We are fortunate to be recruiting during the Covid-19 crisis and it seems that a number of likely candidates have either been furloughed or made redundant, which makes our search much easier than before.
Not only that, the calibre of the person appears so much higher, which begs the question as to why their current employer did not try to retain them?
Nevertheless, some people have used this time and space to reassess their career goals and journey, which is to our advantage.
To date we have interviewed a number of great candidates and quite successfully through Zoom, including various tests that we put them through.
In fact, we feel we probably get an even better impression of the person because of the way they present themselves from home and on video.
Really good financial planners are like gold dust – or so our experience has been – even trainees; I find ex-contractors do not always have the right motivation and agenda (often they see being an adviser as the next step to making lots of money, but not necessarily with all the hard work and studying that goes with it); transactional-based advisers and those with only mortgage experience are difficult to retrain.
Not that it cannot be done, but the time and investment with someone who does not quite get planning is not always worth it.
We are looking for people who have integrity, maturity, are client-centric, prepared to work hard and grasp true financial planning as if it were their own and be passionate about it. Is that criteria too much to demand?
There are those who are confident they fit the bill, but when it comes to it, all too often they have fallen short, which has cost much time and effort.
So lockdown has served a useful purpose in many respects and quite unexpectedly; it has created a bigger pool of interviewees to choose from, as to date we have successfully appointed a soon-to-be-great planner and another possibly in the pipeline.
If you are looking for new staff, then now seems to be a good time. Wish us all well.
Marlene Outrim is managing director of Uniq Family Wealth