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Financial Planning: Hiring in a Candidate Driven Market

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Financial Planning: Hiring in a Candidate Driven Market

Right now, we are hiring in a candidate driven market. What do we mean by that? Well in the financial planning profession, there are less qualified and experienced candidates and way more job opportunities than ever before.

This is driving up the salaries and forcing financial planning companies to be more creative around their interview processes, marketing, and benefits packages to beat the competition in this feast or famine market.

This isn’t something that’s going to miraculously fix itself either, especially in the financial planning profession. As the advice gap grows, it’s predicted a whopping 15,000* financial advisers will be leaving the profession soon due to retirement. In contrast, the number of younger financial planners joining the profession is stagnating.

It’s not all doom and gloom, a recent study by Octopus Investments* shows that around 18% of financial planning companies they surveyed have a training scheme in place, which is awesome BUT this doesn’t fix the need for qualified, experienced candidates right now!

So, as a financial planning hiring manager what can you do to attract the best talent to your financial planning company in a candidate driven market?

1, Have a sense of urgency, and fine tune your interview process.

There is an old saying in recruitment, ‘time kills deals’ and right now this couldn’t be truer!

If you can’t interview and offer a candidate within 2 weeks, there is a huge chance the candidate will accept an offer elsewhere, avoid disappointment and fine tune your recruitment processes.

Here some simple things you can do:

  • When a CV is submitted to you, act quickly If you are working with a recruiter then provide set dates and times, they can pre book into your diary.
  • Simplify the interview process with telephone or video-based 1st
  • Act quickly between interview stages, don’t wait weeks to book final interviews.
  • If possible, arrange role plays or technical tests remotely, or include within the 2nd stage interview.
  • Send out an offer email within 24 hours of the final stage interview.
  • If the candidate has impressed you at first stage, don’t hold back! Tell them why you think they are a great fit for your company and give them a bit of information about the role and the company values, get them excited about a 2nd stage interview.
  • If you know the candidate is the potential right fit, discuss any issues they may face that could potentially stop them from accepting an offer, notice periods, counter offers, flexible working etc.

A sense of urgency during the interview process is a must in a candidate driven market, you snooze you lose unfortunately.

2, Review and update your salary and benefits

We are seeing a record number of candidates turning down job opportunities pre interview stage due to outdated benefits and salary packages.

When was the last time you reviewed your financial planning remuneration and benefits packages? Does it include pensions, health, and wellbeing support, or one of the biggest hits of 2021 flexible working?

Make sure you have a single standout benefit, it’s a great way to separate yourself form the competition. For example, a financial planning company, that offers flexible working for paraplanners will generate far more interviews than one that insists the paraplanner should be chained to their desk!

Do your market research, reach out to a recruitment agency that focuses on the financial planning profession. Here at Recruit UK who have put together a 2021 financial planning salary guide, and its free to download. This is a fantastic tool for financial planning companies hiring in a candidate driven market.

3, Use your career framework during the interview, and future proof you employees.

We all feel way more secure and happier knowing where we are heading on a journey, and a candidate’s career within financial planning is no exception, at Recruit UK will call this ‘the future proofing approach’.

Many hiring managers at interview stage fail to present a clear vison of where the new employees’ journey will take them, what each step of their career progression will look like.

Be sure to include:

  • Salary and performance related pay reviews, what does this look like, what objectives need to be achieved to trigger these.
  • Career progression, where can this job take someone and what are the time scales?
  • Align benefits to career progression, for example at Recruit UK a recruiter can trigger unlimited holiday, healthcare, flexible working, and wellbeing benefits at different stages of their career.
  • How and when you invest in training and development, this shows that you are going to support them throughout their career within financial planning and help them develop their skills.

As a double whammy bring out the big guns and talk about your company’s business plans, get them excited about your vision and goals and where they fit within this.

This is such a powerful way of building excitement and trust with a candidate at interview stage, and to remain front of mind if they are interviewing elsewhere.

Top tip, make sure its visual, provide a PDF document during the interview (and as a follow up via email) or present it on that 75” LCD TV that’s collecting dust in the board room.

4, Get to know the candidate, and connect with their values

“Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be…” is a phrase that near enough all people born before 1996 will recognise. However, anyone under the age of about 25 is likely to give you a very puzzled look.

Speaking the same language by finding common ground and sharing the same values can be paramount in the decision making of the candidate accepting or declining an offer.

A good recruiter will do most of the hard work for you, but there are a few things you can do during the interview process to lock in the ideal candidate and avoid those puzzled looks.

Talk about your companies, mental wellbeing, charity, and positive impact policies, ask the candidate about theirs.

Ask the candidate about their interests outside of work.

Don’t be afraid to ask what their previous employer could’ve done better, open an honest conversation to see what the candidates’ intrinsic values are.

Value based questions are a great way to build a deeper connection with the candidate, especially if your company values are also aligned.

5, Be prepared for a counteroffer! (It will happen)

There is nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect candidate, going through the interviews stages, making an offer of employment for the candidate to be counter offered from their previous company.

This year we have seen up to 25% salary increases from counter offers for financial planners, and even a 75% increase for an IFA administrator!

So what can you do reduce the impact of a counter offer in a candidate driven, financial planning market?

  • Ensure your salary and benefits package is attractive and competitive, make sure you have done your competitor market research.
  • Have you dug deep enough around why the candidate wanted to leave their current employer early in the recruitment process? If it’s purely financial then ensure you can meet the candidate’s salary expectation, don’t waste yours and their time.
  • In an instance where a candidate has other reasons for leaving their current employer, make sure you understand exactly what this is, and that you are meeting those needs throughout the interview process.
  • If the candidate has come via a recruitment agency, make sure you are asking for honest interview feedback. This gives you a chance to fine to tune your processes and counter any issues or concerns the candidate may have about joining your company.


Use these five points to reassess and refine your recruitment process. In a candidate driven market, keep up with your competitors and beat them to the punch when recruiting the ideal person for the role.

Minimise your chances of those dreaded counteroffers and excite the candidate with a clear career framework. Having connections with a niche financial planning recruitment specialist, like Recruit UK is a huge advantage for companies looking to hire.

We have a reach of more than 100,000 financial services connections, expert knowledge of the financial planning and mortgage profession.  We provide continuous support throughout the recruitment process, increasing your chances of hiring the right talent for your business.

Get in contact with recruiters to succeed in the financial planning candidate driven market and reduce your risk of losing out during the interview process.

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You will be kept fully informed of our progress.

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Contact us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to us at:
GDPR Compliance Officer
Recruit UK Limited
Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

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If you have a complaint about the way your data is stored or handled by Recruit UK Limited, please
contact us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to us at:
GDPR Compliance Officer
Recruit UK Limited
Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

Escalated Complaints
If you remain unhappy with the handling of your data, you can complain to the ICO.
Information Commissioner’s Office
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12. Changes to this Privacy Notice
We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. This may be necessary, for example, if the law
changes, or if we change our business in a way that affects personal data protection.
Any changes will be made available on our website


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Our Commitments

  1. Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  2. Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.

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Use of the organisation’s grievance or disciplinary procedures does not affect an employee’s right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination.

Achieve your career goals

Once you have the knowledge, soft skills, practical skills, and qualifications needed for pursuing a career in Financial Planning, we will provide you with guidance toward a suitable path to follow to achieve your career goals.
You can confidently apply for job opportunities with a high-quality CV knowing exactly where you sit within the market with inside intel about salary expectations, buzzwords for specific leading firms and referrals from experts you will meet along the way. You will also have the opportunity to utilize the Financial Planner Life recruitment services, giving you further specialized advice and putting you forward for roles which align with your intrinsic values and career goals.
Don’t put it on hold, join the community today and discover your potential.

Discover your path.

We understand that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to a career in financial planning, which is why we are here to make sure that you’re taking the right route into the profession.
We’ve calmed the process down so you can stay within your current company, start studying towards your qualifications and begin to get a real understanding of what the landscape of financial planning looks like in respect of your career.
Whether you have aspirations of being an employed adviser, running your own business or doing a more back-office focused role such as compliance, we can help guide and support you down the right path, matching your experience, your network and your intrinsic values.

Uncover your potential.

It starts with taking your qualifications and what we do within the community is support you to pass your qualifications first time. The Financial Planner Life community is all about supporting people’s different learning styles and taking into consideration life’s commitments such as finances, family and existing employment.
We believe in offering a personalised learning experience, which is why our program includes study support for industry-recognised exams. Our aim is to ensure that you are well-prepared to pass exams such as the CII-regulated diploma in financial advice, the CII Certificate in Mortgage Advice and the CII Certificate in Paraplanning.
Train to become a financial planner with the use of online resources, networking within the community with well-established professionals as well as frequent webinars and Q&As with Sam Oakes and industry-leading professional guests.
[Download the full academy prospectus here]

Connect with the Community

Welcome to the Financial Planner Life Academy where well-being, honesty and transparency are at the heart of what we do.
We’re here to support you on your journey into a career within the financial planning profession. Whether that’s administration, paraplanning, financial advice or even mortgage advice. Our expert trainers and community will support and educate you and train you to A, pass your qualifications and B, make the right decision about your first employment in the financial planning profession.
It could be going down the route of being restricted, or becoming an IFA, you may even have aspirations of running your own business! But what does that look like?
We understand that from the outside looking in, it can be daunting to find the correct route into the profession to become a financial planner. The Financial Planner Life Academy is completely independent, allowing you to connect with hundreds of financial planning professionals with different backgrounds, at all levels of experience.
You will learn all about the different options you can take, mentored by a diverse mix of professionals so you are equipped with the essential toolkit to be able to make an informed decision about your career path within financial planning.

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