The ever-growing talent shortage and the advent of a massive wealth transfer from Baby Boomers to Millennials (30-70 trillion and counting), means that big disruption is on the horizon. And considering that the average age of wealth management advisors is 55 (with only 11 percent of the population at 40 years or younger), firms can also expect a mass exodus of seasoned professionals over the next decade as Boomers retire (J.D. Power survey 2019).
While the shortage of qualified professionals is not a new challenge, the impending retirement of the aging Boomer workforce over the next decade has exacerbated the need to attract and hire new talent now. As such, within the last few years, many wealth management firms have focused their recruiting efforts on the Millennial generation who are becoming more skilled and experienced.

What many firms haven’t considered is that with a younger crowd comes a different set of needs. The business model of the past, one consisting of manual, paper-based tasks and less-than-flexible work schedules, tends to repel Millennials. This group wants to work for agile, tech-savvy companies. They desire mobile capabilities and digitally driven processes. And because they speak the language of your future client base (also Millennials), onboarding the right staff today will pay off big in capturing next-generation clients down the road.

There are several key markers along the path to assembling a staff for the next-generation, including a change in mindset, evaluating and refining your technology infrastructure, opening the door to new value-added services and adopting an omnichannel recruiting approach. The following tips were developed to help you recruit and retain Millennial workers more effectively.

Tip 1: Transition from a Boomer to Millennial mindset

Major change cannot occur without a massive shift in mindset. The traditional wealth management model was designed for the Baby Boomer generation, and for years has served the profession well. However, with the pending transition of wealth to Millennials and the need to build a modern staff to serve this demographic, working under the current client profile and business model will no longer be as effective.

If firm leaders expect success in attracting and recruiting next-gen Millennial professionals, a move away from traditions of the past is a must. This includes working knee-deep in paper, adhering to manual processes and relying heavily on off-line communications (i.e., phone and face-to-face). There’s an urgent need to look ahead, identify the needs of future clients and begin preparation to meet those needs.

When firms shift away from “the way it’s always been done” and are open to a new way of working, change tends to happen with greater speed and efficiency. Additionally, when this new mindset is shared across departments and roles, it’s much easier to achieve firm-wide buy-in—further fueling change adoption that attracts a modern workforce.

Tip 2: Refine your wealth management firm’s technology infrastructure

High-net-worth Millennials are entrenched in digital processes in both their personal and professional lives. They are used to (and demand) seamless online consumer interactions of the highest standards. They want mobile capabilities, real-time access to data and frictionless payment options. They also expect to work within a highly secure platform. The same is true for Millennial staffers.

To recruit the next wave of qualified professionals, firms require a tech-savvy brand persona. Offering tools that support mobile access, flexible work schedules and streamlined processes are the key to attracting high-value, leadership-role-worthy candidates. With a refined technology infrastructure in place, staff will enjoy digital over manual processes and see more opportunity to play a role in expanding value-added client services.

Take the time now to evaluate your current tech stack, identify areas of weakness and adopt the technologies to attract the next generation of employees.

Tip 3: Expand your value-added services roster

When you operate within a cloud-based technology infrastructure, you are well-positioned to augment your client service offerings. This is an appealing quality to prospective staff as it represents bigger career opportunities within the firm.

A good example of a valued-added service is bill pay. Adopting a leading bill pay solution provides employees with a powerful tool to automate processes and serve clients at peak efficiency. Leading cloud-based apps offer:

  • Mobile access: Increase flexibility by offering on-demand access to data and insights while also supporting anytime-anywhere communications exchange with clients.
  • AI-enabled Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) functionality: Eliminate manual entry by automating invoice data capture as bills come in.
  • Pre-determined approval workflows: Accelerate efficiency by automatically routing bills to the right person.
  • Automated sync functionality: Eliminate double entry into accounting systems while also providing time-stamped, audit-ready trails.
  • Industry-standard encryption and two-step verification: Foster peace of mind among staff by offering the highest level of security so they are assured that client data is safe.

Tip 4: Follow an omnichannel recruitment approach

To attract Millennials, you have to be where they are. This includes building a powerful presence across social media channels like Google My Business (to boost your search engine ranking), Facebook and LinkedIn. It also includes consistently expanding positive online reviews via sites like Glassdoor.

An omnichannel recruitment method provides prospective staff with a seamless experience as they research your firm and build intel via various online channels. All of this adds up to a strong online presence and will set you up to engage and attract your ideal staff.

Final thoughts…

The transition of wealth from Boomers to Millennials is already underway. Capturing your share of this 30-70 trillion-dollar opportunity not only requires a new way of working with clients, but a new mindset and business model for attracting the next-generation of firm leaders.

Start with these top tops to recruit and retain the best-of-the-best to support your next-gen clientele—and eventually, take the leadership reins.

Kevin Au, Senior Director, Product Marketing


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