In Focus: Modern financial planner  

Advisers offer flexibility and career progression to attract talent

Advisers offer flexibility and career progression to attract talent

Financial advisers are increasingly offering flexible working conditions and clear routes for career progression to attract and retain talent.

A poll from the Personal Finance Society found 37 per cent of firms were offering flexible working, while 32 per cent saw career progression as the best way to keep top quality employees.

The body had polled 138 members on social media in June and also found a quarter of firms (25 per cent) were investing in training to fend off the post-pandemic great resignation trend.

Covid-19 has been widely credited with sparking a 'great resignation' in 2021, which saw record numbers of employees voluntarily quit their jobs.

But firms are also grappling soaring inflation, predicted to hit up to 11 per cent this year, which meant just 7 per cent of the financial planning professionals surveyed by the PFS intended to increase the benefits they offered to their staff in order to entice them to stay.

Sarah Lord, president of the Personal Finance Society, said: “Only by securing our own financial futures through a clear focus on attracting fresh talent, building resilient business models, and focussing on the client relationship, will the profession be well placed to help a growing number of individuals be empowered to manage their money and achieve their goals.

“Changes to the way the profession works post-pandemic mean it is vital business leaders consider how they develop cultures and invest in training that ensures employees feel supported and equipped with the knowledge, skills, and behaviour they need to do their best wherever they choose to work from."

Earlier this month financial services recruitment expert Rachael Fennessey told FTAdviser in a fireside chat on adviser recruiting there was a "huge shortage of skills" in the financial services industry, and particularly financial advice.

Fennessey, who runs Aspire Executive Search, said an estimated 15,000 advisers were going to retire over the next five to 10 years and they are not being replaced from the ground up.

And those that are entering the industry have changed what they want from their employer, she said.

She said: "The pandemic's affected people's values a lot more in what they're actually looking for and historically a lot of people [went] into financial services especially to be financial advisers, they enjoyed the role, they enjoyed the client aspect but they [were] financially driven because there's good earnings potential, and that used to be more of a motivator than it is now.

"Now candidates are more focused on the whole picture, so things like wellbeing and flexibility and the actual culture of a company. So companies who are doing really well are the organisations [that] have a really strong message, a strong journey, the leadership are really involved with the advisers, and the advisers feel very engaged and part of the journey – and people are wanting that more."

carmen.reichman@ft.com