Your IndustryAug 22 2016

Train and retain your protégés

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ByKay Ingram

If you are considering taking on young graduates or paraplanners there are some key considerations to be made.

Speaking as someone who has employed many young advisers, you need to be clear about the calibre of staff you want to employ, and ensure they have their own career goals which you can support.

There are a number of things you could do to ensure you are their employer of choice. First, be prepared to offer training and allow new entrants to take the requisite qualifications – of which there will be many, as you may want to warn them. An ideal firm will give new employees the opportunity to work in finance while also allowing them to study. Many new employees find the study daunting and not easy; as soon as they have passed one exam they may find themselves swiftly expected to start the next one.

You will need to support and encourage them in this: consensus among our advisers is that, though they did not feel it at the time, they were extremely grateful at being pushed this hard in the early years – the goal as we know being to attain the Diploma in Financial Planning followed by the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

It might seem cliched to talk about a positive mental attitude, but it is as essential as a healthy bout of nervous respect for the whole idea of taking on the planning of an individual’s finances. We often encounter new entrants who might have admired the role financial advisers played, but never envisaged becoming one. They had put barriers in the way, frequently telling themselves that they would be too nervous in front of clients or that they did not have the technical knowledge. This is often the case where the person found career progression to adviser unavailable at the firms where they had originally trained and worked as a paraplanner. It had become comfortable to stay put. By presenting them with the opportunity to advance their career and really see themselves in the role, you will make the journey much easier for them and for yourself.

While it is important to have a training structure in place for those who decide to make the move from client support to paraplanner or from paraplanner to a role as a trainee adviser, it will also pay huge dividends to also have an experienced mentor programme to support those in training. Giving them confidence in their abilities is key.