The advancing technology of robo advice and other digital disruption has recently masked the fundamental fact that our industry is a people business.
People lead our organisations. It is people who invest. It is people who drive how technology is implemented.
Just as with technology, it is the quality of people that makes the difference and provides a competitive advantage – be it fund managers or customer service specialists – coupled with the technology that asset owners and managers use.
So how do you get the best people onto your team?
Often the best people aren’t looking for a new employer. They are content delivering real results where they are, rather than tweaking their resumes.
Accordingly, no matter how much you advertise on the technology-based platforms of LinkedIn, Seek or the like you won’t reach them.
Rather, technology in recruiting has tended to result in a focus on those people who are looking to move, for whatever reason – rather than identifying the best performers that you should have.
Does this suggest a need a return to ‘old school’ low technology head-hunting that identifies who has a proven track record at delivering what you need and enticing them to you?
There is, of course, a third option that combines both – harnessing technology to develop and tap extensive networks of proven performers, then coupling this with a personal approach to entice those performers to join your organisation.
As such, people – and the personal touch – need to be returned to greater focus in today’s recruiting and human resource departments.
Technology is a means to the end, an efficient enabler of rigorous processes, rather the starting point. For example, some 83 per cent of superannuation trustees expect to personalise each member’s fund experience by 2025. Technology will enable this, but how to personalise that experience is the key, not the technology which sits behind it.
It is the same with recruiting. Every potential employee desires to be a valued individual who is wanted by an organisation, not just the author of a resume that ticks a short list of boxes. Every organisation wants people who are committed, passionate, proven performers.
It takes people who understand our industry and the people within it to combine these needs.
Unfortunately, human resource departments are often so stretched trying to keep people, move others and find replacements – along with the day-to-day basics – that they can’t keep up with who’s who in our zoo.
Having a network, not just a database, is key in this respect. Being able to call on trusted colleagues to determine who is best in the market is paramount to finding proven performers who can make a difference, who can make or break an organisation.
How often have you worked with others who were troublesome, who were focused on themselves, who didn’t understand what was required – and how this impacted your own work? Employing such people increases the risks within an organisation, and to its reputation, often requiring even greater risk and marketing teams to counter the damage they cause.
Accordingly, identifying and enticing proven performers who culturally fit with your firm is going to return to focus this year. With the increasing pace of change in today’s markets, you don’t have the time or money to waste on someone who has a good resume and interview technique but little substance.