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Smart Hiring

If you have read the April e-newsletter "Smart Hiring," skip down to Step 4 to continue.



Hiring a team member can be a long and onerous task, especially without guidance. We have discovered that advisors prefer someone other than themselves to handle certain aspects of the hiring process – and often, the entire process. Here are 10 steps to consider when going it alone.


1. Clearly Define the Role

Ask yourself and your team what you want the person to accomplish in this role. What is the main raison d’être? Once you know the outcomes you want you can determine:

  • The three most critical functions to be performed;
  • The skills needed to perform those functions;
  • The three main strengths the employee must have.

Be in selling mode as you create the job posting.


2. Identify Sources for Attracting Candidates

Ideally, you would have a bank of contacts that you have been collecting from your and your team’s own personal observations. If you do not have one, you will need to look at these traditional options.

  • Online job boards such as Indeed, local sites such as bcworks and kwjobshop, as well as industry specific sites such as Advocis and the FPSC;
  • Word of mouth through colleagues, clients, friends, etc. Send out an e-mail blast; 
  • Local college and university career centers; 
  • Networking sites such as LinkedIn; and
  • Employment agency firms including The Personal Coach

Decide which of the above are within your time frame, budget and expertise. 


3. Review the Resumes

This is a very time consuming step, so know your minimum requirements and scan for items that would add value to the role. Pay attention to the candidate’s experience, background, courses taken and qualifications. Check the grammar and find typos if any. Note any questions you would like to ask this candidate. Choose ten to twelve of the most likely candidates. Your goal is to conduct a series of interviews that will whittle the list down, eventually revealing the right person for the job.


4. Telephone Screen
This is where you discuss the most important aspects of the job and how their experience may fit. Ask:

  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • Rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 on MS Office, organization skills, etc.
  • What experience do you have in the financial services industry?
  • What do you excel at?
  • What would you not want to do in your next role

Once you have chosen the six to eight candidates you want to interview, bring them in for the first of two face-to-face interviews.

5. Conduct a Structured Interview Day
Book a day specifically for interviews. Plan to spend 30 - 45 minutes with each person and allow time between interviews to debrief with your team.

Break the interview into three parts:

  1. Data - have them walk you through their education and career path from the beginning so that you can see how it has evolved. Ask what they were hired to do; were they successful and were they promoted, recruited or fired?
  2. Important attributes that are not indicated on the resume - organization, accuracy, neatness and loyalty, for example.
  3. Personality and socialization - get to know the real person.

6. Assessment
Discuss with your team or a colleague and pick the top three candidates. Ask yourself the following questions about each person you interviewed:

  • Will this person fit the company’s culture? (You will need to know in advance what the key adjectives are that describe your culture).
  • Does he or she have the strengths required?
  • Why do I think this would be the right person?

7. The Second Interview
Ask candidates to bring in past performance reviews and references. If you have a skills test, this is the time to run it.

Understand what is important to the candidate when it comes to the work environment. This may include compensation, flexibility and benefits. You want to know the candidate’s expectations about what you are going to provide as an employer. Then you have to decide if it fits your game plan.


The underlying philosophy of multiple interviews is, if you still like the person as much after the second meeting as you did after the first, chances are you’ve found the perfect fit.


8. Reference Checks

Do not skip doing the reference checks. Call previous employers and ask questions about:

  • Duties performed and compensation received;
  • What the candidate could have improved back then;
  • Whether they would hire the person again or not; and
  • Why the candidate left the organization.

9. Selection

As in step 6, discuss your options with someone whose input you value. Who do you think has the best chance at succeeding in the role and on the team? Be as concerned with the fit for the candidate as you are in the fit for you.


10. Negotiate Compensation & Make An Offer of Employment

Balance what you can offer as an employer against the candidate’s flexibility and skills. Be sure to put a formal offer of employment in place, including:

  • Specific responsibilities of the position;
  • Required work hours;
  • Negotiated salary;
  • Any holidays, vacations, special considerations;
  • Any additional expenses you will cover (e.g., training, licenses etc.);
  • Any expectations regarding changes or growth within the job.

Good luck with your hiring and if you would like to talk to a coach, please connect!

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