Demand for experienced advice support staff that can hit the ground running while working from home is pushing up salaries according to human resources outfit Profusion Group.
While most salary bands in advice have remained relatively stable through the pandemic era, Profusion’s Advice Salary Guide 2021 shows client service manager/associate adviser candidates with three to five years of experience sit within a salary range of $85,000 to $110,000 (excluding superannuation and bonuses), a marked increase from the $75,000 to $100,000 band identified in the previous year’s guide.
According to Profusion director Chris Gordon, the swift change to working from home has put pressure on advice practices to pay more for staff that have been around for a while and don’t require as much onboarding work.
Without being able to sit with someone and train them, practice managers are preferring to pay someone much more if they’re experienced enough to get started with minimal guidance.
“Advice practices are really favouring support staff with experience so they can hit the ground running,” Gordon tells Professional Planner.
Client service manager/associate adviser roles with only one to two years experience have seen their band increase at the top end, from $55,000 to $75,000 up to $55,000 to $80,000.
Perth based recruiter Simon Burke agrees that the premium on experienced staff has increased signficantly since the work from home era began.
“I call them plug-ins,” Burke says. “There’s much more demand from planners for a plug-in where they can recruit someone to be up and running straight away with minimum investment. Really it’s just a week’s worth of training on the specific systems and they’re off.”
In February this year Burke noted that the market for experienced support staff had tightened, with the going rate for client service managers climbing from $65,000 to $80,000.
A developing trend now, he observes, is for experienced support staff to work as independant freelance consultants.
“They’re sticking up their own shingle and charging $40 to $70 per hour, while still being able to work from home and have that balance,” he says. “Sometimes they might do 10 hours a week over a long period of time or just work full-time for two months if there’s a tidal wave of work at one place.
“It’s good for them and good for the advisers because they don’t have a lot of the associated employee costs like superannuation and insurance,” he continues. “They’re just paying for the work that gets carried out.”