Seven Steps to Hire Great Team Members

Beverly FlaxingtonBeverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dear Readers,

In the last week I’ve had no less than seven conversations with advisors who are either looking to hire, or are frustrated with the hiring process, or have put the wrong person into the wrong role and now need to figure out how to undo it. Employee management can be an incredible drain on time, energy and resources. Getting it right is so important. The “right” hire depends on each situation. To make a hire, or ensure someone you have is operating at full capacity, here are my “Seven Tips to Hiring Success”:

  1. Know the job. Too many advisors tell me they hire because, “We’re overwhelmed! We just need help!” or “I’m doing things I don’t like to do.” Finding someone because you just don’t know what else to do does not work. Be clear about the role, where it fits within your construct, and be sure to put it in writing.

  1. Focus on cultural fit. Are your partners hard-driving, “get it done” types, or slow to act, planners who like to think about things? Is your culture a “work 18 hours a day” or a “work hard and play hard” environment? Be sure to describe the culture and make sure the person you are hiring is a good fit.
  1. Check in on values. Similar to culture, make sure you are clear what motivates the person you are bringing in or have put into a role. Money isn’t everything to your employees. Do they crave recognition? Do they want the chance to change processes and make a difference? Do they enjoy client interaction or being behind the scenes and providing a support role? Know what motivates the person, and be sure you can give them what they need.
  1. Have an onboarding plan. Yes, even if you are one person about to hire an admin for the first time, or a large practice with many cooks in your kitchen, having a plan right at the outset is so important. The plan ideally should cover the first year, but even if you just cover the first 90 days you will be increasing your new team member’s chances of success. How will they learn? What do they need to learn? Who will teach them? Get this all answered before they start.