This article was first published in the April 2020 issue of Professional Paraplanner.
As a Recruitment business we specialise in an incredibly niche sector, focusing our time on engaging and headhunting talent within the financial planning sector.
Everyone is always looking for the best talent, the top 10% if you like. If the top 10% are being looked after properly, who else are we looking for?
We speak with paraplanners literally on a daily basis and aside from the more normal reasons behind a career move, such as a new challenge, better location, advancement within their career, more money, the prestige of the company that they work for or just simply security, would you believe that one of the biggest reasons why paraplanners were moving in 2019 was for a learning and development plan.
Our most recent encounter was with a fantastic candidate that had been with their current firm for over 10 years. They had started at the firm within the client support team (as an administrator) progressed to the team leader of that department until they achieved their Level 4 diploma and then moved in to paraplanning. They had held the title “Trainee Paraplanner” for two years and after discussing what their duties entailed, it was quite clear that they were no longer a trainee. They were on route to Chartered and were the go-to person within the business for technical support, but they felt as though their development plan had stopped and so were unsure as to how they could continue to progress within their career.
After numerous conversations and regular 1-1’s with their manager they were feeling slightly unmotivated, undervalued and not as driven because their path was no longer visible.
We questioned what their manager’s response was and it was one we hear all too often: “We’re really busy at the moment, but it’s on our list of things to do.”.
What people of a senior level really need to understand is that having a clear Learning and Development (L&D) plan is incredibly important to every single employee within that business. It enables employees to have a clear process that helps and supports their professional development and personal goals, but at the same time it enables the business to identify areas for growth or areas where further development and support is needed.
Up until this point this candidate had been incredibly happy and loyal to their employer. They knew everything about the business and were directly supporting two of the highest producing IFA’s with all of their paraplanning needs.
As soon as an individual’s personal goals and/or career path becomes less visible, they tend to start exploring the market, searching job boards maybe, speaking with recruiters, making tracks to realign and refocus.
Much of our time is spent coaching candidates, trying to understand what it is they want from their careers, how they plan on getting there and what obstacles they might face upon that journey. In 80% of the time we can help them have better conversations with their managers or directors and improve their current role (not necessarily get them a new one) – and that’s still a win our eyes.
Food for thought
In conclusion, here are a couple of things to think about:
1. For managers or directors of businesses
Listen to what your team are looking for. Paraplanners are such an integral part of the business, find out what is most important to them and work with them. If you want to reach out there are some great resources that we can send over for you to implement into your business.
2. For paraplanners
Are you getting frustrated with your employer? Have you tried to have a conversation with your manager/director? Can you pull them aside and explain how you are feeling?