Recruiting the College or University student
By Shawn Bellefeuille, CFP, CLU, CHS
Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network
Ottawa Financial Centre
Vice President, GAMA Canada
New graduates, so full of knowledge coming out of school, have a hunger to make a difference in the world. The financial services industry offers the young and ambitious an opportunity to make their mark. Combine that with a flexible schedule, great income potential, and the chance to be one's own boss and you're talking about a perfect fit for young people who are looking to make a difference. Considering that the average age of financial advisors in Canada is now 56, there couldn't be a better time for the industry to start making way for "the new blood," persons for whom things like social media are second nature. These individuals understand the builders market of wanting to work, save and play all at the same time.
While there are many ways to find candidates, you need to be proactive and use a little creativity. I mean, anyone can set up a table in a gymnasium once or twice a year and hand out brochures. But would that excite you if you were a young hopeful seeking an exciting career? Don't get me wrong — being seen at career fairs is fine, provided you're doing other things such as driving people to your Facebook page and inviting them to your firm to help answer any questions they may have.
If you hired a young advisor fresh out of school, let everyone know about it. Move beyond the career fair mentality. Try an internship program in your agency. Build relationships with your local schools and arrange interviews for intern positions in your firm. This allows you to introduce opportunities you have available or coming available while getting a free look at a candidate or two.
Consider building a relationship with school sport coaches or directors. These individuals have direct access to successful, driven athletes, some of whom may be a great fit in our industry.
Don't underestimate the power of giving out bursaries at school graduation. These kinds of things give you that all-important "face time" with prospective candidates, some of whom might be future stars.
The more time you spend on campus with different people, the more your firm will be recognized as a potential landing spot for graduates. We are in a relationship business, and if you are there, year after year, your credibility will increase and your agency will be seen as a "hot spot" destination for young, motivated graduates for years to come.
As you put together your recruiting plans, please do not discount the new graduate as a valuable addition to your agency. They will energize your office.
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