take advantage of the 5 year transition period (up to 1st January 2024) to recruit staff who have the potential for growth and can meet the Exam and Degree-equivalent qualification requirements over the transition timeframe.

    How do you avoid making the $40,000 & 6 month set-back mistakes?

    Again, simple - ensure you find the Right People for the Right Position at the Right Time. This means finding people with the Right Skill Set (Competencies) who are the Right fit for the Company (important & underestimated).

    Easier said than done - what's the magic bullet?

    This is no easy task and there is no magic bullet. Where most recruitment falls down is a lack of adequate due diligence.

    When a Financial Adviser buys a Book of Clients, usually there is an extensive Due Diligence process. Why shouldn't the same occur when hiring new staff?

    After all, there is $40,000 or more on the line if the wrong person is chosen, and this amount could approach $100,000 if business opportunities are lost and growth is impeded.

    Finding the ONE - it can be done!

    Due diligence takes time, and time is the one commodity most lacking in a Practice Principal's life. Few firms have the time (or take the time) to properly articulate what they want the person to ACCOMPLISH in the role. This is very different to a Job Description, which typically focuses on activities associated with the role.

    Firms need to be crystal clear about the set of outcomes that define a job well done, and the personal competencies (skills and behaviour) required to fit with both the culture of the company and the role. Competencies define how the person is expected to operate in fulfillment of the job and the achievement of the outcomes.

    This approach, when done properly, aligns the expectations of the Firm and the new Staff member, and enables the effective monitoring of employee progress over time.

    Generating a Flow of Talent

    Most SMEs look to hire someone when they have an immediate need, usually due to a resignation or sudden surge in business growth that necessitate new staff... NOW! This tends to compromise (due to time constraints as previously mentioned) the ability to undertake thorough due diligence in the recruitment process.

    Always be Sourcing

    To avoid this passively reactive approach, a firm should always be sourcingalways be on the lookout for new talentalways be identifying the ONEbefore they are really needed. This concept fits in nicely with strategic business planning, and will be especially important in the period between now and 1st January 2019.

    myIntegrity - Careers by Design

    Integrity Education is building a Talent Pool for financial services SMEs across a broad range of roles, from entry-level to experienced. Individuals are defined by three levels of engagement:

    1. A-grade Talent - these are individuals with financial services professional experience who have undergone a thorough due diligence process. Their qualifications have been authenticated, their work histories verified, and detailed reference checks undertaken (at least 7 reference, with none of these provided directly by the candidate).
    2. Talent-ED - these are individuals who have limited or no professional experience, however have upskilled through education, continuing knowledge development, and skills enhancement to be job ready. They have undergone a thorough due diligence process with qualifications authenticated, work histories verified, and detailed reference checks undertaken (at least 7 reference, with none of these provided directly by the candidate).
    3. Raw Talent - these are individuals who may be changing careers or from aligned industries, and have the minimum education levels required for entry-level positions. They have undergone a thorough due diligence process with qualifications authenticated, work histories verified, and detailed reference checks undertaken (at least 7 reference, with none of these provided directly by the candidate).

    In building this Talent Pool, we are keen to hear the thoughts and have input from a range of players within the Financial Services industry. Integrity Education has developed a 3-minute Survey (link here) to gauge feedback on key issues to better the difficulties faced by financial services SME's in the recruitment process.

    If you are interested in exploring the concepts around Talent Sourcing and Recruitment discussed in this post, please feel free to contact me directly on j.ronchi@integity.edu.au or 0408 056 679.

    I appreciate you taking the time to complete the Survey, and if you think it would be of interest to any of your Colleagues or broader Network, please feel free to distribute this ONLINE SURVEY LINK.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope there was at least one 'nugget' of value you are able to take away with you.

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