Clockwise from left: Tania Tonkin, Abbie Gellatly, Amanda Cassar and Charles Badenach

The tight labour market has made it particularly challenging to attract and retain talent in the financial services sector, which is already struggling to recruit people into the industry.

But financial firms reveal that there are ways to incentivise talent to ensure they aren’t lured into a competing firm.

Wealth Planning Partners director and certified financial planner Amanda Cassar allows team members to work at home a day a week and covers the cost of additional learning. School runs are built into the working day for one team member, along with the ability to work from home in the afternoons where possible.

“We also finish at midday on a Friday so we can get an early start on the weekend, and close for a full three weeks over Christmas,” Cassar tells Professional Planner.

Many of the benefits of working for the Main Street Financial Services are non-financial, pointing out that business owners need to be mindful of viability and profitability, principal Charles Badenach adds.

“With the expectations of the workforce constantly changing, we’re conscious that we need to adjust our offering,” he says.

Working from home, flexibility when engagements arise during the day, up to five days of unpaid leave a year, flu shots, catered work lunches regularly, staff functions and drinks at 4pm every Friday are among the benefits, Badenach says.

“For example one of our staff lives 40 km from Hobart and when they started at 8.30am they spent an 45 minutes in traffic each way,” Badenach says.

“By offering a 7.30am start with a 4pm finish avoiding peak hour we were able to save her nearly an hour a day. In addition to this they now work on Mondays remotely from home, so by thinking outside the square we have fundamentally changed the nature of work for this employee.”

Making progress

Career progression is also an important way to incentivise talent. Apt Wealth Partners head of people and culture Abbie Gellatly sits down with each team member to chat through a tailored career plan every single month.

It’s a tall task – these regular meetings make up half of her role in the business. The firm also offers a pathway to equity ownership, among other initiatives.

“These meetings allow me to chat through the direction they’re heading and trying to understand how we can best support them,” Gellatly says.

“The monthly process includes extending the offer of additional training as people adapt and evolve in their roles.”