The financial services industry is experiencing a talent drought in the middle of monsoon season.
As baby boomer retirements increase demand for financial advisors, most broker-dealer and RIA executives in a recent survey report a scarcity of talent -- and a reluctance to adopt new recruitment methods.
According to the 2015 Fidelity Executive Forum Poll, 72 percent of firm executives believe there is a talent shortage in the industry, and report that recruiting new talent is among their firm’s top three priorities.
However, Fidelity’s poll also showed that most firms still rely on traditional forms of recruiting to attract candidates, with 61 percent of executives citing direct referrals and word of mouth as one of their top strategies.
Previous research by Fidelity found that only 3 out of 10 new hires come from referrals, and that millennial candidates are increasingly using online tools like social networking sites and student alumni directors.
Firms are also attempting to appeal to new talent by differentiating themselves from their competitors, the survey said. Most of the executives, 66 percent, touted their culture to set themselves apart, with brand/reputation (47 percent) and firm growth (35 percent) also ranking high as selling points.
“Some of the best recruiting strategies we’ve seen have nothing to do with the act of recruiting itself, but originate from the core of the firm,” says David Canter, executive vice president of practice management and consulting for Fidelity Clearing & Custody. “It’s about distinguishing their firm from all the rest through their mission, their values and their strategic priorities. We’ve seen several firms use those key differentiators to their advantage in their recruiting efforts.”
The poll was conducted in May at Fidelity’s 17th annual Executive Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz., which was attended by more than 300 RIA and broker-dealer executives.