As RDR rapidly approaches and the collective apprehension of the industry becomes almost palpable, more and more job-seeking IFA’s are asking an increasingly familiar question, ‘how do I make myself marketable in the countdown to RDR and beyond?’
The first thing to remember is, despite the popular misconception, not all firms have the same requirements when it comes to potential hires. Whilst it is quite common for IFA firms to adopt the same systematic, tick box approach to recruitment with the same old checklist - ‘must have clients, must be diploma, must have trail,’ not all hiring authorities take such a hard-line stance. Although these three things are by far the most important aspects when making yourself appeal to potential suitors, you don’t necessarily have to place a giant tick in each box.
Firstly, and simply, due to time frames, it is imperative that if you are an Adviser with aspirations of trying your hand at post-RDR advice, if you haven’t already reached the ‘promised land’, you must be making increasingly big strides towards gaining Diploma. However, don’t assume that you will be thrown into the reject pile just because you are not quite there. Demonstrable commitment to the cause, and displaying a clear and realistic action plan for obtaining the necessary qualifications in what time remains, will stand you in good stead with the more astute employers.
Secondly, and whilst not the ‘be all and end all’, any degree of existing trail commission, however big or small, is guaranteed to give you the competitive edge over otherwise similarly matched candidates. Nothing pricks the ears of Senior Management within IFA firms quite like the prospect of topping up their funds under management and recurring income streams.
Finally, the current buzz word in the world of FS recruitment, other than RDR itself... CLIENTS. Granted, it is becoming more difficult to convince ‘would be’ employers of your commercial viability post-RDR, if the argument is not backed up by the substance of some form of existing transferrable client bank. Fear not, there are still plenty of firms out there that have realised that the majority of quality Advisers are tied up in a multitude of red tape and restrictive covenants, which means that they simply have to waive their rights to clients for up to a year, or even permanently. Those firms, and many more besides, are offering either business development and marketing support in order to generate sales opportunities, or actually, believe it or not, putting them in front of existing or orphan clients accumulated over the years or via acquisition.
In summary, if you don’t have an abundance of easily transferrable clients, a massive trail pot, or a list of qualifications that wouldn’t look out of place on the CV of an experienced Rocket Scientist / Brain Surgeon, you are NOT no longer employable. If you are experienced, if you have the right client centric ethos, if you are capable of sourcing business and converting initial communications or first meetings into written business, and you are of course in a position to continue into 2013 and beyond, then you have something to offer. In essence, those employers and hiring authorities that disagree with these sentiments and discard experienced, hardworking and ethical IFA’s, are probably not the sort of firm with which you want to align yourself for the challenges that lie ahead.
For more information on how Aston Charles can assist you in sourcing the best opportunities, please call Ben Christmas on 0845 8388 765, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.