“What do top financial advisers do that the rest of us don’t?”
I get that question a lot from aspiring financial professionals. Basically, you want to know the magic secret, the thing you can do to assure success. Of course, there is no magic secret, but there are a number of things you can do to grow your practice more quickly—and one of the most powerful is to hire a great staff person.
Maybe you’re worried about the cost of having an employee. Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t know how to hire the right person, let alone train them. But you don’t have to worry about any of that.
First of all, a good coach (yes, you should have one, see my article here) would tell you to look at the economics of each task you do at work. Remember that no matter what you’re doing, the cost for your time is the same. An hour spent filing forms costs the same as an hour spent bringing in new clients—but it doesn’t have to. You can hire someone to do your clerical work for less, and that frees you to spend more hours actually talking to clients. More hours with clients means more money for your practice. So, yes, you can afford an employee.
Second, no, you might not be the best trainer or manager. Those are unique skillsets and there’s no guarantee you have them. But the great thing is, you and your new employee can figure out how the process works as you go along. No two people need exactly the same things from their assistant, so make creating the role of assistant part of your new hire’s job. Let the process be creative and collaborative and document every step of the way. Then, when your assistant leaves and you have to hire someone else, you can consult your notes.
But hiring is a complicated process and finding the right candidates can seem daunting. Where do you look?
1. Ask Your Agency
You don’t need to jump to posting a formal want ad right away. Ask around. Someone at your agency may know someone.
2. Use Your Network
If no one at your agency can help, talk to clients, contacts at other agencies, or anyone else in the business world you happen to know. People love to play match-maker. Let them help.
3. Use Social Media
LinkedIn is a great place to post a simple “I am hiring for the position of admin assistant.” Really, that’s often all it takes. A colleague of mine just did this, using almost exactly those words, and got a huge response. He interviewed three candidates that week and has since offered one of them the job.
4. Ask Everybody
Yes, there are places you can run formal want ads. But there’s another option, too—ask random people. Ask your Facebook friends. Ask people in your neighborhood. Ask the people you see at the grocery store, at your favorite restaurant, at the gym. When an acquaintance asks you how you’re doing, say “great! Work is especially good. I’m actually hiring!” See if you can casually suggest that the person spread the word. Of course, most of the time nothing will come of it, but every so often you’ll connect with a great candidate you never would have reached, otherwise.
If you spend a few extra hours on the front end looking for the right person, you’ll be able to spend many more hours later, doing what you do best.