Attracting smart, motivated young people is not easy.

Whether you’re a person, company or profession, it requires a unique proposition. Basically, you need to be attractive. When it comes to professional services, it also helps to be big.

In that context, recent figures from WealthData revealing that only 163 advisers or provisional advisers have entered the industry since 2019 is a major concern with serious implications for the industry and society.

On the eve of the nation’s largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history, and against a backdrop of regulatory complexity, record household debt and climbing superannuation balances, advisers are an increasingly scarce resource.

As such the industry’s capacity to help more people and capture growth opportunities is constrained.

While comedians commonly make fun of accountants, auditors and actuaries, the joke is on us because in 2019, 38,000 Australians enrolled in accounting programs and over 9,000 graduated from university, TAFE or private training organisation.

The top five employers are Deloitte, KPMG, EY, PwC and BDO Australia.

Similarly, 8,500 Australian law graduates (LLB and JD) started employment or entered the job market in 2018. Many joined a large, brand name legal firm or corporate.

In medicine, there were 3,515 intern posts in Australia in 2020, most allocated to hospitals.

For the accounting, legal and medical profession, one of their biggest challenges is finding jobs for graduates, with demand outstripping supply.

Looking good is not enough

As the volume and pace of regulatory change inevitably subsides, the advice industry’s attention needs to shift to recruitment.

But it’s not simply a case of becoming more attractive.

While it often feels like the advice industry is scandal prone, every other industry and profession faces regular scandals too yet they’re still able to attract talent. Why?