Many financial planning firms have found hiring a resident financial planner alleviates some of their pain points and assists with growth. A resident is someone with little to no experience who joins a financial planning firm temporarily to work on entry-level operational and advisory activities while learning the business.
Modeled after what the medical profession has done for over a century, currently there are dozens of firms around the country offering residencies ranging in length from one to three years.
Most firms overlap their residents by a year or so to allow the previous residents the opportunity to train the new blood. This enables firms to get the work they need done without having to offer a path to senior planner for everyone.
If your firm could benefit from a residency, you must start the process early. Assuming you intend to hire a new graduate in May, here are some general timing guidelines for the process.
1. Publicize your resident position. Advertise your opening in August or September (assuming you will hire the following May or June). It may seem early, but keep in mind that many students who will be graduating the following year will already be taking positions with the firm they interned with the prior summer.
Best Practice: Implement an internship program or start your recruiting cycle closer to one year from the expected date of hire.
2. Review resumes. Some firms will accept applications for a few weeks up to a few months. Decide which will work best for your needs.
Best Practice: Put an end date on the application period to ensure that applicants don’t procrastinate and to help you see who takes initiative.
3. Conduct initial interviews. Expect this phase to take 30 to 60 days. The interviews can be via phone or using a video tool such as Google Hangouts. If candidates are local, you should still consider interviewing them via phone to get a sense of their phone skill level.
Best practice: Have the candidate initiate the call to gauge timeliness, organization and professionalism.