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The Company Culture and Environment Young Advisors Really Want

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If you want to attract and retain high-quality young talent, you might need to reconsider your firm’s culture or change your office environment.

Of course, this requires more than just finding space for a ping-pong table or offering free soft drinks. These trendy perks won’t make a meaningful impression on the next generation’s best and brightest.

Most young professionals are looking for more substance from their work experience. Here’s how to appeal to the financial industry’s up-and-coming talent.

The Biggest Benefit You Can Offer: Autonomy

One sure way to alienate great young advisors is to micromanage them.

Millennials are inquisitive. When you direct a young advisor to do something a certain way and they ask, “Why?” they’re not being rude or insubordinate. They’re curious and potentially seeking ways to do things better.

Millennials might do things differently than you do. And if you give them the autonomy to do so, you may find that you end up with happier young employees and a more innovative, productive, creative business that operates more efficiently than an office full of micromanaged junior planners.

Eric Roberge, founder of Beyond Your Hammock, agrees. In bringing on young talent to his firm, he wanted hire someone who could perform the tasks Roberge struggled to make time for, like researching new tech solutions or providing “quickstart” hourly plans to clients with less complex planning needs. He also points out that hiring this way doesn’t just attract young advisors who want to succeed, but it also makes your company more dynamic and successful as well.

“Bring[ing] on a young advisor who doesn’t have the same experience in the industry as you do—but who has strengths you don’t—allows you to fill in the gaps in your firm. They get to do what they’re good at, and do it autonomously,” says Roberge.

An Innovative Culture That Embraces Technology

Firms need to invest in modern solutions and explore how advances in technology can improve the client experience. Embracing tech and giving young advisors the tools they need to implement a better service—such as a Client Portal, account aggregation, and robust financial planning solutions—will deepen their engagement with and dedication to your firm.

“If you don’t have the passion to learn about the latest and greatest technology in the marketplace and how it will integrate with your practice, find someone who does,” advises Taylor Schulte, founder and CEO of Define Financial. “Like a financial plan, your technology is a living and breathing thing,” he adds. “It’s constantly changing and evolving. It needs ongoing attention. If you’re not learning, testing, and adopting, you’re falling behind.”

Consider giving Millennials the responsibility of managing the firm’s tech stack, testing out new solutions, and recommending alternative technologies. Not only does that relieve your established, experience advisors from spending time identifying, testing, and trialing new tech solutions, but you assign the task to younger advisors who view it as an opportunity to contribute to a forward-thinking, innovative environment.

If you can show young advisors that your company culture is one that values innovation and is willing to change when a better way of doing things comes along, you’ll attract some of the best to your business.

The Ability to Make an Impact

If you want to take your business to the next level, you should give young talent an opportunity to make a real impact.

Limiting bright 20- and 30-somethings to menial back-office work and simple junior planning duties while they “earn their dues” is a surefire way to bore them into looking for another job. Millennials want to feel like they’re making a difference. They want to know that their work matters and changes the lives of others for the better.

You might also need to consider a change to your business model. Many big finance corporations, see young talent leave as they opt to take their skills to mission-focused companies that have “the client’s interests at the forefront” and don’t force employees to sell products simply for the sake of generating company profit.

Take AdvicePay for example. The payment processing firm for financial advisors literally pays for employees to make an impact. They encourage employees to use some of their unlimited vacation time to work for charitable causes they care about. If employees volunteer for at least five days in a calendar year, AdvicePay donates $500 in their name to their selected charity.

So, what’s the recipe for attracting—and keeping—the best talent of the next generation? Create a tech-friendly workplace in which employees can innovate, contribute ideas, and work in a spirit of trust and respect.

To learn more about how to successfully evolve your firm’s tech stack to attract young talent, bring greater value to clients, and grow your business, download our whitepaper, “From Selling Products to Delivering Financial Advice: The Role of Technology in the Shift to Holistic Financial Planning.”

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