While building a comprehensive professional year programme is an arduous task, sourcing and retaining talent is going to be the biggest obstacle for licensees according to a panel.

Speaking at the Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association Conference, WA state manager at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, Chris Webster, said the PY programme isn’t difficult but what happens before and after is.

“With sourcing it’s a tight job market out there. If you’re not giving them a pathway to actually rise through to an advisory role they will leave.”

Ord Minnett interim head of human resources Bernadette Page said the group has a “two-pronged” approach to sourcing talent which involves internal work as well as connecting with external institutions.

“We deliberately want to know from within our own workforce today who is our potential candidates for the next 24 months.”

This included doing an internal review to find talent within their organisation that would be appropriate. The other part is to go out into the marketplace and source from institutions like universities.

The challenges of the job market aren’t a new trend as recruitment at all experience levels has been difficult. The loss of advisers has meant industry salaries have increased markedly.

A worthwhile process

The industry has struggled to attract new advisers to replace the over 10,000 that have left in the last few years with the capacity to develop talent also an issue.

While both panellists noted the difficulties for sourcing candidates, they also said it is a worthwhile process for advice practices.

Page said from a business perspective the demographic changes happening across the workplace as well as the exodus of advisers meant it was important to create a strategy around developing a formal career pathway for new entrants.

“This is probably the most exciting time when we look at what’s happening on a macro level. We know we have an incredibly opportunity to create the story of the early part of one’s employment at Ord Minnett.”

Webster said succession planning is never easy and the barriers to entry have gone up in the industry.

“We’re really trying to use that PY to add capacity to our existing advisers. We’ve got no shortage of clients, but capacity is an issue.”