Clockwise from top left: Julie Matheson, Abbie Gellatly, Matt Hale and Ben Waite.

Trying to recruit for talent in a tight labour market is forcing advisers to think outside the box.

While money talks, top talent want more than just remuneration. Winning the war for talent comes down to a strong employee value proposition and understanding that preferences vary between demographics vary, a PwC report shows.

The steps required to search for talent are similar to those taken to attract your ideal client, Ben Waite of Salt Financial Group says.

He tells Professional Planner he’s done some analysis work on the firm to better articulate its strengths.

“If you can offer something unique or what candidates are looking for, be that extra flexibility or the chance to earn more income, then although there may be less candidates available, you should be able to narrow your field down to the ideal candidate you seek,” Waite says.

Investing in the business to make it a workplace of choice has been key to recruiting top talent for Apt Wealth, the firms’ head of people and culture, Abbie Gellatly says.

Apt Wealth, which was recently named as the fifth best place to work in the banking and financial services sector by the Australian Financial Review, has introduced a comprehensive staff benefits program to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion with flexibility, additional leave policies, health and wellbeing benefits and study and community benefits.

Ditching external recruiting to instead develop talent from within has also seen Apt Wealth develop its own internship and graduate programs.

“We’ve focused on creating a career development pathway and mentor program for each of our employees, so they know what their opportunity and pathway looks like,” Gellatly says.

Meanwhile, being clear on values, vision and culture has helped Arch Capital compete against bigger players, according to director Nigel Baker.

“We have certainly made mistakes in the past, and a tight employment market can make employers rush the hiring process, so it’s important to still be selective and hire on values and culture,” he says.

Find a mentor

Mentoring is another critical recruitment tool for firms, according to Finwise Leadership director and former Financial Advice Association board member Julie Matheson.

She has had several mentors throughout her career, adding that research shows employees with mentors experience higher job satisfaction, faster progression and increased commitment to their employers.

“After more than three decades working in the financial planning profession, I’ve come to believe that one of the most valuable yet less appreciated tools for untapped talent is mentoring,” Matheson says.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to have several incredible mentors who took me under their wings and shared invaluable wisdom that I couldn’t find in any textbook.”