Hiring Great Candidates in a Tight Market

Beverly 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 Bev,

We are finding it harder and harder to attract good talent. We are in a large metropolitan area and the economy is strong so candidates are waiting it out when it comes to job offers. We have scanned the market to ensure our pay is competitive. It is, but candidates, especially those with experience, are waiting it out to see what the very best opportunity will be.

Then, we have found candidates who are qualified and interested, but we aren’t sure they will be a good cultural fit. So we find ourselves settling for someone who has the skills and the knowledge, but not the aptitude to work well in our structure.

Is this a common problem? I’ve recently attended a couple of industry conferences and, while there was a lot of discussion on selection, no one had great ideas about how to find the right people. Should we be offering bounties to our own staff who know the culture for running full-page ads? I don’t mind spending money to attract the right people, but I want to make sure we are spending it in the right way.


Dear L.S.,

You are not alone! I am hearing this, in my consulting firm, from advisors all over the country and not just those in large metropolitan areas. The problem is definitely exacerbated when there are many other options nearby for the qualified candidate. Your note raises a couple of questions – how to search and design a matching process to ensure someone you find is “right” for your firm.