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3 Trends in Advisor Recruiting Wealth Management Firms Need to Know

Around the world, wealth management firms are focused on creating better, more convenient, and more personalized experiences for investors. That can include using technology to enable enhanced client communications, educating clients with engaging new digital resources, and helping promote and reinforce good habits through gamification. But clients aren’t the only audience that wealth management firms need to be targeting with technology. The independent advisors and brokers that their business relies on expect and deserve the same level of attention, particularly when they’re being recruited.

Let’s look at some of the trends that are making recruiting a much more challenging proposition in the wealth management industry. We’ll then consider one of the ways advisor recruiters can use technology to help overcome these obstacles as they try to level the playing field.

The Changing Face of Recruiting in the Wealth Management Industry

Across wealth management, several trends are changing the rules of the game, making it harder to attract new advisors, while at the same time dramatically increasing the competition for their attention. Three of the key trends to watch in this space include:

1. Digital transformation raises the bar

As the wealth management industry embraces digital transformation, those firms that lag behind face a double-edged sword. Not only are they at risk of falling behind their competitors in terms of operating more efficiently and offering the best client experiences possible, they also run the risk of becoming far less attractive employers to a new generation of young and tech-savvy advisors. Wealth management firms not only need to have the latest technology to bolster their business and offerings, they need to find ways to actively promote that among potential advisors who have come to expect cutting-edge. In a competitive market, top advisors want to know that the firm they’re thinking about joining is leading the digital transformation charge, not lagging behind.

2. The rising allure of independent shops

It wasn’t all that long ago that any advisor who didn’t snag a job at a big-name wealth management firm was seen as second-tier in the industry. But in recent years that stigma has vanished as smaller, independent wealth management firms have gained both traction and credibility. Today, they boast sophisticated platforms, while enjoying access to all of the same products and capital markets as traditional firms. As a growing number of investors and advisors flock to independent operations, traditional wealth management firms need to up their game to ensure that they’re able to recruit and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive environment.

3. An increase in independent broker-dealer recruiting

Adding further pressure to the recruiting process is the growing power of IBDs that are increasingly going head to head with traditional wealth management firms for talent. In 2017 alone, for example, LPL Financial, Raymond James, and Ameriprise (the three largest IBDs), increased their recruiting by 42 percent. It’s clear that the Wirehouse are no longer the only option for financial advisors. As such, they need to be doing a much better job at targeting and personalizing their recruiting efforts to attract and retain top talent.

Using Technology to Get an Edge

At a time when attracting financial advisors is no longer akin to shooting fish in a barrel, wealth managers need to rethink their approach to recruiting. They need to find ways to not only attract potential advisors to join them, but also do so in the face of increased competition as independent wealth management firms and RIAs are viewed as attractive alternatives.

Coupling an advisor-first mentality with the right technology could be the best way to attract and retain the industry’s leading advisors. By understanding potential advisors’ needs and priorities throughout the entire recruitment process, wealth managers can improve engagement and ultimately bring in more advisors.

When sales enablement technology is behind this mentality, recruiters can get prescriptive access to the materials that are relevant to their region or territory and personalize content and presentations for specific recruits. Having easy access to the right content at the right time gives recruiters a repeatable, consistent recruiting process that enables more meetings with potential advisors, and gives marketers the ability to see what content is being used by recruiters and what’s not.

Armed with these capabilities and insights, it’s possible to create a much more tailored and individualized experience for potential advisors while also ensuring recruiters are using the most effective content. In a highly competitive environment, this can make the difference between landing the best talent and watching it go to a competitor.