WSR Recruiting Survey: Keep Digitizing Recruiting!

Our Inaugural Recruiting Survey Reveals A Sea Change in Attitudes Across the Industry When It Comes to Comfort with Heavily Digitized Recruiting Efforts

Michael Madden, Contributing Editor, WSR

Our latest feature story in WSR’s Digital Domain section by Janeesa Hollingshead, all about the digitization of the financial advisor recruiting process since March 2020, details how moving to an all-virtual world for most of the past 17 months has transformed how recruiting is done.

Equally important, and as referenced in this feature story, attitudes about best practices in recruiting are also going through a sea change, based on WSR’s latest industry survey of financial advisors, home office business development executives and third-party recruiters, which was commenced in early June this year and concluded at the beginning of September.

Here are some of the key highlights of this inaugural WSR Recruiting Survey:

  • 73% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the move to a more digitized financial advisor recruiting landscape as a result of the pandemic has been a positive development for the industry.
  • 87% of respondents agree or strongly agree that a much more digitized financial advisor recruiting process has increased overall workforce productivity by liberating bandwidth that was previously spent doing in-person meetings and related travel.
Digital recruitment is now the new normal!
  • 68% of respondents agree or strongly agree that they are personally “much more comfortable” with a recruiting process that is majority digitized today, versus how they felt before March 2020
  • 65% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the majority of in-person meetings in the earlier stages of the recruiting process are “unnecessary.”
  • However, 77% of respondents agree or strongly agree that increasing the number and cadence of in-person meetings once an advisor has committed to moving firms should be done.

When asked about the most important technology tools that have contributed to a seamless move to more digitized recruiting efforts, respondents shared the following with WSR:

  • 66% of respondents believe solutions that enable the seamless and consolidated migration of all data, across CRM solutions, TAMPs and other advisor platforms are mission critical to the success of digitized recruiting
  • 82% of respondents cited migration of all paperwork to e-signature
  • 71% of respondents named software solutions that can track real-time progress for advisors and home office staff through each step of the recruiting process
  • 52% of respondents noted back office support technologies that can augment call centers to help cope with inflows of large numbers of newly recruited advisors

With the COVID-19 pandemic still far from over in many parts of the country, and remote work likely a continued fixture of life in wealth management for the foreseeable future, a heavily digitized financial advisor recruiting process is almost certainly here to stay.

Firms, third-party recruiters and fintech solutions providers would do well to take heed, and continue to adopt the technologies and strategies needed to thrive in this new normal for FA recruiting.

Michael Madden, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, can be reached at 

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