How do you recruit a Paraplanner?

Hi all, 

Our firm is in the market for a new Paraplanner and we've started the process of recruitment with the age-old problem: where on earth do you start?

The advertising options seem daunting enough - do you choose a paper advert? Take the recruitment agency approach? Nowadays you'd be daft not to put something on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter just to cover all bases. 

How do you ensure you reach the right people, especially when you're seeking a Level 4 qualified writer with proven experience in the field?  When you're seeking someone special for a small team like ours, you want someone who can walk in on day-one with the majority of their ducks in a row. Of course to some extent we expect to be wading through applications from candidates who are simply looking for an administrative role. 

What are your firms' approaches to recruiting Paraplanners and how did you find your most recent 'diamond in the rough'?

Comments

  • Hi Katherine,

    It's not easy. It took me five months at the start of this year to find the right person. We only had three to interview stage from about 6 CVs. Location is a good hook. Turns out not many folk fancy a daily commute to Crewe! I suspect you'll have a similar problem in Billericay! Use social media heavily, just be clear who you are looking for in the advert. Make it obvious that the wrong candidate needn't bother applying.

    You've got a very good local recruitment agency down there (Coast, based in Hadleigh). It'll cost but it will be well worth a conversation with them, even just to ask them the same questions you've asked here.

    Say hi to Paul for me.

    Ben
  • We are using the recruitment agency route - but at least they do all the social media stuff for you (or should be anyway!).

    A fairly mixed bag to start with; but that was probably as much our fault for casting the net too wide and we are now a lot more focused on what type of candidate we want to see.  I think having that clear vision on what you need is key.

    Above all it appears to me that good, experienced, paraplanners are fairly thin on the ground.

    We are also focusing on internal development and training more - good administrators have the potential to be excellent paraplanners.
  • Jona said:
    Above all it appears to me that good, experienced, paraplanners are fairly thin on the ground.

    We are also focusing on internal development and training more - good administrators have the potential to be excellent paraplanners.

    Definitely both of these statement are true. I think, more and more, good quality paraplanners are starting to get rewarded for what they do and are less likely to move. Employers are going to want to hold on to them as well.

    Internal training and development is where it's going to happen for most medium sized advice businesses. This is not so straightforward when you are a small firm of less than half a dozen sadly. It's certainly more cost effective, but it takes longer.
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  • It's difficult. Part of the problem I think is the more experienced paraplanners will probably already have done their research on you. They'll have a shortlist in their mind of the firms in their area that they'd only consider moving for. You've got to convince them why you should be on that shortlist if they've previously discounted you or simply missed you. A bigger carrot might help to get them in the door e.g. salary, good company match on pension, PHI, PMI, bonus, buy extra holidays, flexi-time, home working etc.

    Brett Davidson did a good blog post the other day on some of the ways of keeping staff that Ben refers to: http://www.fpadvance.com/win-war-for-talent/
    Jonny (paraflex)
  • Morning Ben and Jona - you both make a great point, being ruthless with our criteria and encouraging the right candidates to apply whilst discouraging those who simply don’t have the credentials might mean fewer CVs through the door and a longer recruitment process, but causes a lot less problems in the long run. 

    I agree that a more attractive package than our local competitors also seems sensible.

    parawhat said:
    It's difficult. Part of the problem I think is the more experienced paraplanners will probably already have done their research on you. They'll have a shortlist in their mind of the firms in their area that they'd only consider moving for. You've got to convince them why you should be on that shortlist if they've previously discounted you or simply missed you. 

    Thanks @parawhat, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Local paraplanners will already have a good idea of the firms in the area they'd potentially move to, even if they're not actively looking to move.

    parawhat

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