November 2, 2010

Successful Recruiting Tactics To Grow Your Branch

Few advisors are truly willing to take on the responsibility, time and energy the recruitment process itself deserves.

This is the first of a two-part series on (1) recruiting, (2) retaining and compensating advisors for your branch.

Deciding to grow your business by adding advisors to your branch is a decision filled with multiple variables, not to be taken lightly. While many advisors think it's something they'd like to do, few advisors are truly willing to take on the responsibility, time and energy the recruitment process itself deserves.

Before taking this leap, determine exactly how you'd like to grow your practice. What is your business vision for 3, 5 to 10 years down the road? What types of advisors, and how many, do you ultimately want to add to your practice? What does your branch offer these advisors? Understanding your own unique value proposition is paramount to making sure that the decision is in fact right for your business, and that you set out on the right track to fulfilling your vision for growth. Once you've identified your goals, you can start the recruiting process. Following are four key steps in the process:

  1. Reach out to your broker-dealer's recruiters. If you are with a smaller broker-dealer, reach out to the person responsible for your firm's recruiting, be it the president or other executive. If you are at a larger firm with a designated recruiting staff, contact the person responsible for recruiting in your territory as your direct line to advisors who may be a good fit for your office. Be proactive and start ongoing communications about what type of advisor you are seeking and what you have to offer them so they can identify appropriate matches for your practice. Keep in touch regularly to share news and updates so you continually nourish that two-way relationship.
  2. Contact your product wholesalers. Because your product wholesalers spend most of their time in other advisors' offices in your territory, they serve as an outstanding networking contact to explore who may be looking to make a move. Additionally, they will likely go out of their way to help you as it's in their best interest to keep you happy. Your communications with both recruiters and wholesalers need to be ongoing over a long period of time so that they are regularly reminded of your recruitment goals.
  3. Identify and contact potential practices in your area. While you can purchase lists of advisors in your region, ask your broker-dealer if they may already have a list available to you. Use this list to start a direct marketing campaign and take some non-intrusive, relationship-building steps. First, send a letter introducing your firm. Second, send a request for a meeting to get to know potential advisors in your area. Your subsequent communications will be determined by whether you decide to continue discussions or move on.
  4. Commit and dedicate the time. Recruiting the right advisors to your branch requires your commitment and dedication. Set aside 10-15% of your time each week to the recruiting process. In the long-run, the time and commitment up front will have been well worth it.
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