Hiring a New Support Team Member?

Your business is growing, and you think it’s time to bring on a new support team member. Or perhaps you need to replace someone who is leaving. You may be wondering, “What can I do to help ensure success in bringing on this new team member?”

Much the same as for hiring a new financial advisor, here are five principles to ensure success in hiring your new support team member.

1.  Before looking for candidates, make a list of the specific responsibilities you want this person to fill. In other words, write out your job description first.

It’s not uncommon to cross paths with someone you really like as a person, only to find out that they lack the basic knowledge and skills you need for the responsibilities you want them to fill. It’s so much better to start with a detailed description of what you want your new hire to do, and then find just the right person to take on those responsibilities.

2.  Look for a candidate with the background and temperament that are appropriate for what you need now and for what you will want them to do down the road as they gain experience.

From a retention perspective, it’s always best to think about the long-term prospects for your business and find someone who can grow with it, assuming greater responsibilities over time, than to expect them to be saddled with basically doing the same thing years into the future.

3.  Make sure you have a plan in place to teach your new support team member everything he or she needs to know to step into the role you want them to have.

This is your opportunity to make certain they have or will acquire the knowledge and skills, as well as learn from the expertise you and other team members have acquired over the years to enhance the experience your clients expect, and you want them to have.

4.  Clearly define – in writing – your expectations for the new support team member.

Your newly hired team member should know exactly how you define his or her success. First, you should have documented their roles & responsibilities. This is not a random list of tasks that you expect them to perform, but areas they will be responsible for along with descriptions of how you expect those responsibilities to be fulfilled.

In addition to their roles & responsibilities, your new support team member should also have clearly defined goals. Some might be “results” goals, such as enabling you to walk into a client review meeting with everything you need to conduct that meeting successfully. Others might be “activity” goals, such as making calls to set client appointments for the senior advisor or following up with status reports until client service requests are completed.

5.  Implement an accountability process.

Make certain that you or your support team supervisor are meeting with your new team member on a regular basis to see how things are going, measure progress toward their goals, answer questions, and provide mentoring.

The more thought and time you put in – upfront – to these five principles, the more likely you are to be successful in hiring and developing a great new addition to your practice.

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