2. Ask Questions
Once you get to the meeting stage with a company, it’s important to write down the questions you have about the company’s DEI initiatives.

“I am not afraid to ask about diversity data and specific examples on how the company is planning on diversifying their pipeline to leadership roles,” says Stephanie. “If it becomes awkward then that tells you there is still work to be done.”

In addition, Stephanie recommends speaking with under-represented groups who are already working there and asking them to share their experiences with you. In her experience, firms that have excelled in diversifying their workforce have been successful for two reasons: their DEI efforts are led by the CEO and executive leadership team, and they have clear success metrics in place.

3. Find A Values-Aligned Recruiter
If you’re working with a recruiter, be upfront about the qualities you’re seeking in a future firm. A good partner will help weed out firms that aren’t aligned with your needs and values, and they help with a lot of the legwork and research to ensure your meetings are productive.

How do you find a recruiter that will work with you side-by-side to navigate the cultural fit? Start by asking friends in the industry for recommendations. And bring your “Cultural Fit Checklist” to the first recruiter meeting. If the recruiter seems unsure or challenged by this idea, they probably won’t have your best interests at heart in the long term.

Firms that are intentional about their diversity and inclusion efforts are better positioned to meet the needs of both their advisors and the clients that they serve in the long term. In the end, the responsibility lays in the hands of our entire industry—leadership teams and recruitment partners in particular—to ensure that under-represented advisors are valued, listened to, and given every opportunity to work at a firm that is equipped to help them thrive.

Ryan Shanks is founder and CEO of FA Match, a digital recruitment platform that connects experienced advisors with financial services firms equipped to help them thrive. Ryan brings over 20 years of experience as a recruiter and “sports agent” to financial advisors. Learn more at www.famatch.com.

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