What skills are needed in the post-Covid world?

This article is part of
Guide to hiring in a post-Covid world

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, says while this is positive - in that it means more people are potentially engaged with their finances than before lockdown - it also comes with a change in expectations.

He comments: "Clients' expectations are they will get this information instantly and therefore this approach requires quicker response times. 

"However, this is an opportunity for advice firms to extend their own services by offering greater choice and cost-efficiencies."

That said, Mr Richards warns of the dangers of remote working - such as extending working hours late into the evening - and a lack of personal development, both of which can be deleterious to new staff and old. 

He says: "As the UK continues to adapt to the new normal, managers will need new ways of engaging, motivating and developing their teams, given there is likely to be more remote working."

As touched on in the first article in this guide, the Human Givens Institute's list of nine emotional needs that we need to meet are important considerations: how can new staff expect to feel they are part of a team if they do not feel they are engaged, welcomed and being given the training the need?

They may have the tech skills needed in the new normal, but personal development equals loyalty to employers. Consider also Maslow's hierarchy of needs (see Figure 1). Without the psychological needs of recognition, belonging and fulfilment being met, how can individuals - especially new recruits - be expected to perform to the best of their potential?

Figure 1: Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Source: Simply Psychology

Mr Richards says this is an important consideration. "Positive wellbeing needs to be considered and maintained as much as personal development and learning", he avers. "With many people working remotely, some with dependants, financial advisers need to consider whether colleagues and staff will be best off working the hours that suit them.

"This is the same for everyone, and is an opportunity for a modern and inclusive workforce that should be encouraged for better productivity."

Further considerations

Some things never change, however, and that sort of care and commitment to the client journey will always be a core selling-point for would-be advisers.

Foster Denovo's Ms Bogdanovski adds: "In terms of other skills we would always look for driven advisers who put their clients at the heart of what they do, have a holistic approach to financial planning and who fit the culture and ethos of Foster Denovo.

"This has not changed during the lockdown and will always be what we look for in our advisers."